Richmond County residents once again will have the opportunity to witness the hard work of local student artists and performers at the 10th annual Arts Alive! Celebration, an event that showcases their talents in art, chorus and band.
Arts Alive! will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 13 at the Cole Auditorium. The program is free and open to the public. Choral groups will perform first, followed by the bands. Artwork created by the students will be on display throughout the entire day.
Arts Alive! is held to celebrate National Music in Our Schools Month and National Youth Art Month, which are held every March. The event was started in 2001 by teachers in the arts program.
Don Greene, a music teacher at L. J. Bell Elementary, is the program director in charge of the choral/band portion of the show. Greene says the students work hard throughout the school year prepping for different in-school, community and statewide performances and competitions. But Arts Alive is the one premiere event each school year that brings students with love for the arts all together.
“Arts Alive provides the artistically gifted students of Richmond County a venue in which to showcase their talents,” Greene said. “Whether they are gifted in the visual arts or musically gifted, this is the time when the art and music students of our schools can exhibit the creativity they so richly possess.”
Students and teachers spend a number of hours prepping for the performances. Some students practice during school hours, others must rehearse after school, or before school. Band students also spend many hours at home rehearsing and perfecting their individual parts.
Artwork from 17 of the district’s schools will be on display in the lobby of the Cole Auditorium, which provides the perfect venue, according to Jan Allen, Ninth Grade Academy art teacher and one of the art coordinators for the program. Susan Perkins, art teacher at RSHS, also coordinates the art section. Students are taught to use a variety of materials according to the goals set forth by the NC Standard Course of Study, ranging from pencil and crayon to paper-mache and clay.
“We have so many talented students in our schools,” Allen said. “The Arts Alive! Program allows us to showcase some of their talent in a gallery- style setting. We are very proud of our students, and enjoy watching them progress from Kindergarten all the way through high school. We even have several former students who are now in college studying art, who hope to one day become art teachers themselves. You certainly won’t find a group of harder-working teachers or students anywhere.”
Greene is confident parents and the community will continue to support students and teachers by attending the program in high numbers as in years past. He says the arts play an important role in developing well-rounded students.