By Katrina Schell, Performing Arts Division Head. Photos by Danah Hashem.
This year, instead of having one ArtsFest night where every aspect of student creativity is highlighted, the Arts department organized Arts Week, which included pop-up performances, daily assemblies, and a hallway full of art. A new initiative, Arts Week marked significant highs, especially in the visual art department. The front hallway was covered floor to ceiling in beautiful work, greeting visitors and parents with a warm embrace of creativity. The performing arts department also recognized significant achievement with daily assembly performances. The student body was graced with Chorale, middle school theater, and an assortment of instrumental chamber groups. However, as with any new startup, there is always room for improvement, and by editing some aspects of Arts Week, the LCA community might develop a strong tradition.
The main problem with Arts Week was a lack of communication and inopportune timing. Although everything worked out in the end and the student body experienced strong performances, there was quite a bit of confusion surrounding Arts Week. Students were informed very late that assemblies would be held every day, and understanding how to watch pop up performances took a bit of adjustment. The timing of Arts Week was also not the best, as many students were trapped in AP exams while other students were performing; however, this was not a majority of students, so overall, Arts Week reached most of the student body. Yet, there is one section of the community Arts Week did not reach: parents.
The charm of ArtsFest is the gathering of the entire community; friends, parents, and teachers all joined together experiencing and enjoying art. However, Arts Week was not ideal for parents that perhaps wanted to see their child performing. The daily assemblies provided one opportunity to see performances, but, for many parents that work far from the school, attending a pop up performance at another time of day would be nearly impossible. This could, however, be seen as a benefit, as there could be only one instance for a parent to see their child, meaning they only have to be present for fifteen minutes rather than a two hour night performance.
Arts Week was a success. Both visual and performing arts were showcased, the LCA community was able to experience an immersive week of creativity, and it was all topped off with a stellar performance of Guys and Dolls on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Arts Week alleviated the stress of two performances from singers, but it did not give an opportunity for all instrumental groups to participate. It allowed for daily performances of underrecognized performers, but it was not accessible for AP students. As a whole, Arts Week was a successful experiment, and it works well to institute it during upper school musical years, but the community is looking forward expectantly to the return of ArtsFest next year.
No matter how you experienced Arts Week, make sure you thank Mrs. Cheney, Mr. Vanderbrug, Dr. Visconti, Mrs. Bulger, and Ms. Shim for all the hard work they poured into Arts Week for the entire community to enjoy! Thank you to our wonderful Arts Department!