Arts Week 2017: Connecting Arts and Academics

Arts-in-Action during Arts Week 2017.

Congratulations to the students, faculty, and parents who participated in Arts Week 2017. From the Gallery Walk Writing Project to Art-in-Action, to the Dance-a-Thon, CityArts’ Arts Week is the premiere artistic exhibition time for our scholars.

Our theme this year was “One Love.” It was the perfect spirit in which to officially kick-off our arts showcases and performances. During Arts Week all of our students had a chance to express their artistic interest in music, dance, vocal, visual and theatrical. We like to say students get the opportunity to EXPLORE the arts, EXPERIENCE one our arts disciplines, and ENGAGE with art as an academic learning tool.  

Arts Week brings to life the mission of CityArts by integrating arts and academics to drive success for ALL students. One of my favorite Arts Week programs was The Sight and Sound Showcase, which gave parents a chance to see their children perform under the bright lights. The Showcase brought back memories of my time on stage. I can vividly remember my first time performing in elementary school when I played in Carmen. When I got the role, I was so excited to tell my parents I would be in a play! Every night my mom helped me practice my lines and she would read the other characters, which I found to be hilarious.  Finally, the big day arrived. On the first day of the show, I was so nervous and afraid to take the stage.  My teacher told me “Do what we practiced and have fun.”  Once I hit the stage the nerves were gone and I played my role to the T!

I’ll never forget the feeling of accomplishment and confidence I had during those nights in Carmen. I can imagine our CityArts artists felt the same way because I could see the courage and fearlessness when they performed during Arts Week. When I saw our quiet students jump at the chance to sing and dance for their peers, it reminded me why arts in education is so key. Recent study results of students exposed to the Arts was featured in Education Week. “Exposure to the arts also affects the values of young people making them more tolerant and empathetic,” the researchers wrote. “Arts experiences boost critical thinking, teaching students to take the time to be more careful and thorough in how they observe the world,” they explained. And that is what I want for our students at CityArts. Yes, test scores are important, but my goal is for our students to be global citizens, ready for the world before them – and I believe the arts can and will do that.

It is a pleasure to walk the halls and see our students learning and performing in the arts. I cannot wait to do Arts Week again next year!   

Follow us at @CityArtsPCS on Twitter and for upcoming arts performances.