In our county, the Arts Festival is more than putting pictures up in a mall or community center somewhere. Louisa does it up BIG. Every Spring, the art teachers in the county work together and develop a theme, as well as decorate and select artwork from students (well, that's done throughout the year) to put in the festival. In addition, each school is responsible for an activity that goes along with this theme, and sets up a table with the activity, which is manned by volunteers.
This year's theme was "The Art of the Book" and featured a local artist, as well as a walk-through of Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are." Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle were also featured as well. Of course, being a VERY proud mama, I was so pleased that both my kids had their art displayed in the festival, so of course I'm going to include it in the post! I just wish I had a moment while I helped out at my school's table to take a picture of the butterflies that the kids were creating! There was an option of two: fan fold magazine pages and put together with a pipe cleaner body of a butterfly or use pre-made butterfly bodies with coffee filters, where students decorated wings with markers. Both, when completed, were hot-glued on clothespins.
Other schools' activities included rainbow fish, bookmarks, creating shape books.....I didn't get a chance to get to the other tables, but annual events include the potter's wheel, face painting by the high school art students, and basket weaving. Performances by the chorus members from all the schools are also featured, as well as a "sneak preview" and advanced ticket sales of the high school musical.
So, as you can tell, it is very busy and very well attended each year. In fact, this year was the 25th year of the festival! Each year also features a different shirt to go along with the theme. It was a little different this year, since it was held at the middle school (our high school was badly damaged in the August earthquake), but kudos to our art teachers who managed to make the smaller space work well!
I remember growing up, our art work was featured at the mall, so it was a "go and see" type of deal. I have to say, I LOVE this idea and how involved the community gets! So, how does your system celebrate the arts? I'd love to hear about it, so please leave a comment below!