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Art Walk showcases student creativity artists

On April 24, Jessamine County Schools hosted its third annual Arts Walk, showcasing the art program from every school in the county.  Students from kindergarten through 12th grade submitted work to be showcased.

“They say it takes a village, and truly, it takes many folks to put an event like this together,” said Amy Harrod, district arts coordinator for Jessamine County Schools. “This began as a vision, and from there, teachers, student leaders, volunteers, parents and our district arts advisory council worked together to make the event happen.”

An art gallery walk showcased student artwork in various types of media from every school in Jessamine County. Artwork covered three hallways, and students brought their families to not only view their art on display, but see the art that was created by students in other schools in the district.

“The auditorium held a concert that highlighted our East and West High Theatre programs, Mindy’s School of Dance and our Dually Noted Show Choir,” Harrod said. “The theatre programs performed monologues, songs and excerpts from their musicals.  The Show Choir performed part of their spring competition performance and we showcased various groups from Mindy’s School of Dance to promote her upcoming spring recital. Our music concert combined all of our elementary, middle and high school choirs and bands.”

Sponsored by the Jessamine County Education Foundation, Saint Joseph Jessamine, 10th Planet Screen Printing and Design, Creative Art League of Jessamine County and Taylor Made Charitable Fund of the Bluegrass Community Foundation, funds were provided for the program to purchase sound equipment and provide any support needed to make the event possible.

Funding was also given to each art teacher who participated. All donations received for the event went directly back to the arts program in the county, and helps provide opportunities for students while also allowing teachers to purchase supplies and resources for their classrooms, programs and students, Harrod said.

The purpose of the event was to showcase the arts program in Jessamine County with a focus on not only visual art, but music, theatre and dance.

The program, Harrod said, shows the families in the community how valuable and important the arts are as a whole.

With many talented students in the community, the annual event worked to show others their talents and abilities, while also showcasing the art teachers who work alongside local students, she said.

“We also wanted to give our families opportunities to show what arts outlets are available in our community,” Harrod said. “And to allow families all over our county to see what arts opportunities their child would have once they leave elementary or middle school and move up to the next level in their educational journey.”

Harrod said around 400 families attended the annual event.

“Every year it grows a little bit bigger,” Harrod said. “That is simply because our arts program is successful and they continue to grow yearly due to the amazing work our art teachers are doing in their individual schools.

“Events like this are important in the county because the arts are a driving force in our schools.  Music, dance, theatre and art are all outlets our students can use to be who they are and express themselves in ways they can’t on a test, in a classroom or on paper.”

Harrod said East Jessamine High School, Jessamine Early Learning Village, East Jessamine Middle School and Brookside Elementary were also on site selling student products.

“The arts help (students) discipline themselves, focus and learn more about who they are and share that with anyone who will watch and listen,” Harrod said. “Not only does it showcase our students, art teachers and our schools, but it highlights the amazing support we have from our parents, families, school administration and community.  Without all of these things, our programs would not be thriving like it is.”

Harrod said there is nothing more valuable than being able to see the success of the students in Jessamine County. Seeing them get excited to show their work to their families, and being able to see them perform is one of the most rewarding things in the world, she said.

“Our arts programs are thriving in Jessamine County We have tremendous support from our superintendent and central office staff and administrators who know how important the arts are to a community and to a school system as a whole. 

“I look forward to this annual event every year and I am excited to see how it continues to grow and how the arts in Jessamine County schools are going to become a model for other school systems to look at.”