At the end of each semester our middle school students come together to share their artistic endeavors in the visual and performing arts with their families and the community at large. Drama, dance and music teachers work with their classes to prepare finished pieces for the evening performance. Visual art teachers prepare work gathered from their students for hanging in the art exhibit that coincides with the performance. Students are also allowed to audition work they create outside of school: this could be a dance with original choreography, a small ‘band’ playing an original song, a poem, or monologue. Auditions are held a few weeks before the performance. Those that qualify are included in the January Showcase; the performance at the end of the year is reserved exclusively for work created in school.
The art exhibit and performance are scheduled at a local downtown performing arts venue which gives the students the experience of performing ‘under the lights’ with high quality technical support. Several students are trained as the backstage crew and are responsible for working with adult Sound and Light technicians to make sure the performance flows smoothly. The venue’s lobby is a large gallery for rotating art shows. Our school’s art exhibit is usually up for two to three weeks coinciding with our performance. These events are highly motivating and exciting for our students and are one of the highlights of the school year.