Over the last two months, Citizen Schools’ campuses across the state applied different strategies to maximize the six weeks between fall and spring apprenticeships known as Intersession. At Lowe’s Grove Middle School, Campus Director Jin Yan and her staff led five arts-themed mini-apprenticeships, inviting students to explore Latin-American cooking, expressive writing, dance, drama/improv, and photography. The intersession culminated in “Arts Explosion” - a family and community-based celebration of the arts. While Arts Explosion showcased Citizen Schools students’ work from Intersession, talent from the entire community was also on display. At the event, student ushers distributed event programs highlighted by stories written by the Expressive Writing crew. From behind the drum kit, a local musician set the pre-party mood with a festive back beat, accompanied by sweet soul melodies. Once family and friends settled in, ”Pride of the Bull City”, Lowe’s Grove Middle School’s drumline kicked off the night with a powerful percussion performance enhanced by the school’s Viking frontline dancers.
The ensuing show highlighted local talent from a variety of arts, including original poetry composed and read by a Citizen Schools student. A Lowe’s Grove band instructor’s trumpet solo accompanying participants to a gallery crawl of photographic portraits by Citizen Schools’ students. As guests dined on Latin-flavored hors d’oeuvres prepared by the cooking apprenticeship, the Drama/Improv apprenticeship humored guests with character sketches.
After a guitar performance by a quartet of special guests from the Citizen Schools campus in Henderson, the night was capped off with a performance from the dance apprenticeship, featuring an unannounced surprise appearance by Citizen Schools staffer Nichole Montgomery-Boone.
“This was an amazing program,” enthused the grandparent of a young performer. “It is so important to have our children exposed to the arts. I know students that need this.” Citizen Schools looks forward to continuing to offer programming that brings together schools, families, and communities in support and celebration of experiential learning.