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West Virginia Schools Showcased the Arts at Arts Alive!

April 23, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Student artists and musicians from across the state were featured at the West Virginia Department of Education’s sixth annual Arts Alive event celebrating the arts achievement of public schoolchildren.

Arts Alive showcased the visual and performance art of students statewide. Among those who performed on the mainstage were the Jefferson High School Symphonic Band in Jefferson County; the Cabell Midland Rhythm in Red Show Choir in Cabell County; the Capital High School Dance Company in Kanawha County; Diggin the Weatha’ with students from Shady Spring and Woodrow Wilson high schools in Raleigh County; classical musicians from Bridgeport High School in Harrison County; and the student board of the West Virginia Thespians. The finale chorus featured voices of students across the state, including members of the 2012 All-State Chorus.

Here are a few pictures from the celebration. Please visit this site again to see a video of the event and a photo journey of the celebration: http://static.k12.wv.us/tt/2012/arts-alive-2012/

In addition to the lobby and mainstage performances, the Department of Education added a new category about integrating science and the arts.  The Science in the Arts competition was created to encourage high school students to consider, research, and present information about relationships between the two subjects. Students also were asked for the first time to submit original scripts, choreography, compositions and improvisations.

“We know that students learn best when they are able to connect different subjects and integrate their learning,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “Science and art are everywhere, and the interdependence of the subjects is undeniable. Well-taught arts courses are where creativity, flexibility, innovation, understanding and empathy are consistently required. These are skills that are transferable to many other disciplines.”

An analysis of U.S. Department of Education data on 25,000 middle and high school students found that students who were highly involved in the arts performed better on a variety of academic measures than other students. They earned better grades, did better on exams, dropped out of school less, performed more community service and watched less television.  

“Years of research show that an education that includes the arts is closely linked to almost everything that we as a state and nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity,” Marple said. “Every child, regardless of economic status, deserves the opportunities to develop these skills as part of a broad curriculum that includes the arts.”

For more information on Arts Alive contact the Office of Communication at (304) 558-2699.

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