Encompassing all the disciplines of the Fine Arts, theater, visual art, dance and music, Arts in West Virginia Schools Month recognizes the importance of art in the lives of everyone, including children.
"The Fine Arts develop students' creative problem solving and critical thinking abilities," said Wise. "Students also gain a deeper understanding of world cultures, values and beliefs through the arts."
During the proclamation ceremony, several educators and students from around the state were recognized for their contributions to education. One of the students recognized was Justin Stewart, a senior from Wyoming County who won the statewide Youth Art Month poster contest. Seth Skiles, a fourth-grade music student, who is a member of the nationally recognized school group that performed the Oscar Meyer Wiener theme song, also was in attendance.
Fine arts will be celebrated throughout West Virginia and the nation. Across the country, Youth Art Month, Music in Our Schools Month and Theatre in Our Schools Month will be recognized. March 25 will be National Arts Advocacy Day and National "Dance Marathon Day" will be March 31.
The West Virginia Music Education Conference is scheduled for March 20-22 at Marshall University. During the conference, the All-State Children's Choir will perform Friday, March 21, and the All-State Orchestra, Band and Choral Concert will take place Saturday, March 22. The West Virginia Show Choir Festival will be held at the Nitro Community Center March 28-29.
For drama lovers, thespian area festivals have been scheduled throughout the state in March.
"Students gain so much from the arts," said State Schools Superintendent David Stewart. "It not only allows them to express themselves, but also reinforces what they learn in other subjects across the curriculum."
During the Arts in West Virginia Schools Month, citizens are encouraged to support Arts educators in strengthening dance, music, theatre and visual art education in schools and communities.
For more information regarding Arts in West Virginia Schools Month, contact Julia Lee, Fine Arts Coordinator, Office of Instructional Services, at (304) 558- 7805.