CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Student artists and musicians from across the state will be featured at the West Virginia Department of Education's (WVDE) eighth annual Arts Alive! this Friday, April 4, at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston.
The event features students in dance, theatre, visual arts and music with the Art Exhibit beginning at 6:15 p.m. and the Mainstage Performance following at 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Tickets will be available at the door or can be reserved for pickup through the Clay Center box office by calling 304-561-3570.
New to this year's event, West Virginia Public Broadcasting has partnered with the WVDE to live stream Arts Alive! at http://wvde.us/live. A guiding goal of the 2014 Arts Alive! has been to expand the accessibility of this event to those who are unable to attend. Many more people will now have the opportunity to join the celebration of outstanding arts education programs and student achievements in WV public schools.
The works included in Arts Alive! are selected from state arts conferences, festivals and exhibits throughout West Virginia; a competitive submission process; and/or by invitation. This year, a crew of 15 honors arts students have been selected to set-up the Art Exhibit which will feature more than 100 student works. A 13 member steel drum ensemble will play during the Exhibit and the following Mainstage Performance will feature 17 pieces performed by almost 200 students.
Years of research show that an education that includes the arts is closely linked to academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity. "We know that students learn best when they are able to connect different subjects and integrate their learning," said state Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares. "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."
Arts Alive! aims to support developing and establishing arts programs in public schools throughout West Virginia; inspire local education systems to embrace the arts as an essential part of every child's education; and empower the broader learning community to advocate for comprehensive arts education in public schools.
For more information, contact Dr. Christi Camper Moore, arts coordinator for the state Department of Education, at (304) 558-5325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.