CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Student artists and musicians from across the state were featured Friday at the West Virginia Department of Education's (WVDE) eighth annual Arts Alive event celebrating the fine arts achievements of public schoolchildren. For the first time, in a partnership with West Virginia Public Broadcasting, the WVDE streamed the event live across the Internet. If you were not able to watch Arts Alive in person you can continue to view it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhzcGGPA3aE.
Arts Alive showcased the visual and performance art of students statewide. The event included performances by Teal Steel, a student steel drum ensemble from Frankfort Middle School in Mineral County; the Cabell Midland High School Collegium Musicum, Cabell County; a vocal duet from Hairspray by Adam Croasmun and Logan Crawford of Paden City High School, Wetzel County; and the West Side Drum Ensemble from Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary, Kanawha County.
In addition to the lobby and mainstage performances, the WVDE named Trey Westerfeld, a senior from Elkins High School, the winner of the Arts Alive logo contest. Caroline Bantug, a senior from Tyler Consolidated High School in Tyler County won the third annual Science In the Arts competition. The WVDE also gave Sargent Art Awards to Laura Wilt at the elementary level; Cody Klages, Alexa Johnson, Chase Van Dyne, Kassidy Starkey and Kaylei Carroll at the middle school level; and Kayleigh Tucker at the high school level. The Best Overall Sargent Award winner was Jessica Bland, grade 12, who won an all expenses paid trip to New York City for her effort.
"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 public schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, inventiveness, cultural awareness, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity," said state Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares. "When students find a place where they can express themselves and express their voices, their schools become places where they want to be."
A 2012 study of students in West Virginia found that those with an arts-rich high school experience scored higher in mathematics and reading / language arts. This finding generally held true even for students of lower socioeconomic status or with disabilities.
For more information, contact Dr. Christine Camper Moore, arts coordinator for the state Department of Education, at 304-558-5325 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.