Arts in West Virginia Schools Celebrated Throughout March

March 14, 2005

Charleston, W.Va. - Fine Arts in West Virginia will be celebrated across the state this month as Governor Joe Manchin has proclaimed March as “Arts in West Virginia Schools Month.” Commissioner for the Division of Culture and History Troy Body presented the proclamation during the West Virginia Music Education Conference at the Creative Arts Center on the campus of West Virginia University on Friday.  

Encompassing the four disciplines of the Fine Arts, theater, visual art, dance and music, Arts in West Virginia Schools Month recognizes the importance they play in the lives of everyone, including children.  

March is celebrated on the national level, as well, as a time to celebrate all of the four disciplines. National Youth Art Month,Music in Our Schools Month and Theatre in our Schools Month will all be recognized throughout the month of March.  

“The arts enhance our public schools and enrich the lives of students throughout the Mountain State,” said State Schools Superintendent David Stewart. “These programs also encourage students to shape and develop their own talents. Whether through dance, song, on a canvas or on the stage, the arts open our eyes to the richness and the miracles of the human experience.”  

In celebration of the Arts, several activities are scheduled throughout the month in West Virginia. Student artists will have their work displayed at the West Virginia Youth Art Month Show at Tamarack from March 1 through April 3 and the West Virginia Youth Art Month will also have student artwork on display from March 11 through April 24 at the Cultural Center. The All-State Children's Choir Concert will take place Friday, March 11, and the All State Orchestra, Band and Choral Concerts will perform on Saturday, March12, at the Creative Arts Center on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. West Virginia Thespian Festivals will be held throughout the state in March.  

Studies have shown that an Arts-based education increases academic success, heightens standardized tests and lowers the incidence of crime among general and at-risk students. Studies also indicate that young people who participate in the Arts for three days a week for one year are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and three times more likely to be awarded for school attendance.  

For more information about Arts in West Virginia Schools Month, contact Julia Lee, West Virginia Department of Education Fine Arts Coordinator, at (304) 558-7805.

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