Youth in Arts Festival spotlights talents of more than 400 Dearborn students

Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Community Fund. Students participate in a community art project at the 2015 Youth In Arts Festival.

Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Community Fund. Students participate in a community art project at the 2015 Youth In Arts Festival.

DEARBORN – The 2016 Youth in Arts Festival, a showcase highlighting the creative talents of more than 400 students from Dearborn Public Schools and Henry Ford College, takes place from 4 to 8:30 p.m. April 13 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave.

The festival features the opening of the DPS City Wide Art Show followed by a concert including instrumental and choral numbers and short theatrical performances.

Admission is free and open to the public.

The Youth in Arts Festival is a project of the nonprofit Dearborn Community Fund in partnership with the DPS.

“This event is truly a festival because of the variety and high spirited energy of the art and the performances by Dearborn students in kindergarten through college,” DCF Executive Director EmmaJean Woodyard said.

The schedule is:
• 4 p.m. – City Wide Art Show opening remarks and acknowledgements.
• 5:30 p.m. – Senior Talks by featured high school senior artists.
• 4-5:30 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. – Interactive art demonstrations.
• 7 p.m. – Collage Concert featuring instrumental, choral and theater selections.

“The Youth In Arts Festival is exciting for everyone involved because this is the one time during the year that all of the schools in Dearborn showcase their arts initiatives at one time, in one place, to demonstrate how many of our young people are involved in the arts,” Woodyard said. “It’s also offers a unique opportunity for the students to see and hear what their peers are doing across the city.”

Festival activities begin at 4 p.m. with the opening of Dearborn Public Schools City Wide Art Show in the Padzieski Gallery. The exhibit, which remains in the gallery through May 12, includes selected works from K-12 students. Opening remarks occur at 4:10 p.m. followed by Senior Talks at 5:30 p.m. in the gallery by high school seniors specially selected to exhibit their work in the Gallery.

Interactive artist demonstrations in the theater lobby take place from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m.

The Collage Concert at 7 p.m. features vocal, instrumental and theatrical performances under the direction of G. Kevin Dewey in the Michael A. Guido Theater. The annual special guest performer is Edsel Ford High School graduate Joseph Deller, violinist with the Dearborn Symphony.

Choral performers: the Elementary Honors Choir, Eric Floetke and Jim Walters, directors; Secondary Honors Choir, Jennifer Pegouske, director; Fordson High School Concert Choir, Matthew Laura, director; and Henry Ford College Blue Fusion vocal jazz ensemble, G. Kevin Dewey, director.

Instrumental performers: Maples Arabic Music Ensemble, Catherine Odom-Prowse, director; Dearborn High Jazz Band, Jeff Oshnock, director; Edsel Ford High School Symphonic Orchestra, Alexander Armstead, director; and Stout Middle School 8th Grade Band, Jim Walters, director.

Theater performers: Dearborn High School students will perform selections from “Chicago” under the direction of Gregory P. Viscomi and Stout Middle School students will perform selections from “Hairspray Jr.” under the direction of Rashid Baydoun.

The Youth in Arts Festival is a co-operative project by the DCF, DPS and HFC with support provided by the city’s Parks & Recreation Department, DCAC, state Rep. George Darany, Frederick W. Hoffman and James R. Stokes.

The DCF is a 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to support cultural and recreational programs in Dearborn.

For more information about the Youth in Arts Festival, other DCF projects or how to contribute to the Fund, call 313-943-5478 or go to