Partnership brings student art festival

YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown City School District is having a Spring Arts Festival in a collaborative partnership with the Rotary Club of Youngstown and Students Motivated by the Arts (SMARTS).

Organizers hope it will become an annual event.

More than 40 students are participating in the festival. They will see the festival exhibit and take part in arts experiences at SMARTS, located in the Ohio One Building. The public is invited to view the exhibit 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. There will be hands-on art activities for children of all ages.

Awards will be given to first, second and third place for four grade brackets, and 24 honorable mentions will be awarded. There also will be a best in show for each of the five arts disciplines. Anyone attending today can vote for Scholar’s Choice and People’s Choice Awards. All teachers and scholars who completed the SMARTS STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) units will receive a gift and certificate.

Rotary and the schools facilitated the Spring Arts Festival with inspiration from the new club project, Operation Pollination. The project raises awareness about how pollinators are vital to ecosystems.

Lindsay Goossens, SMARTS education director, developed a six-day STEAM unit for city school district English language arts teachers on pollinators, including lesson plans, slideshows and rubrics. Students read a book about their pollinators (bees, butterflies, bats, and lemurs) and then researched their pollinator’s challenges. Students could create art in any of SMARTS five arts disciplines — visual art, music, dance, theater or creative writing — as individuals or in groups to artistically demonstrate what they learned.

Their art had to have an artistic message, inform the audience about pollinators, have developed ideas and be presented clearly.


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