DEARBORN, Michigan – Hundreds of talented Dearborn students from kindergarten through high school (K-12) perform, display and demonstrate their arts at the first-ever city-wide Youth In Arts Festival (YIA) at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11.
The public is invited to attend this free program, presented by the Dearborn Community Fund (DCF) in cooperation with the Dearborn Public Schools, at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Avenue, in Dearborn.
The program is designed to reinforce the importance of the arts in students’ lives and will include personal testimonials from graduates of Dearborn schools who have established successful careers in creative industries.
“We called this the Youth In Arts Festival because of the variety of the student work being presented – visual, instrumental, choral and performing arts — and high spirited energy of the program,” explained EmmaJean Woodyard, executive director of the Dearborn Community Fund.
From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., in the Center’s Lobby, guests will enjoy a student art exhibit, artist demonstrations, an update from the POP (Pockets of Perception – We Are One Community) project team, and music of the Dearborn Youth Symphony Flute Choir.
In addition, guest artist Estifanio Fuentes, from Oaxaca, Mexico, will demonstrate his internationally recognized wood carving skills using a machete and a kitchen paring knife.
From 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., a collage concert featuring choral, instrumental and theatrical selections with students from throughout Dearborn will be held in the Michael A. Guido Theater.
Special guests for the evening will highlight Dearborn schools graduates, all of whom have gone on to pursue careers in the arts. The guest list includes: pianist John Boonenberg; comments and opening musical number by Mike Mosallam, director of the Film Initiative for Wayne County; and, conducting the program’s closing number, G. Kevin Dewey, director of choirs, Henry Ford Community College.
The Youth In Arts Festival is sponsored by the Dearborn Community Fund (DCF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to support cultural and recreational programs in Dearborn.
Honorary chairs for the event are Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr.; Karen Nigosian, chair, DCF; and Brian Whiston, superintendent, Dearborn Public Schools.
The Youth In Arts Festival Honorary Organization Committee includes: AAUW Dearborn Branch, Artist Society of Dearborn, the Dearborn Public Schools, and the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra.
“The Youth In Arts Festival is really exciting for everyone involved,” Woodyard said. “It’s the first time that all of the schools in Dearborn have pooled all of their arts initiatives together at one time, in one place, to demonstrate how many of our young people are involved in the arts.”
For more information about the Youth In Arts Festival, other projects sponsored by the DCF, or how to contribute to the Fund, call 313-943-5478.