Arts Education Showcase highlights student performances

(submitted photo)

Scottsdale Arts will present its annual Arts Education Showcase 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2, at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

The free, art-filled celebration of inspiring teachers and visionary students shines the spotlight on the accomplishments and creativity of participants in Scottsdale Arts Education & Outreach programs.

Among the highlights will be spoken-word performances by students from Greenway Middle School, according to a press release.

More than 60 seventh- and eighth-graders collaborated in March with spoken-word artist KJ Miner as part of a poetry and creative writing residency. Each student received a journal during the five-day workshop, and what they wrote was powerful, gritty and personal — reflecting their worlds.

The initiative is a part of Scottsdale Arts’ Cultural Connections Through the Arts, a multi-disciplinary program comprised of day-long to multi-week residencies in visual arts, theater, music and movement.

Students work with local, national and touring artists, as well as experts in workshops and master classes, in topics ranging from spoken word to music composition. Each year more than 4,000 students participate, the release stated.

Greenway continued the program after the workshop through a dynamic “Night of Poetry,” during which students read their poems on stage for parents and friends.

“It is the mission of Scottsdale Arts to bring high-quality experiences to our community through the arts,” said Natalie Marsh, director of Scottsdale Arts Education & Outreach, in the press release.

“This program takes core curriculum subjects like language arts and ignites a deeper engagement by provoking thought and promoting empathy, racial tolerance and multi-cultural understanding through arts-integrated experiences. It is truly rewarding to see a school like Greenway take this program to the next level through its Night of Poetry, and we are excited to celebrate student accomplishments at our Arts Education Showcase.”

Guests can hear some of these compelling pieces of spoken word at the education showcase, where Greenway and students from other middle schools across the Valley will present their poems throughout the evening in a spoken-word café.

Other highlights of the showcase will include live performances of dance, jazz and theater; hands-on activities; and an opening reception in the Young@Art Gallery featuring the latest exhibition by students in the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art’s innovative Visions program.

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