By JAY LESTER/Executive Director of Fine Arts
Each year various national arts organizations recognize their subject area in the month of March. This is not a coincidence as it is considered National Arts in Our Schools Month. The Texas Education Agency defines Fine Arts as music, theater, art and dance. Each area compliments the others much like the core classes.
Youth Art Month
We began our season of celebration with Youth Art Month at the Grace Museum in late February where they displayed more than 1,100 pieces of student art. Spring also brought five art competitions: Midwestern State University, Scholastic Art and Writing, Visual Art Scholastic Event – VASE (high school), Jr. VASE (middle school), and the Young Masters Juried Art Show.
Music in Our Schools Month
For Music in Our Schools Month, music programs are busy with UIL evaluations or pre-UIL events and elementary programs in the evening. AISD also learned that for the second year, we were chosen as a 2019 Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation.
Dance in Your Schools Month
For Dance in Your Schools Month, dance and color guard teams from Abilene High and Cooper competed in their circuit competitions. The Cougarettes travelled by cruise ship and performed for hundreds on the boat during spring break.
Theatre in Our Schools Month
Lastly, Theatre in Our Schools Month found both AHS and Cooper at UIL One Act Play competition in their respective districts.
Although, speech and debate are not considered a fine arts course by TEA, AISD brings them under the fine arts umbrella. These students are quite active participating in weekly tournaments. Two students recently qualified for the national tournament to be held in Dallas this June.
Although March is the designated month to recognize music, art, theatre, dance, and speech/debate, we celebrate their efforts and achievements every month. The AISD school board routinely recognizes state and national level achievements for fine arts students, groups and teachers throughout the year at its meetings. In addition to celebrating our accomplishments, we constantly set goals to attain the next level of achievement while instilling a lifelong love for the arts in our students.