A program that has delivered thousands of dollars over the past 10 years for arts programming in western feeder pattern schools is resuming their family night celebration this Friday evening, March 10. ArtsFest in the West, made possible by parent volunteers, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Western Albemarle High School (WAHS) cafeteria.
The celebration is designed to offer something for the entire family, with activities for young children, dancing lessons for teens and adults, a silent auction, food, and a broad array of student artwork on display. The work of students from throughout the western feeder pattern will be showcased in student musical performances, artwork, photography, creative writing, and a preview of the high school’s upcoming spring musical.
The event also celebrates the teachers and families who support arts education in the four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school located in the western part of Albemarle County.
Included on the program this Friday are activities for children, poetry and art contests, swing dance lessons, and refreshments, culminating with a preview of the upcoming WAHS spring musical, “Matilda.” Families with children of all ages are welcome and will enjoy performances by several student groups, including:
- Elementary Combined Choir
- Meriwether Players
- WAHS Jazz Band
- Henley Jazz Band
- WAHS Choir
- Henley Choir
- WAHS Orchestra
- Henley Orchestra
“ArtsFest is a special night for several reasons,” said Jordan Zarwel, the Vice-President and Publicity Chair of Arts in Western Education (AWE), the nonprofit group organizing the event. “Most importantly, it gives a spotlight to the arts while sharing with the community the immense talent and passion of these students. ArtsFest was created to shine a light on the significance of programs of the arts, the contributions that the arts make to learning, and as an engaging way to connect with the community,” Zarwel stated.
AWE’s fundraising goal for ArtsFest in the West is $10,000 to support arts programming at Murray, Meriwether Lewis, Crozet and Brownsville elementary schools; Henley Middle School; and Western Albemarle High School. The organization was born out of a community desire to expand funding for arts programs.
During the silent auction, attendees will be able to bid on over 90 items, including works by local artists, custom instruments, and resort stays. All of the proceeds will go back into the art programs at the participating schools.
ArtsFest in the West is sponsored by the fine arts departments in Western Albemarle County schools and Arts in Western Education, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization created to bring support, awareness and celebration of the arts in the Western Albemarle feeder pattern schools. ArtsFest in the West is held annually in February or March, and teachers in the visual and performing arts are encouraged to submit grants in the fall of each school year. Learn more at ArtsInWesternEducation.org.
CONTACT: Helen Dunn, Deputy Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer