The importance of arts in schools


Ebony Bowen, Editor-in-Chief

This Friday, May 17 from 5:30-7:30, students in the ALMA academy will be presenting their end-of-the-year culminating arts integration work, Life in the Heights, at the City Heights Performing Annex.

Students will be showing student films and also student written drama scenes.  The Hoover Orchestra will be playing before the start of the show, and the Hoover Choir will perform during intermission.  With the new construction, Hoover was able to secure the Performing Annext behind the Weingardt Library on Fairmont Avenue for this event.

“We are really excited about the student work presented at this event,” said ALMA academy director Mr. Michael Heu.  “This is the final year for the district’s Title I arts integration grant.  Hopefully we can continue this work next year through other means of funding.”

This is the first year Mr. Tony Samaniego is participating.  His classes are working with teaching artist Tara Ricassa from Bocon.  Mr. Samaniego’s students have been writing and workshopping drama scenes that depict student life.  The scenes, at times, appear as if they happened at lunch or after-school on campus.

Students in Mr. Samaniego’s class perform their scene for their peers.

This is the third year for teachers Mr. John Ta and Ms. Kati Behumi are working with an arts organization.  Both are collaborating with Outside the Lens, whose mission is “to empower youth to use digital media to create change within themselves, their community and their world.”  Both teacher’s classes have worked on documentary style short films on various issues that affect students, their families, and the community they live in.  One of the earlier projects in Ms. Behumi’s class was nominated for an iVIE award.  Junior Lily Ear and her team, juniors Annayexy Malo and Kelen Nava, worked together on “Stop the H8.”

“I feel really proud of myslef and also for my teammates that our video was nominated,” expressed Lily.  “It took a lot of work and a lot of communication and some disagreements but it all came together and worked out great!”

Another prior lesson included still photograpy with both Mr. Ta and Ms. Behumi’s classes.  These were enlarged and displayed at [email protected].