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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

First annual Arts Week held in San Gabriel Unified

By Emme Tran | Junior Editor

Photo courtesy of Lily Situ

   Arts Week, held throughout this week, was the first district-wide festival for the arts in the San Gabriel Unified School District. The event featured several galleries, showcases, performances, webinars, and a visual arts contest, all live-streamed on YouTube.

   Students, teachers, family members, and community partners were able to enter art submissions centering around the theme, #SanGabrielExperience. 

   “The purpose of the event is to showcase and celebrate students’ creativity and skill in the arts, to promote the importance of Arts Education, and to open up a stream of income to support Visual and Performing Arts programming through sponsorship and donations,” said Visual and Performing Arts Director Samantha Theisen. 

   Galleries opened online for art students from Gabrielino High School, Jefferson Middle School, Roosevelt Elementary School, and McKinley Elementary School to display artwork virtually.   

   “The students have been making artwork all school year, and we are using Arts Week as an opportunity to share their work with a wider audience,” stated Gabrielino High School art teacher Kat Ross. “The students in my classes put together slideshows or virtual galleries to showcase their work.”

   Several open mic segments from Del Mar High School, Jefferson Middle School, and elementary school students were performed, as well as performances from Gabrielino High School’s Art in Motion, drama, choir, instrumental, and Speech and Debate students. 

   Due to the virtual setting, performing arts classes, such as choir, needed to record and edit together the performances beforehand.

   “There is no way to sing together. Each choir member has to submit a video of them singing the song and I put it together to look like a choir,” said Gabrielino choir teacher David Pitts. “There is no audience to sing for in a live setting and we just work on one song at a time instead of working on a whole presentation of songs to be performed in a concert setting.”

   Students in kindergarten through twelfth grade could apply for the visual arts contest, with first through third place winners awarded a certificate and top prize winners of the SGUSD Arts Week Showcase Award given a plaque. First place and top prize winners will have their artwork displayed at the district for one year.

   The live webinars featured different arts specialists, ranging from the head of the Music Education Department at UCLA to an Emmy Award winning composer, for those curious about a career or education in the arts. Students were also able to ask questions and learn about the arts programs from different staff in the district and partner organizations in different showcases.

   Next year, the arts department predicts that Arts Week will have new events.

   “We hope to connect with the city, and engage more deeply with local businesses to set up vendors, craft fairs, and more!” stated Theisen. “We’ll have live student performances and art galleries you can see in person.”

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First annual Arts Week held in San Gabriel Unified