April 14, 2008

SIUC to host Arts Education Festival this week

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Of course it means months of preparation for Robert DeHoet when 2.800 or so of his favorite youngsters come to visit, but he says seeing the reaction of school children to the arts always makes every second of preparation completely worth it.

The annual Arts Education Festival at Southern Illinois University Carbondale brings students from more than a dozen Southern Illinois schools to campus for a whirlwind tour of fine arts. The festival is Wednesday and Thursday, April 16 and 17, from 9:45 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. both days.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover events during the two-day festival. Events occur at several places on campus, including Shryock Auditorium, Altgeld Hall, Pulliam Hall, the University Museum and the Student Center Craft Shop. Before the day of the festival, call Robert DeHoet at 618/453-5388 for scheduling information. The days of the festival, call Carol Knight at 618/521-6703.

DeHoet, education director for University Museum, said he wants to promote an arts event that can compete with video games and television when it comes to the coolness factor.

"I want this festival to become a good memory for these students," he said. "I want it to impact their lives. These event sessions are not something they see or do every day, and you can see the positive reaction from the students. They want this stuff."

Events include campus- and community-based performances. New this year is a demonstration of African hand drumming, with a special assist from some Carbondale elementary school students. Several of the festival sessions are interactive. For example, students can make masks in the University Museum graphics lab or learn acting basics at the Actor Factory with the Jackson County Stage Company.

Other activities include musical performances from Banjovi (banjo music), Southern Illinois Children's Choir, SIUC Egyptian Suzuki Strings, SIUC Percussion Ensemble, Loose Gravel, Parsley and Sagebrush, Robbie Stokes, the Dorians, and several other SIUC musical ensembles; hands-on art at Pulliam Gym; dance performances by the Susan Barnes Dance Studios Hip Hop Crews and the Junior Dance Company (ballet), Toni Intravaia's Creative Dance Workshop and children's ballet, Southern Illinois Repertory Dance Theatre with modern dance, Middle Eastern dance with the Nile Breeze Dancers; and tours of the University Museum, Pulliam Hall art studios and Student Center Craft Shop.

Schools attending the SIUC Arts Education Festival include: Ashley Grade School, Bennett Elementary School (Cairo), Christopher Elementary School, General John A. Logan School (Murphysboro), Giant City School (Carbondale), Ina Grade School, Lewis Elementary School (Carbondale), Lick Creek Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School (Murphysboro), Longfellow School (Marion), Mary Help of Christians School (Chester), St. Michael Elementary School (Radom), Thomas Elementary School (Carbondale), Tri-C Elementary School (Carterville), Unity Point School (Carbondale) and Vergennes Elementary School.