Arts & Entertainment

Livingston Public Schools Celebrating "Youth Art Month" in March

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The Livingston High School Honors String Ensemble headed up by Nancy Ciminnisi performing at the opening of the LHS Student Perspective show at Town Hall. Credits: LPS
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The Jazz Band at Mt. Pleasant Middle School performed for the Livingston Board of Education at the March 10 meeting at the school. For the sixth graders, this was the first time playing jazz before an audience, selecting "Blues in the Closet" by Oscar Pettiford for their debut. The ensemble is directed by Stafford Horne, who taught the classic tune by ear. Students traded solos, with Gene Lu on clarinet; Ryan Lee, violin; Andrew Chen, piano; and Preston Xu on trumpet. Credits: LPS
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LHS Principal Mark Stern admires artwork by an LHS student. Credits: LPS
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LIVINGSTON, NJ - Throughout March, Livingston Public Schools (LPS) are celebrating the artist in every student and the importance of arts education. The Student Perspective exhibit at Town Hall (see a slide show of photos by clicking HERE) is just one of the venues where art in all its forms is being showcased. Students on stage, behind stage, and those who literally build the stage are being recognized for their artistic achievements.

Youth Art Month gives schools the opportunity to showcase these talents. From all-school musicals to an all-township concert, creative writing, poetry, storytelling and art exhibits, schools are nurturing a vibrant arts community with well-rounded academic rigor.
 
Last weekend, “Grease” (lights, sound, music, stage design, orchestra, and the actors, all Livingston High School (LHS) students) was performed at LHS.

According to Manager of Communications/Community Outreach Marilyn Joyce Lehren, "It's the type of creativity that is inspiring student to learn the intrinsic value of the arts, collaboration and focus, and academic skills along the way."

This creativity is important because the arts engage “children in a process that benefits in the development of self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation, and self-motivation,” said Janice Reis, Lead Art Teacher at Livingston High School.
 
In the written word and visual arts, dozens of LHS students have earned a spot among such top writers, artists, and visionaries as Sylvia Plath, Andy Warhol, and Robert Redford as regional winners of the 2014 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
 
“I want students to learn to be flexible, resourceful, innovative, and not lose their playfulness,” said Wendy Rosenberg, an art teacher at Heritage Middle School. "I want them to have an opinion about what works, what looks good to them, what is unique, and to create work that can be meaningful to them and their lives.”

According to Lehren, you'll find that at every grade level. The ancient art of storytelling will soon transform Harrison third-grade classrooms into little theaters. Recently, Mt. Pleasant Middle jazz musicians brought their swing to a Board of Education meeting. On March 21 and March 22, Heritage will present “Guys and Dolls." And right now, high school artists are showcasing their work at the Student Perspectives exhibit at Town Hall.

"The Livingston Music Festival on March 26 will celebrate music in our schools," said Robert Wirth, the District’s Supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts.
 
The Arts Council of Livingston installed the Student Perspective show, an exhibit of AP Photo and AP Studio Arts. The works range across genres and mediums, including digital photography, studio art, ceramics, and digital imaging.
 
“The Arts Council looks forward to this annual exhibit and is honored to bring this AP exhibit Student Perspectives to the community," said President Vivian Olshen. "The work is exceptional and the students deserve the recognition."

The art will be on display until April 20. Performing at the opening was the Livingston High School Honors String Ensemble headed up by Nancy Ciminnisi.

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