2022 Fine Arts Week: City Came Alive to Support Students
Rockford Public Schools recently hosted its All-City Fine Arts Week to celebrate the arts and offer new experiences for RPS 205 middle and high school students across the district. These events create enriching experiences for students from all walks of life across the Rockford and allow them to spend a day focused on honing their skills within their respective artistic discipline. Events like these create connections and build a bond in our community over the most powerful human expression: Art.
The festivities began on March 8 with middle and high school band, orchestra, and choir students rehearsing at Second First Church, Veterans Memorial Hall, and the Coronado Performing Arts Center. They worked with guest clinicians from colleges across Illinois. These rehearsals provided students with valuable experiences and memories they will cherish for years to come. The students rehearsed for hours, and finally at 3:30 p.m. it was showtime at Rockford’s historic Coronado Performing Arts Center. It’s safe to say that our students rocked the house with their renditions of various pieces of music. It was amazing to see all the music teachers, clinicians and fine arts administrators work together to put on an extraordinary event to showcase student talent and enrich their RPS 205 fine arts experience.
On March 9 it was time for All-City Theatre! Students from West Middle School, Eisenhower Middle School, and all the high schools went to the Burpee Museum of National History and learned about the art behind storytelling. The Fine Arts team invited a clinician from Chicago, Patti McNamee, who regularly shares stories on stage to relate to the human experience. Our students were instructed on how to properly craft a story and how to engage an audience. Students were able to wander around the museum to draw some inspiration and give their minds a break. When they returned, students got up to the front of the room and shared funny, emotional, inspiring and touching stories with their classmates. All-City Theatre was an awesome event that allowed students to express themselves and make connections with their peers through shared experiences.
For All-City Art on March 10, students took a trip to Rock Valley College. They attended workshops to hone their artistic skills with professors from RVC and RPS 205 high school art teachers. Workshops included printmaking, book making and sculpting. Students also attended lectures from successful Rockford artists. These lecturers told students about how they were able to find their lane in a mid-sized city like Rockford and still find success as an artist.
After school it was time for the RPS 205 Art Gallery Walk in downtown Rockford at Veterans Memorial Hall and 304 Main. Students, parents and the community showed up for the students whose work was exhibited in the Gallery Walk. The city came alive to show its support for our students. It was an inspiring sight to see and made me incredibly proud of not just our students and Rockford Public Schools, but also the city of Rockford.
All-City Week is an awesome event that showcases the abundance of talent our students have. It is a celebration that continues to grow and inspire Rockford kids. This event is a gem and is cherished by students, alumni and our community. The success of these events and the smiles on students' faces has made us very excited to begin planning for 2023 All-City!
Simon Davis is the Fine Arts Support Professional for Rockford Public Schools.
- All-City Fine Arts Week
- Beyond the Classroom