PARKERSBURG - Artsbridge will hold its 15th annual Very Spectacular Arts Festival from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. March 27 at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
This year's theme is "Up, Up and Away." The festival is co-sponsored by Artsbridge and WVU-P for students with disabilities from school systems in seven counties in West Virginia and two in Ohio, said publicity chair Sarah Jalbert.
The program is for special education students from Calhoun, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt and Wood counties in West Virginia and Washington and Morgan counties in Ohio.
Volunteer Ann Simonton, left, face paints a student at last year’s Very Spectacular Arts Festival at West Virginia University at Parkersburg. This year’s event will be March 27 at the college.
Students at the Very Spectacular Arts Festival range in age from pre-school to young adults and the committee makes sure there are a variety of activities for each age group. There will be usually about 20 stations at different locations during the festival, she said.
The festival will include a variety of hands-on activities, interactive demonstrations and music and dance interactive demonstrations. Past activities have included picture frames, cartoon fun, bead bracelets, theater games, painting, newspaper hats, face painting, balloon animals, digital photos and storytelling.
This year's program will begin with the Parkersburg High School Jazz Band and remarks by Artsbridge Board of Directors president Lee Rector and Larry "Mad Max" Maxwell during the opening ceremony at 9 a.m. in the multi-purpose room.
The schedule for interactive demonstrations and activities at the 2013 Very Spectacular Arts Festival includes:
The festival is based on the national model which was created in 1974 by Jean Kennedy Smith, in affiliation with the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., to give children with disabilities the opportunity to experience live arts.
It brings together artists, educators and policy makers with and without disabilities for a multicultural celebration of the arts and arts education.
It features visual, performing, literary and media artists, Jalbert said.
The festival also provides educators, parents, and artists with the resources and tools to support arts programming in their schools and communities.
It showcases the accomplishments of artists with disabilities and promotes increased access to the arts for all people, she said.
For additional information on the Very Spectacular Arts Festival, contact Mark Lanyon, Artsbridge director, at 304-428-3988.
This year's funding partners include AMBUCS, American Legion Auxiliary 15, The Arc of the Mid-Ohio Valley, Ohio River Border Initiative, Rotary of Belpre, SW Resources and Zoetis/Division of Pfizer. Additional donors and supporters include The Actors Guild of Parkersburg, Camden Clark Medical Center, Crafts 2000, The Greenhouse of Saint Marys, JR's Donut Castle, Peoples Bank, the Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority and Dr. Marie Foster-Gnage and J.B. Skidmore of WVU-P.