Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Kids get a free day of art

4th annual Children’s Arts Festival is a multi-faceted experience

Express Staff Writer

An elementary school student paints at the Children’s Arts Festival. This year’s festival will be held Saturday, March 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Community Campus in Hailey. Photo by Kirsten Shultz Photography

The opportunity for elementary school children to enjoy a free day surrounded and engaged in the visual and performing arts only happens once a year in the Wood River Valley. The fourth annual Children's Arts Festival at the Community Campus in Hailey will take place on Saturday, March 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event includes classes, performances and a student art show. Onsite registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

As in past years, classes in music, theatre, visual arts, dance, storytelling and literary arts will be offered for elementary school children.

"Parents bring children planning just for an hour and end up staying for the whole day," said festival co-founder Claudia McCain.

For the second year at the festival, the WRAA Players, for children in grades three through five, will experience a day of discovering what it takes to create a stage performance, learning to dance, sing and perform all in one day.

"I'm a professional actor," McCain said. "To sing, dance, learn dialogue and do a performance is incredible for one day. I don't think I could do that."

The theme for this year's show is "Tall Tales." Faculty for the show include Hilarie Neely of Footlight Dance and professional singers John and Melodie Mauldin. Students must pre-register for this workshop.

Non-WRAA Players registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Registration will close at 9:30 a.m. for the first performance and resume thereafter. Students can take up to four classes during the day, beginning at 10 a.m. In addition, the Community Campus will have several walk-up project stations that kids can enjoy all day during the festival.

Children of all ages are invited to attend the performances, visit the instrument petting zoo, watch puppet shows and engage in walk-up crafts. Everyone can paint "The City," which will take place in the gym from 9 a.m. to noon. In addition, a show of artwork will adorn the walls throughout the Community Campus from students of all ages from all area schools.

This year a storytelling performance from Montana Public Radio's Annie Gard, host of the children's radio show "Pea Green Boat," will take place at 9:30 a.m. in the auditorium. Registration for classes will resume after Gard's show. In addition, St. Thomas Playhouse will present its children's touring show, "The Tortoise and the Hare," at noon in the auditorium. The day will conclude with the WRAA Players' performance of "Tall Tales" at 3:15 p.m. in the auditorium.

Raffle prizes from arts presenters, including tickets to shows and classes, will be given away to registered participants before performances. Prizes include a gift certificate for one week of spring break art camp from the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, one week of Clay Daze Kids Summer Clay Camp at Boulder Mountain Clayworks, a Caritas Chorale shirt with CD of Antonin Dvorak's Stabat Mater sung by the Caritas Chorale, children's books from The Community Library in Ketchum, a print from Kneeland Gallery donated by the Sun Valley Gallery Association, four tickets to "Pinochio" from the nexStage Theatre, a $50 gift certificate toward classes at Footlight Dance Centre, a $50 gift certificate for lessons and music programs at the Sun Valley Summer Symphony School of Music and three tickets to a fall family-oriented production by Company of Fools.

For details on the festival, schedule and performances call 578-7720, e-mail or visit

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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