Monday, July 15, 2024

‘An Evening for the Arts’ Helps Launch Artist in Residence Program at WJCC Schools

An Evening for the Arts (WYDaily/Jillian Appel)

WILLIAMSBURG — The first-ever “An Evening for the Arts” kicked off the annual An Occasion for the Arts festival on Oct. 6 to raise money to fund a new Artist in Residence program supporting the arts in Williamsburg/James City County Public Schools.

The Artist in Residence Progam will bring a practicing artisan into a school for a period of time to work on a specific project approved by both the school board and the school, resulting in a substantiative public art installation.

“The arts are very strong in this area and we need to keep them strong,” Layfeyette High School Art teacher and fine arts curriculum lead Liz Bahl-Moore. “Arts are very critical right now for our students. It’s their outlet, their joy, a lot of kids love coming to school because they know they have art that day so we just want to keep the arts strong in our area.”

An Evening for the Arts saw around 200 ticket sales for the event. Restaurants set up booths for food for the night and volunteers helped make sure that the event ran smoothly.

“We’re excited for the Artists in Residence program. It’s going to expand the footprint and visibility of An Occasion for the Arts beyond our one weekend that we’ve been known for, for 55 years to something that makes us a bigger impact on the community,” said the Vice President of the Board of Directors of An Occasion for the Arts, Nancy Wigley.

“We’re excited for the schools who are going to benefit from the program and we’re excited for the support that we have gotten from the city of Williamsburg, the Williamsburg Area Arts Commission, and all of the doners and sponsors who make the weekend possible,” she added.

Nancy Wigley announcing the recipient for the Artist in Residence Program (WYDaily/Jillian Appel)

It was announced that evening that James River Elementry School would be the first beneficiary of the Artist in Residence program.

“The fabric of our student population is a very exciting amount of multiple cultures and I have the privilege to learn from that as much as they learn from me,” said Alison Waldon, the K-5 Art teacher at James River Elementry School. “With the Artists in Resident program, we can take celebrating our students’ differences one step further and create something that’s always going to be part of their elementary school.”

For more information about An Occasion for the Arts, visit its official website.

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