Excellence in the arts continues at area schools
When schools closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, student life changed in ways no one could have predicted. This may be especially true in the arts, where the senses are such a huge part of learning. A short story by LaVilla School of the Arts creative writing student Hannah Duncan talks about missing the sound of violins echoing softly through the halls, the sight of dancers practicing by the main staircase, and the smell of a teacher’s coffee. Being at school, learning and creating, took on new meaning as students suddenly did these things from home and were forced to realize the things they missed.
The majority of students are back on campus this school year, but it is a very different experience. When we asked some of our local arts magnets and private schools to share their highlights for our annual “Excellence in the Arts” story, they all simply pointed to their pandemic-related strategies to keep the arts alive. As artists clamor “the show must go on,” there are restrictions on their productions and students learning from home who cannot participate in person. Amidst temperature checks, face masks, distanced desks, and staggered class starts, students are creating meaningful artwork. This year has called upon administrators, teachers, and students alike to be innovative, creative, and adaptive—three things that are embedded in the arts. It is no surprise that these schools are rising to the challenge with open minds and a great deal of panache.
Thank you to the Bolles School, Episcopal School of Jacksonville, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, LaVilla School of the Arts, Atlantic Coast High School, and Jacksonville University for sharing the ways in which your schools are navigating uncharted waters while continuing to create top-notch art experiences.