Symphony encourages kids to celebrate creativity
October 31st, 2012
Omaha, NE – Over one thousand middle school children from around the state headed to the Joslyn Art Museum this week for workshops, concerts, art tours and music lessons.
Itâ€™s lunch time at the Joslyn Art Museum, and under the grand ceiling of the downstairs atrium, hundreds of middle-schoolers took a break from workshops to grab a quick bite.
So what did you do today?
â€œWell, I went on my American art tour first,â€ explained Courtney Potter, a 13-year-old student from Raymond Central Middle School. â€œThat was very fun because I liked our tour guide because she was very nice.â€
â€œThen I went to Sweet Beats,â€ she continued, â€œand there was this percussionist. He was just amazing. I wish he was the percussion teacher at our school because he was great. I loved it.â€
Potter was at the Joslyn with students from around the state for Celebrate Creativity – a four day event organized by the Omaha Symphony. About 360 students attend creative workshops each day and about half come in from outside the Omaha metro. Raymond Central is about an hourâ€™s drive southwest of Omaha.
â€œOut in the middle of nowhereâ€¦ itâ€™s in a corn field pretty much,â€ said Jonathan Herroon, another 13-year-old from Raymond. Herroon said he attended a stage fighting workshop in the morning, which was â€œpretty cool.â€ In fact, he said, the entire day was pretty cool mainly because he got to just be himself.
â€œOverall, just being able to be spontaneous,â€ he said. â€œUsually if itâ€™s a school field trip, I so much as sneezeâ€¦detention.â€
â€œBut if itâ€™s a celebrating creativity thing I can be a little bit more free,â€ he said.
â€œWe really want to create an environment where itâ€™s not like a typical school day,â€ said Adam Goos, one of the main organizers of the event. Goos heads education and community partnerships at the Omaha Symphony. â€œThe kids actually get to choose which workshops theyâ€™re going to take,â€ he said. â€œOn days like this, especially for middle school students where theyâ€™re all in the same class together throughout the day, or they have a structure, this really breaks them out of that and gives them a chance to be a little bit more independent.â€
Goos said the idea behind Celebrate Creativity is to allow students to explore their creativity and dabble in a variety of artistic media. He added while he doesnâ€™t expect each student to grow up to be an artist or musician, encouraging creativity in young minds is important. â€œWe do really feel like art in all of its forms are really vital to our daily lives,â€ he said. â€œSo our hope is that they just take that creativity and use it to inform themselves as they develop into adults and are appreciative of that and honor that.â€
Goos said the event took weeks of organizing â€“ from planning juggling workshops to shuttling in students from outside the city, and finally, to working with musicians from the symphony to put on a final performance each day for the group.
Celebrate Creativity continues at the Joslyn through Friday, and â€“ by popular demand â€“ will return next year.
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