The ESU St. Louis and Kansas City Branches were represented at the Fine Arts Education Day at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri, on Wednesday, March 11, 2015. The purpose of Fine Arts Education Day is to highlight the importance of fine arts education in Missouri schools.
This program is sponsored by the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education which is a consortium of arts education associations that represent dance, theatre, music and visual art. By joining together, these organizations in Missouri speak with a powerful and unified voice about the importance of the arts in Missouri schools.
The English-Speaking Union had an information table in the rotunda along with other organizations supporting the day's activities. This was an ideal opportunity for the both St. Louis and Kansas City ESU Branches to highlight their activities and educational programs to the many teachers and students that attended the Fine Arts Education Day.
During FAED, the Missouri State Capitol building was alive with vocal and instrumental ensemble performances, dance groups and theatrical presentations. Performance venues included the First Floor Capitol Rotunda and the South Steps of the Capitol building. Teachers and students from all over Missouri participated in a variety of programs, awards ceremonies and visits to legislators' offices. Students brought artwork, photographs, playbills, DVDs and CDs to present to their legislators during the visits.
Both the ESU St. Louis and the Kansas City Branches invited the winners of their Branch's Shakespeare Competition to perform during the FAED as part of the many programs offered by students from all around Missouri. Nate Cummings, a senior at St. Louis University High School was the ESU St. Louis Branch's First Place Winner in the Shakespeare Competition. He performed his Shakespeare monologue and sonnet before a large audience of teachers and students in the Jefferson City, Mo. Capitol Building.
Molly Williams, a junior from Summit Christian Academy in Lee's Summit, Mo., performed her Shakespeare monologue and sonnet on behalf of the ESU Kansas City Branch. Molly was Third Place winner in Kansas City's Shakespeare Competition. Olivia Sloan, Kansas City's First Place winner, was unable to attend due to illness.
Jeff Schnabel, president of the ESU Kansas City Branch, and Paula Heller, Shakespeare Competition Coordinator for the ESU St. Louis Branch were at the Fine Arts Education Day in Jefferson City, Mo. and cheered their Branch winners' performances before a packed audience in the rotunda of the Missouri State Capitol Building.
Ben Martin, left, a long-time ESU Kansas City member, is the Executive Director of the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education and emceed for the Fine Arts Education Day activities. Throughout the day, students, teachers and members of the public visited their school district's State Representative's and Senator's offices and stressed the importance of the arts in Missouri schools and expressed the need for their State legislators to support arts programs. For more information on Fine Arts Education Day, Click here.