CHCA’s Annual ArtBeat Takes a Twist
Mona Summers. CHCA Fine Arts Director
When it was clear our 22nd Annual ArtBeat arts festival would have to be cancelled, it was so disappointing! ArtBeat is a day-long celebration of the visual and performing arts that brings our entire CHCA community together - from our youngest preschoolers through Grade 12! We had already been working on the event for many months. To learn that all our work would be for nothing was difficult, but not as difficult as knowing our students would not be able to share their beautiful artwork and performances with our community. It was then that a plan for Virtual ArtBeat began so we could share at least part of ArtBeat with our community.
After working for months on all that goes into ArtBeat, which typically draws over 2,200 people, we had to pivot quickly in order to plan and implement a Virtual ArtBeat to draw hundreds in, well, virtually! I immediately reached out to the visual art teachers to share with them my vision of Virtual ArtBeat and they were excited and ready to do the work it would take to make this possible. Of course, the reality of the work required was much more difficult than I think they imagined, but they were still excited to have the opportunity to share our students’ artwork with the community. I then reached out to our ArtBeat auditioned performers to ask them if they would like to be a part of Virtual ArtBeat, which required them to send me videos of their performances. Many of the ensemble auditions were not able to participate since we were sheltering in place at home per Governor’s orders. However, there were some duets who got very creative in order to share their videos. We had a few videos from auditions that parents took from the sidelines that we were able to share, and videos from dance competitions where dancers competed with the same pieces they performed at auditions. I then pulled together a schedule for the Virtual ArtBeat event and the behind-the-scenes work to put it all online commenced.
As in our typical live and in person ArtBeat, there are so many notable Virtual ArtBeat highlights. 1,435 pieces of artwork and 68 performance videos were included. In addition, we held a Juried Art Competition (results displayed below) as part of the virtual event. Virtual ArtBeat lasted fifteen days, beginning Friday, 05/01/20 and ending Friday, 05/15/20. Each day at 5:30 p.m., new artwork and performances were released to our virtual audiences. In its duration, Virtual ArtBeat had over 3,674 webpage views and was the 2nd most popular webpage on www.chca-oh.org, only after the homepage. Visitors enjoyed the visual and performance art an average of 4 minutes, with one page averaging 5:25 minutes per visit! Curious to see what you missed? Virtual ArtBeat is still available online.
The support and feedback from our community was phenomenal. Many people commented that the webpages hosting content were visually appealing and well laid out so that it was easy to follow and find things. But mostly, it was the wonderful feedback received from students, parents, and faculty who said they were thrilled Virtual ArtBeat was being shared since ArtBeat had to be cancelled. Students and parents alike were very thankful to be able to participate in Virtual ArtBeat and that it was accessible to our entire community.
Of note, the following students received prizes in the Juried Art Competition:Best in Show - Sarah PanAP Portfolio - 1st Place: Anna Treadway, Honorable Mention: Alexis OttoDrawing - 1st Place: Sarah Pan, 2nd Place: Anna Treadway, 3rd Place: Chloe Huang, Honorable Mention: Sarah PanLayout and Design - 1st Place: Catherine Frazer, 2nd Place: Joey Shafer, 3rd Place: Samuel Davis, Honorable Mention: Hailey WichardPainting - 1st Place: Jacqueline Clayton, 2nd Place: Marissa Mao, 3rd Place: Hailey Williams, 4th Place: Jake Younkin, 5th Place: Aidan Hook, Honorable Mention: Jonah BolanderInstructor’s Choice - Chloe Huang
- First and foremost, to the visual art teachers – Tim Hilderbrand, Annette Eberhardt, Gail Varner, Mandy Feltman, and Tina Overmyer. Tim, Annette, Gail, and Mandy pulled all the artwork, photographed each piece, and then uploaded the images. Knowing we had 1,435 artwork images, you can imagine the time this took on top of teaching online! Virtual ArtBeat would not have been possible without them!
- Debbie Shear who figured out how to organize our concept on the Virtual ArtBeat webpage so that it was easy to follow and visually appealing, and then uploaded all the images and videos to the page. She is incredible!
- Jane Haslem for her work with Debbie and me to figure out the process with many great suggestions. Her valuable assistance got us to the finish line.
- Jim Jung for some minor edits and uploading the performance videos to YouTube to be linked on the Virtual ArtBeat page.
- Julie Pierson for creating all the visuals that made Virtual ArtBeat look beautiful!
- Anne Phelps for her work photographing the PK artwork and then organizing and renaming files as needed for the website and the Juried Art Competition, so everything was organized and named in the same manner.
- Kevin McFawn, ArtBeat Juried Art Competition Chair, for working with the judges and providing the results for the virtual competition.
- ArtBeat Chair Kim Myers, Performance Chair Michael Kuremsky, and our entire ArtBeat Committee for all their work on ArtBeat.
In the end, it was so worth the effort. I would do it all again in a heartbeat to be able to share the gifts and talents of our students!
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