On Saturday, April 16th, students from Dorsey High School and Foshay Learning Center High School are preparing for their performances in LAUSD’s upcoming Grand Arts Festival. 2500 students, kindergarteners through 12th grade, will perform in the festival, featuring dance, vocal and instrumental music, visual arts galleries, and film festival pavilions. “The Festival is important because so many people in Los Angeles are not aware of the amazing talent and the incredible arts education occurring inside of LAUSD,” said Rory Pullens, Executive Director of Arts Education at Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Pullens leads a district focused on implementing the arts to all students.
Dorsey High School is performing an excerpt of their upcoming performance, “Once On This Island.” Although there are challenges, teachers preach to students that the show must go on. “The schedule is a little hectic but the students are learning what is means to commit to a musical theater production; they are excited to share what they’ve learned, said Tamica Miller-Washington, who teaches at Dorsey through LAUSD’s Arts Education program, along with performance art instructor, Galyn Gorg. The Dorsey students are excited about the opportunity. “Theater gives me a way to express myself to audiences; the Grand Arts Festival will give us different life experiences and help us interact with people with the same interests,” said Dorsey High Senior, Armani.
Foshay Center for Learning High School is showcasing excerpts from their previous production of, “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” and a few smaller scenes, feathering the seniors actors. This is the first year of the theater program lead by teacher, Jeremy Jones. “For most of these students, this is their first year in theater and on stage; to see them giving a piece of themselves to the audience is what this event is about.” Freshmen actors, Santo and Emily, share in their tense thoughts and anxiety about performing in front of thousands but agree the cast is prepared. “It’s a really fun show to be in and watch; I think we will be ready,” Santo said.
Pullens acknowledges the support of the district board, Superintendent, teachers, and parents. “Having the Grand Arts festival allows for LAUSD to provide this arts experience for all our students and the LA community; you’ve never seen the likes of talent like this festival is presenting, said Pullens. For more information on the festival click here.