Long time no see! A lot has happened since my last post. Sadly, the performance in Provincetown was cancelled due to weather...but I have hopes of possibly going back this summer...we'll see!
The performances and presentations in Vermont went incredibly well! I am working on putting together all the media from the events, which I hope to share with you shortly! Again, thank you so much to the VT Arts Council!! With their assistance, students of all ages and backgrounds got to interact with a different kind of art than that norm. I think it was incredibly successful and I was blown away by the support of all the teachers and administrators, as well as the students! Thank you so very very much!!! It was such an honor to be there.
So, like I had mentioned before, I went to both the St. Johnsbury Academy, in St. Johnsbury, VT, as well as the Stevens School in Peacham, VT. I spent a full day at the Academy, presenting and performing to various art and drama classes. Students got to perform with the creatures and everyone got a chance to ask questions, share thoughts, and interact with the sculptures. I'm so happy that I got to share their story, and hopefully inspire different ways to look at art, recycling, materials, and performance.
The next morning I did a performance during the Academy's morning assembly. Over 600 people got to see it! And when I say "I" performed, it was really students who had volunteered the previous day to perform for me. With a projector set up with an older performance and my newly composed music, the students donned the costumes and walked onto stage, becoming for a brief time, the bag creatures. It was fabulous!
The next day I journeyed to the Stevens School. We met in the big room in the morning and had almost a 2 hour performance/presentation. I was blown away by the students imagination, creativity, and excitement! After a presentation about my ideas and art, I worked with the students and we created our very own, unique take on the bag creature performance. Together, we made up the story of the bag creatures:
The Bag Creatures arose from an oil spill off the shore. They crawled out of the oil (as plastic bags are indeed petroleum based!) and walked onto the polluted shore. They communicated with each other, and they hoped that they could show the world where they came from, why they existed, and what role the humans had in their creation in their journeys through the land.
We then broke up into two groups. Six students helped me with the creatures -- five wore the costumes and one assisted -- and the rest of the school was responsible for the soundtrack. The performance was wonderful! The soundtrack took claps, voices, and drumbeats on the desks and made an excellent accompaniment to the story being told in front of us. I was incredibly impressed with the students imagination and seriousness!
After this fantastic performance, I was shown an amazing quilt made by the eighth graders -- it was completely made out of plastic bags, and it was absolutely beautiful! It is so exciting to see everything that is being made out there -- there is so much creativity in Vermont and so many young people with big ideas!
I really can't express how happy I am with how everything went. I feel like the project was successful and that, hopefully, it made a positive impact on the lives of many people! I hope that they can continue to be inspiring, silly, surprising, and curious!
Again, thank you VT Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts!