Viva City celebrates student artists
The 17th annual Viva City celebration showcases the student artists, musicians and performers of Minneapolis Public Schools in February and March.
Visual arts and poetry by middle-school students will be on display in the Cargill Gallery in the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, through Feb. 27. The high school visual arts and poetry exhibition opens in the same space March 2 and runs through March 29.
More than 300 elementary, middle and high school student musicians, vocalists and dancers were expected to perform
7 p.m. March 14 in the Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 4th St. S., on the University of Minnesota Campus. Local actor and musician T. Mychael Rambo will host the concert.
Students selected to participate in both the visual and performing arts exhibitions receive tours of the University of Minnesota campus and its College of Music facilities. The district reported the experience is intended to give students a sense of what it would be like to pursue a career in the arts.
The district also arranged “Session Days” for students to experience advanced classes in their chosen artistic field.
High school students in the visual arts exhibition are eligible for the Tracy Award, a scholarship supported by Gary Fink, director of Museum “Louvre It or Leave It,” located in the Northstar East Building, 608 2nd Ave. S.
Whittier student among top district spellers
A fifth-grade student from Whittier International Elementary School was among the top-three finishers at the Minneapolis Public Schools district spelling bee held Jan. 20 at Sheridan Global Arts and Communications School.
Oscar Booth finished in second place and will move on to the Metro Spelling Bee with first-place finisher Becky Norling-Ruggles, an eighth-grade student at Seward Montessori School. Norling-Ruggles won by correctly spelling “bromeliad,” a member of a family of tropical plants found mostly in Americas, while Booth misspelled “extemporaneous,” an adjective describing something said, composed or performed impromptu.
Both students were honored at the Feb. 8 School Board meeting along with third-place finisher Noah Wrolson, an eighth-grade student at Northeast Middle School.
The 35 students in the district competition emerged from a pool of about 750 fifth- through eighth-grade students who competed in school-level spelling bees. Only the top-finisher at each school site advanced to the district competition.
Norling-Ruggles and Booth compete at the March 12 Metro Spelling Bee at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul. The winner of that competition advances the Scripps National Spelling Bee, held in June in Washington, D.C.
‘MEAN’ confronts bullying
STEVENS SQUARE — Local theater group Youth Performance Company examines bullying in schools in a new production of “MEAN,” running through Feb. 27 at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, 1900 Nicollet Ave.
Set in a high school, the play includes several examples of mean behavior commonly experienced by young people. The effects of teasing, taunting and harassment are seen from the perspective of bullies, victims, bystanders and adults.
Founded in 1989, Youth Performance Company is a nonprofit theater company that involves children and teens in theater workshops and performances.
For more information on “MEAN” or to purchase tickets, visit the Youth Performance Company website, youthperformanceco.com or call the box office 623-9080. The website also includes a downloadable educator’s guide to “MEAN” for teachers.
AchieveMpls seeking career fair presenters
AchieveMpls will host a series of career fairs at Minneapolis high schools in March and April and is seeking professionals willing to talk about their line of work with students.
High schools were hosting both traditional career fairs and a series of classroom presentations on various professions. Those interested in representing their careers were asked to register on the AchieveMpls website, achievempls.org/.
Southwest High School will host a career event 1 p.m.–3 p.m. March 10. The Washburn High School career fair was scheduled for 9 a.m.–11 a.m. April 29.
AchieveMpls is the non-profit fundraising partner of Minneapolis Public Schools.
Another pre-Labor Day start
Minneapolis Public Schools is once again planning to start the school year in August, a week before the traditional start of the school year on Labor Day.
The proposed 2011–2012 school year calendar presented to the School Board Feb. 8 included an Aug. 29 start date for grades 1–12. Kindergarten students would begin class Aug. 31.
The proposed calendar also included a two-week winter break Dec. 26–Jan. 6 and one week of spring break April 2–6.
The School Board was scheduled to vote on the 2011–2012 calendar at its Feb. 22 meeting. If the calendar is approved, next school year would be the third in a row to start before Labor Day in Minneapolis.
Reach Dylan Thomas at email@example.com.