“What an absolutely amazing way to close out this season of Family ARTSventures,” states Brittany Gilbert, Program Coordinator of the Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville/ Douglas County (CAC). The CAC presents cultural and educational performances to the Douglas County School System each month during the school year, contracted through artists represented by the Georgia Council for the Arts and with the help of sponsors and grants. “It’s always a treat for me to see the children engaged when the artists visit their school,” continues Gilbert, “but the magic happens when the students and performance pair perfectly.” The CAC matches each school with a beneficial show depending on age and curriculum, but it’s always fulfilling to see the result when students respond to new styles of learning.
Safely, on November 19, Joseph Reed spent the afternoon with Yeager Middle School. As the bleachers settled down, Program Coordinator Gilbert reminded the crowd how much a gift the program is for them. Joseph Reed presented a one-man polyphonic band, using a looper to record different instruments on the spot then loop them together to create layers of sounds as he added more to the mix. Students sang, danced, guessed answers, clapped and cheered as Reed presented a lesson of “thinking outside of the lines” disguised as musical interpretation from pop culture. It was a show about meeting the students where they are at and carrying their minds to bigger themes. Using multiple instruments, dance, energy, poetry, and rap, Reed challenged his audience’s memory to recall songs they only thought they knew; he introduced them to the art of inventiveness, to music-writing and appropriation. Reed let their ears lead their minds and the gymnasium was filled with sparks of excitement.
“This pandemic charged schools with many challenges,” said Principal Jaslyn Janae, “but with [the CAC’s] community support, our students were able to experience something beautiful despite the circumstances…Most importantly, we appreciate [the CAC’s] genuine passion to partner with us in education during such a challenging time.” On November 19, the bleachers swayed collectively as students united over a song, realizing it is this exact kind of unity that forms culture. The CAC can never know exactly what the students will take away in their storehouse of education and inspiration for the rest of their lives; all the CAC can do is continue to present the opportunity and let the arts do the rest. What we do know is this year ended on a great chord. Yeager Middle School students saw the art of brainstorming what happens behind creativity, and how to think outside of what’s familiar. Students learned that creativity is available to us all in ways they never realized; creativity is all around us, and it’s visiting our local Douglas County Schools through the Family ARTSventure program.
The Family ARTSventure program is currently being planned for the new year between local schools and artists. To get a glimpse into what will happen next, and whether your child will get a chance to see some creative magic, visit Artsdouglas.org. The CAC is a non-profit organization serving artists, instructors, schools, and community with a mission to nurture, guide and stimulate the enjoyment of and participation in the arts among Douglas County residents and visitors. If you or your business are interested in supporting this program, reach out to the CAC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cultural Arts Council Douglasville/ Douglas County, located at 8652 Campbellton Street in historic downtown Douglasville, Georgia, is open Mondays through Fridays, 9 am to 5 pm. For directions or more information, visit www.artsdouglas.org.
The mission of the Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville/Douglas County is to nurture, guide and stimulate the enjoyment of and participation in the arts among Douglas County residents by providing an atmosphere conducive to the arts, broadening the spectrum of quality exhibits and performances available to the community, and fostering individual interactions with the arts through a wide range of satellite groups. The programs and activities of the Cultural Arts Council are supported in part by the City of Douglasville and the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.