On the morning of September 7, The Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville/ Douglas County (CAC) presented a musical ARTSventure to Sweetwater Elementary School, grades K-5. Arietha Lockhart performed twice for the school, with one performance given to the younger ages and one to the older children. Opera singer, educator, soloist, and opener for the Olympic ceremonies in Atlanta in 1996, Lockhart meets children where they are and guides them into songs about self-reflection. On this visit, Lockhart focused on character with songs about what that means to one’s country, school, peers, and especially to oneself.
Lockhart’s lyrics are written to encourage participation, as well as leave room for improvisation, with her rhythm and words coming straight from her mind and heart. Each performance encouraged life lessons such as respect, a trait that should be practiced even when no one is looking. Lockhart’s patient yet emphatic voice invited students to actively participate by singing along, with lyrics reminding them that everything they do—especially their own education—is a choice. Another lesson by Lockhart was that children should dare to have high expectations of themselves, to be children of integrity and positive influence (even with something as simple as a smile and hello). The students were reminded that they are citizens of a community (such as in their school), and that even a child should seek to be actively informed. Through simple strategies such as listen and repeat, Lockhart shares deep and valuable life truths.
Through the ARTSventure program, Sweetwater Elementary School enjoyed their “second assembly in years since Covid,” as the music teacher Ms. Rowell confirmed (with the first being a simple fundraiser). The CAC is proud to have the honor of bringing the program to the students, with sponsorship from Georgia Council for the Arts, Greystone Power Foundation, and Gwendolyn Parker. Each month during the school year, one lucky school is chosen to receive an ARTSventure performance. The performances are intended to provide age-specific lessons on anything from culture to curriculum, and in this month’s case, character! Check out Artsdouglas.org for recent news and opportunities, and don’t forget to follow the CAC on Facebook and Instagram.
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.