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Creativity in the Time of Covid–April 3, 2021

VPA Art and Music Students earn Pen Women Awards

Congratulations to seniors Ella Mirman and Sayo Hayashi, whose work was selected to receive The Betty Altman Special Award of $1500 for their original works of art submitted to the annual League of American Pen Women. The Sarasota branch of the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. holds the “Launching Leaders” contest every year, inviting seniors from public Sarasota and Manatee County schools to submit original works in writing, visual art, and music.

From the Music Department, VPA senior Colin Leonard won second place for the Creative Competition 2021, earning a $600 prize. He will perform his original composition, “Nocturne in b-flat minor: Color of Twilight, Op.3,” at the awards luncheon.

VPA recipients and other honorees will be celebrated at an awards luncheon at Bird Key Yacht Club on May 19, where their artworks will be displayed, and all winners will have the opportunity to perform or exhibit their winning pieces.

Senior Celebrations

Class of 2021, you’ve nearly made it! Who’d have thought your final year of k-12 would involve masks, shields and screens? It has been a long road, but here you are. And we’ve finally gotten confirmation on dates for events to celebrate YOU!

May 17-21: Senior Spirit Week (Daily Themes TBA)

May 22: Senior Carnival (Prom Replacement) @ Booker High Courtyard, 6 p.m.

May 26: Dance Senior Showcase @ Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

May 27: Senior Virtual Award Night

May 28: Theatre Senior Showcase @ VPA Theatre

May 29: Music Senior Showcase @ Café

June 2: Senior Last Day of School (remember, you ARE expected to report to AICE testing beyond the school year)

June 3: VPA Silver Cord Ceremony @ Booker High School, 6 p.m.

June 5: Graduation @ Ed Smith Stadium, 9 a.m.

***Art and Film & Animation Showcases will be virtual–dates and links to come***

‘Into the Storm’ to Air on WEDU PBS

“Into the Storm” filmmakers (l-r) Kiara Harris, Sydney Catalfino, Carol Fauls, and Lindsey Jennings.

“Into the Storm,” created by the VPA Film & Animation Department at Booker High School, has been optioned to air on WEDU PBS. The documentary will premiere on WEDU PBS at 9 p.m. EST on April 15. Prior to the premier, at 8:30 p.m., film teacher John Timpe, alum filmmaker Lindsey Jennings, and community leader Fredd Atkins will appear on “Up Close with Cathy Unruh” in an interview that offers background on the process.

This is the first time a work produced by Booker High School has been selected to air on a major station. The WEDU PBS station covers one of the largest market areas in the country, with more viewers than almost all other PBS stations; it comprises six distinct channels and has been one of the highest-rated stations in the PBS system. The exposure for these student filmmakers is phenomenal.

“Into the Storm” details the journey of the 1966-67 Booker Tornadoes basketball team to their victory as state champions against the backdrop of the civil rights era and desegregation of Sarasota schools. Prior to this time, Booker High School had served the African American community and had been founded in the 1930s by educator Emma E. Booker to provide an education to the city’s young Black residents.

The film was a senior thesis project for VPA Film & Animation students Carol Fauls, editor and director of photography; Lindsey Jennings, assistant director; Sydney Catalfino, screenwriter; and Kiara Harris, sound designer. It was completed under the direction of film teacher John Timpe.

Art Students Commissioned to Embellish Local Eatery

VPA Art level ones are currently fulfilling a commission to provide the artscape for a local Hawaiian BBQ. L & L Hawaiian Barbecue is a popular franchise in Hawaii and California, and a new location is being built in Sarasota.

The restauranteurs are recreating “Surfboard Alley” in Waikiki with a mural and funky surfboards.

The experience gives the students an opportunity to explore different artist career options, work with a client, and get the satisfaction of knowing the public will see their work.

Testing Season’s Here

We’ve officially reached the end-of-year testing season, with major assessments coming up just around the corner and lasting through the end of the year (and beyond, in the case of AICE exams).

FSA Writing exams will be administered for Freshmen on April 6 & 7, and the test for Sophomores will be administered April 14 & 15. There is an SAT for college reporting offered on campus on April 13.

Remote students are expected to test on campus. They may stay all day on campus or depart immediately after the test.

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