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Creativity in the Time of COVID-Jan. 10, 2021

Happy New Year!

From all of us here at Booker VPA, we hope 2021 brings excellent opportunities, great health, and a creative surge as we hopefully recover from the blow 2020 dealt us. Parents and families, we are planning LIVE outdoor performances, virtual gigs, safe senior celebration activities, and other events as we look to the second semester of this school year. Stay tuned for details as they unfold.

As we enter the second half of the school year, a few reminders to ensure an optimum learning environment.

Remote Learners:

Practice Zoom etiquette that was initially established at the beginning of the year, including keeping the student’s entire head and shoulders in the Zoom frame, calling in from a distraction-free area that is set up for your school work, participating in discussions, and maintaining communications with teachers that can help us keep you engaged, informed, and in the game.

In-Person Learners:

Remember that we are not out of the woods yet, and in fact, viral spread is growing exponentially; this means that you must always wear a mask and distance yourself in school, of course, but also be reminded that every contact you make outside of school can impact the campus community significantly—whether through viral spread or mass quarantines—and so do your due diligence to keep yourself protected in social engagements and extra-curricular activities.

Parents:

Please continue to communicate concerns or feedback to us. We can only address issues we are aware of, and we are here to provide the best learning and arts environment possible for all learners.

Yours in creation,

Rebecca

Upcoming Important Dates:

Jan. 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Jan. 19-21: Semester 1 Midterm Exams

Jan. 26: First Day of Semester 2

Feb. 9: Magnet Night Zoom—7 p.m.

Booker VPA will host its first-ever Zoom Magnet Night!

A Virtual Magnet Night with Some Real Pull

The VPA will host a virtual Magnet Night at 7 p.m. on Feb. 9, where we’ll share information about our departments, prospective families can meet teachers, hear from current VPA parents and more. If you have younger students for whom you’re researching VPA programs, please attend, and if you know of families with rising 9th graders, please spread the word! We have such limited ability to connect with prospective families this year (no tours, no shadows, no live, in-person events of this kind), so we really appreciate your help and support. The link to register is here. Spread the word!

Death By Chocolate 2021: La Vie en Rose

The VPA Music Department will present its most anticipated event of the year, Death By Chocolate, March 4-6 at 7 p.m., with a matinee performance on March 6 at 2 p.m. This year’s theme, “La Vie en Rose,” explores the romanticism of Paris: think French sidewalk cafés, flowers, nature and the language of love. Patrons will hear such favorites as Édith Piaf’s titular song, “La Vie en Rose,” Roberta Flack’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” the jazz standard “Alice in Wonderland” and more. The performances will be al fresco in the café pavilion, and masks are required. In lieu of home-baked goods, guests can indulge in pre-packaged chocolate delights.

Due to limited capacity, groups will be seated in “bubble” clusters at tables of four, and every reservation will require purchasing the table. Guests can purchase a table for $15, and individual tickets  (up to four per table), will be $5, so a foursome will pay $35. Reservations are required. The link will be available soon via our newsletter, Facebook, and Remind. Get them quickly; this show WILL sell out!

SaraSolo offers the chance for autobiographical exploration and expression.

SaraSolo Festival 2021: VPA Actors Present Original Works

The Level 3 Theatre class, under the direction of Ms. Sunny Smith, will present one-person performances through the 2021 SaraSolo Festival. The collaboration, now in its third year, challenges Theatre juniors to write original solo plays based on their own experiences which are then rehearsed and nurtured through Ms. Smith, along with SaraSolo artistic director and celebrated actress Ann Morrison. These performances allow students the chance to express themselves in a way that reinforces the transformative nature of theatre, both for performer and audience member, as they share an intimate experience that personally inspired art can create. The virtual festival runs Jan. 27-30, and you can register to view by visiting the SaraSolo webpage.

SPAACES Offers Space for VPA Artists

The contemporary arts organizations SPAACES is partnering with Booker High VPA through VPA Production & Design star Sophia Coscia, who serves as a SPAACES assistant curator, and the collaboration is providing abundant opportunities for Booker students.

Wholly Fool investigates the artefacts and imagery of the tarot card deck.

On Friday, Jan. 8, five Booker High Students from Dance and Theatre, along with Sophia (as artistic director) performed in “Wholly Fool Living Tarot Performance,” where dancers dressed in sumptuous costume provided improvisational movement to an installation about the eons old tarot card deck.

Exploring the quaranTEEN: young experiences in an age of isolation.

Coming up on March 5, SPAACES will present “Greetings from Quarantine,” an exhibit that explores the journey of self-discovery that teens forced into sheltering in place and COVID-induced isolation have made. “Greetings from Quarantine” is an open-mic event that allows teens to present music, poetry, visual art, dramatic art and dance before a live, distance and masked audience. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 18, and students who’ve dug deep into their artistic expression during this time should consider applying. Check it out here.

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