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Creativity in the Time of Covid–Jan. 23, 2022

Accolades in Art!

Ella Swartz’s work selected for Embracing Our Differences

Swartz’s “Unbound”

Since 2004, Embracing Our Differences has used art and prose to promote diversity and inclusion. Each year, the organization calls for art and quotes to include in its annual exhibit, which is one of the hallmarks of Sarasota’s seasonal calendar. This year, VPA Art senior Ella Swartz’s work, “Unbound”, was selected for the Bayfront Park exhibit, which runs Jan. 15-April 10.

The piece focuses on homelessness and poverty. Swartz entered the contest under the supervision of Mr. Jeffery Cornwell.

The organization received 17,413 entries from 123 countries and 47 states in submissions for the 19th annual outdoor art exhibit.

VPA Artworks Featured on State Fair’s ‘Wall of Excellence’

VPA Art seniors Riley Karau and Jinx Molina had artwork selected to be featured at the Florida State Fair’s “Wall of Excellence.” This year the exhibit included 33 artworks from around the state.

Acclaimed Playwright Visits VPA Theatre

Jessica Huang, author of the play “Transmissions in Advance of the Great Second Dying,” conducted a masterclass in writing for the VPA Theatre seniors. The play is described as “an epic tale of grief and global warming.” Its quirkiness, insight, and wit made it a favorite for this class.

Huang describes her process while Ms. Smith looks on.

Students read and analyzed the play to prepare for Huang’s visit, and they discussed the work and the notion of death and elegies.

Students were tasked with writing elegies to either a creature, person, or concept, which they then shared with the group. Some wrote about pets or lost loved ones, others chose more surprising losses (“goodbye, pre-social media world…”).

Huang, a New York-based playwright from Minnesota, describe her influences, her process, and her collegiate path (University of Minnesota undergrad, Juilliard grad) to the students. They delighted in her wisdom. The event was made possible through a partnership with The Hermitage Artist Retreat. Huang is a Hermitage fellow.

‘Pen to Paper’ with Paula Vogel Feb. 11 @ 5 p.m. | BHS Courtyard

Fellow Hermitage fellow Paula Vogel, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of such incendiary plays as “How I Learned to Drive,” will present a masterclass at BHS. Information on that very special event is here.

Keep the ‘A’, Keep the VPA: The 1 Mill Referendum Renewal

The 1 Mill Referendum is up for renewal. The referendum supports all Sarasota County Schools and is largely credited with bolstering the quality of education in our county.

This funding is critical to the VPA in supporting adjunct staff, VPA teaching positions, and other VPA support staff. Additionally, it is vital to the school’s ESOL and College and Career-readiness programs. Overall, BHS receives roughly $2.5 million from this funding. Find more information about the referendum dollars and how they impact the entire district here. Don’t forget to VOTE March 8!

VPA Orchestra Student Selected for All-State

Congratulations to Danae Tran on her performance in the 11-12 Florida All-State Orchestra at the FMEA Conference in Tampa. This is a highly selective orchestra that comprises the brightest young musicians in the state.

Upcoming VPA Events

VPA Live Auditions | Jan. 29 @ 9 a.m

The VPA will hold live auditions for students interested in joining the renowned program on Jan. 29. Candidates must have started an application on the Acceptd platform.

While this is a great opportunity to apply for the program, there are other ways to audition for those who cannot make this date. Teachers will visit SSA+S and BMS to audition candidates at those sites, and in many departments, prospects can audition as a part of shadow appointment.

Anyone interested in applying can call our office at (941) 355-2967 for assistance on how to navigate the VPA audition.

Death By Chocolate: In This Hour | Feb. 25-26 @ BHS Pavilion

Get ready for the most delectable VPA event of the year. Death By Chocolate offers a feast of musical performance along with decadent desserts and hot beverages.

This year’s theme focuses on time–with exploration on how time figures into our lives. The repetition, the waiting, the wiling away of time “working for the man”–all are examined as the concert presents songs in a variety of genres performed on an array of instruments.

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to enjoy one of the most anticipated events of the VPA calendar. Reserve your seats today!

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