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Creativity in the Time of Covid–Oct. 24, 2021

Art Print Party: Fashion and Fun

Riley Karau shows off her freshly printed “jaws” tee.

The first Print Party since the dawn of covid took some interesting turns: Mr. Strenk conceived the party as a drive-thru, keeping the action outside and mostly distant. Artists with “sushi menu” style order sheets took orders while other artists printed. Another first for the year was a variety of t-shirt colors, giving each patron the possibility of their own imprint on the design.

Folks drove around through the chill tunes of Zephyr members Diver Jane-Ternay, Arjan Sandhu, and Dylan Poston. Mr. Z took a few turns at the keys as well.

Dancers Participate in Day of Dance at USF

Exuberant dancers strike a pose in front of the Contemporary Art Museum.

Seventeen dancers headed to the University of South Florida on Oct. 21, where they participated in the Day of Dance. The event gave students an opportunity to learn about USF’s Dance programs, take master classes in ballet and modern, meet and dance with current USF dancers, and witness performances.

Dancers (l-r) Kaylyla Andrews, Leslie Rios-Oviedo, Jaylee Carpenter, and Maija Boelkins post at the Dance building sign.

It was a fantastic opportunity for these dancers to experience a slice of college life as well, feeling the bustle of activity and potential that college campuses exude.

Film Students Talk Shop with Hollywood Insider

Mr. Timpe and Lee Watters engage in Q & A and industry insights.

Screenwriter Lee Watters visited Film students on Oct. 20, offering tips on the profession and insight on quality screenwriting. Known mostly for his collaboration with Jim Amatulli on the 2003 caper “Artworks,” Watters shared inside information on the making of that movie and more.

Watters, who is also a therapist, encouraged the young writers about the industry now, noting that the expansion of digital platforms has been a big win for writers.

“Streaming is a beast you gotta feed around the clock,” he said.

He noted also that, while many people may not aspire to writing for Hallmark and similar outfits, those types of niche networks offer plenty of bread & butter opportunities. The key, he advised, is writing what people want to see. Hallmark, he said, has a huge share of the middle-aged female market. That group, he said, dominates the ratings and is vital to industry decision-making.

Students enjoyed the conversation, which was down-to-earth, full of fun anecdotes, and packed with plenty of wisdom from one who had been there.

Myrtle Street is OPEN!

Dignitaries join proud principal Dr. Rachel Shelley in cutting the ceremonial ribbon.

Anyone traveling to Booker High School will rejoice in the completion of the Myrtle Street improvement project, which was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 21.

The ceremony featured performances by the men’s choir Twisty Cone and the Whirlwind Brigade Marching Band. Dignitaries including City Commissioner Jennifer Ahearn-Koch, Director of Public Works Spencer Anderson, County Commissioner Michael A. Moran, and County Administrator Jonathan Lewis, attended and spoke.

The months-long project has addressed long overdue improvements to the street, including adding a sidewalk and street lights to enhance safety along the corridor. For drivers, the completion is a welcome change to the detours and construction that has slowed traffic throughout the project.

The beautiful new street is as safe as it is gorgeous, and adds a pleasant entrance to the north end of Booker’s campus.

Theatre Hosts Professional Teen Auditions

The panel. These theatre artists offered their valuable insight to our VPA students.

Like it or not, one of the most fundamental skills of any performer is auditioning. With that in mind, Theatre Chair Sunny Smith has arranged for a teen professional audition through a collaboration with professional organizations in the community.

Wingspan Productions, FST, The Asolo, the American Stage, and a NYC-based director auditioned students for feedback purposes on Oct. 23. Students performed monologues, sang, and danced for the panel. The feedback received will help them as seniors move on to high-stakes auditions in November at the annual Florida Theatre Conference, where many colleges and conservatories audition students for admissions and scholarships.

Forecast Festival on the Horizon!

The annual VPA Forecast Festival is coming up! It’s a chance to learn all about what VPA has to offer. Anyone curious about attending Booker VPA should mark their calendars and come out to this free celebration of the arts! It features performances, demonstrations, backstage tours and more!

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