By Skye O’Donnell
Arts in Western Education, a community arts effort, will donate more than $8,000 during the 2015-16 academic year to help keep arts education strong in Crozet-area schools. Gifts will pay for a new conductor’s podium for the Western Albemarle High School band, new props and stage supplies for the Henley Middle School drama department, and new state-of-the-art cameras and tripods for Western Albemarle’s photography students.
The money was all raised locally in a fundraising campaign called AWEsome 100. The awards are also possible because of the generous efforts of local businesses, community members and parents who supported ArtFest in the West on March 11 at WAHS, a Fifties-themed community arts event centered around the school’s production of Grease.
“Our non-profit group brings enthusiastic students, parents and local businesses together to support the fantastic work of our arts teachers,” said AWE president Skye O’Donnell. “Arts dollars go a long way in our schools.”
The teachers winning grants and awards for 2016 are:
1- Joel Hartshorn, WAHS Band: $500 for Conductor’s Podium.
2- Nancy Mehlich, WAHS Art: $500 for mosaic project and $500 for frames to display art throughout the school.
3- Laura Chatterson, WAHS Ceramics: $500 for a sieve, under glazes, and supplies; $500 for banding wheels.
4- Eliza Brodie (for teacher on leave), WAHS Creative Writing: $400 to help publish the journal “Myriad.”
5- Kim Powers, WAHS Photography: $428 for DSLR camera.
6- Kellie Burnette, WAHS Digital Imaging: $428 for DSLR camera and tripod.
7- Caitlin Pitts, WAHS Drama: $500 for scene shop/set building area.
8- Jeff Melton, Henley Band: $438 for District Concert assessment.
9- Leslie Tanner, Henley Drama (in collaboration with Brownsville): $400 for props and stage set supplies.
General arts grants are: WAHS Band: $2,200;
WAHS Drama: $700;
WAHS Choir: $150;
WAHS Orchestra: $250;
Henley Art: $250;
Brownsville, Crozet, Murray, and Meriwether Lewis Art: $200 each.