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Mountain Festival supports arts in local schools

The Sandy Mountain Festival has chosen its 2013 grant recipients, each of which will receive $500 to assist in expanding programs and broadening horizons.

The festival strives to broaden performing and visual arts throughout the community and gives priority to organizations specializing in those areas.

Each of this year’s winners include just that, and will be utilizing the grant funds to further educate and expose area students to the importance and many forms of the arts.

The festival has been a community staple for more than 40 years. Each July, artisans and entertainers flock to the festival to showcase their specialties. In the creative spirit, the annual grants look to continue a longstanding tradition by vitalizing a program that is becoming less and less included into classroom curriculums — art.

The winners

Oregon Trail Primary Academy

Drama instructor Dana Hindman-Allen applied for the Oregon Trail Primary Academy’s $500 grant.

“The money we were awarded helped to achieve some of our goals of expansion this year,” she said. “The number of students enrolled in the program went from 18 last year to 32 this year. We were also able to provide more rehearsal time for our students, as well as obtaining an assistant for me this year.”

The drama program is also working to create a costume base that can be used in future performances. With the base, Hindman-Allen expects to recreate costumes for each performance.

“Our program is beginning to thrive due to parent support and donations from entities such as the Sandy Mountain Festival,” she said. “I have witnessed a positive effect on the whole school since the program’s inception.”

The program has also unified school spirit.

“As children are developing, the importance of early exposure to many types of art, specifically drama, can be life-changing,” Hindman-Allen added. “Drama builds improved articulation, communication and essential team-building skills, which will serve them in their lives as they mature.”

For those interested in seeing art in motion, the academy will host a live performance of “The Wizard of Oz” at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Welches schools

Sixth grade teacher Sara King of Welches school is pleased after being chosen to receive the $500 grant she applied for, and plans to use the funds to bring a live theater performance to the students.

“I do believe it is important for students to be exposed to the arts at a young age. It opens up a new world of possibilities and gives students the chance to explore their own talents,” she said.

King plans to bring a performance of “The Sword in the Stone” to the students, one she explained in her application that will bring history and the performing arts together.

“When we are young, it seems easier to dream big and try new things,” she said. “I believe it is important for students of all ages to have the opportunity to be creative and that these experiences can contribute a great deal to a student’s education.”

Welches offers two art classes with hopes of bringing more, to include more live performances from local artists.

Sandy Grade School

Learning about powerful words such as courage through art is Sandy Grade School fourth-grade teacher Joyce Hyland’s plan for the $500 grant that was recently presented to her.

The idea came from a conversation Hyland had at the Mountain Festival with artist Laurie Miller, she wrote in her application.

The word plaques, as she described them, would be a way for students to learn about specific words and what they mean to each individual. Once created and inscribed, the wooden plaques will be decorated by students.

When they’re completed, Hyland plans to put the projects on display at the school and around Sandy at local businesses.

The grant will lend a great deal of help to get this project completed. Hyland plans to use the funds to purchase the necessary supplies.