DATE:                  February 25, 2013
CONTACT:         Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE:              434-972-4049
 
ArtFest in the West Makes its March 2 Debut at The Lodge at Old Trail
 
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia)—Potpourri is a French term designating the presence of a wide variety of ingredients to produce a high quality product, and Albemarle County residents will be able to sample an unusual blend of such ingredients on Saturday, March 2, at The Lodge at Old Trail when “ArtFest in the West” makes its debut.
 
The celebration, from 6 until 10 in the evening, is an unusual opportunity for the public to experience the broad range of talents of Albemarle County Public Schools students who attend the four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school in the division’s western feeder pattern.
 
The program begins at 6 p.m., when members of the Western Albemarle High School orchestra welcome visitors to the event with a selection of chamber music. A presentation of student artwork and a dessert buffet will be available.
 
Among the menu of performers during the evening will be both the Henley Middle School and the Western Albemarle High School jazz ensembles, a swing dance class, scenes from Western’s upcoming spring musical, Little Shop of Horrors, and selections by members of the high school choir.
 
Tickets are $5 in advance and $7.50 at the door, with all proceeds going to the arts programs for the western feeder pattern schools. Children under the age of five are admitted free. Several local businesses, including nTelos and MartinWren, Attorneys at Law, are participating as sponsors.
 
“We are so impressed with the talent, energy and enthusiasm our students have brought to the fine arts,” said Deborah Gordon, a member of the parents’ committee that organized the event. “We were looking for way to celebrate our students and also generate support for the arts, which is such a vital part of a student’s education. Attending this event is a powerful way for members of the community to contribute to an important cause and have some fun at the same time. Everyone will enjoy the live performances our students have planned,” Ms. Gordon added.
 
Tickets to ArtFest in the West can be purchased at Brownsville, Crozet, Meriwether Lewis and Murray elementary schools; Henley Middle School; Western Albemarle High School; The Lodge at Old Trail; and at Blue Ridge Beads in Crozet.
 
“We are very appreciative for all the hard work and the quality of the effort by our terrific parent volunteers,” said Tim Driver, an assistant principal at Western. “We are proud of our young artists and hope to expand future opportunities for students. The arts teach so many skills that serve for a lifetime—maturity, poise, critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, communication. Every student is capable of a masterpiece, and programs such as ArtFest in the West bring out the best in everyone,” Mr. Driver said.
 
Western feeder pattern students will not be alone in their involvement. Most of the food that will be available on March 2 is being catered by culinary arts students from CATEC.
 
For more information on ArtFest in the West, visit http://www.artfestinthewest.org/.
 
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