Category Archives: Fine arts

HISD grad receives scholarship for work in MFAH’s #StrongerThanCovid photo series

An alum of the Houston Independent School District was recently presented with a college scholarship from Houston’s prestigious Orange Show Center for Visionary Art.

Mary Onwumere, a 2020 graduate from Lamar High School, received the $500 scholarship for her work in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s #StrongerThanCovid photography series. Mary’s work, along with 18 other HISD students, make up a virtual exhibition curated by the MFAH and can be viewed here.

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Museum of Fine Arts Houston presents online exhibit featuring HISD students

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston recently released an online photography exhibition featuring works from HISD Class of 2020 graduating seniors created during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual exhibition, Stronger than COVID-19: Empowering the Seniors of Houston Independent School District to Reclaim the Narrative of Their Senior Year, was inspired by Booker T. Washington High School art teacher Maya Imani Watson, who, as the mother of a class of 2020 senior, wanted to give students from 12 HISD high schools the opportunity to take back the story of their senior year, which had been sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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High school fine arts students use dance to connect

Students from Bellaire, Lamar, Madison, Milby, Westbury, and Westside high schools collaborated on a dance piece performed in response to a strong poem written and recited by Andrea Minotti, a senior dance student at Westside High School.

“This situation will fade, but we can’t run away from it,” he writes, “so as the days go by, sitting inside, what you will make of it?” Minotti’s powerful message inspired the dancers to express their emotions during this difficult time.

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Dance students base project on Pershing MS student’s narrative

Students from Black, Gregory-Lincoln, Hamilton, Meyerland, Pershing, and Revere middle schools collaborated on the HISD Dance Connected project, inspired by a narrative written by Pershing Middle School student Mariam Galstyan.

Mariam’s narrative, which is read by Gregory-Lincoln student Kendal Burns, was inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic. Meyerland PVA teacher Chadwick Peters did the video editing and sound mixing.

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Parker ES chorus named finalist for American Prize National Competition

HISD’s Parker Elementary School Chorus has been selected as a finalist in the 2019-2020 American Prize National Competition in the Performing Arts.

Parker’s advanced chorus, under the direction of Marianna Parnas-Simpson, is nominated for The American Prize in Choral Performance—youth division. The advanced chorus is made up of fourth and fifth-grade students.

“It is a huge honor for our Parker students and their families to be recognized like this on a national level,” Parnas-Simpson said. “It is a testimony to their hard work and dedication to the choral art.”

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Fine Arts students use dance to express their feelings about pandemic

Alone but connected. Students from Bellaire, Lamar, Milby, Westside, and Westbury high schools have created a virtual collaborative dance performance eloquently expressing their feelings regarding social distancing. Forced to stay home, they are connecting with their fellow dance students virtually.

Watch the collaborative performance “Dance Alone Together” by visiting this link.  

This extensive project was edited and produced by students under the direction of their dance teachers and Sanja Korman, fine arts dance curriculum specialist. According to Korman, the next project from the group will be a dance inspired by a COVID-19 poem written by a Westside High School student.

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Kinder HSPVA receives three Tommy Tune Awards for ‘The Color Purple’

Two HISD students receive scholarships 

HISD’s Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts received three Tommy Tune Awards for its production of “The Color Purple” in the annual competition, which celebrates the educational value and excellence of high school musical theatre in the Greater Houston area.

The awards were announced during a first-of-its-kind online presentation on Facebook and YouTube on Tuesday night. The show featured Broadway, television and film stars along with production and theatrical professionals from across the nation.

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HISD Fine Arts explores innovative projects to support distance learning

The Fine Arts Department is working with teachers and students to promote the fine arts curricula, as well as additional projects to inspire students while distance learning is occurring.

Dancers from six HISD high schools worked together virtually to create a dance to inspire students studying at home via distance learning. The students are in the process of editing the video, which is part of a series titled “HISD Dance Alone—Together.” The video is expected to debut on Fine Arts Friday on April 24.

The Fine Arts Department is also receiving world-class guidance for instruction in theater arts. The Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, and the Globe – three world-renowned theater companies in the United Kingdom – have granted HISD permission to use their online materials in the district’s theater curriculum. In addition, eight HISD theater teachers have created or are in the process of creating videos to accompany the HISD @ H.O.M.E. theater curriculum.

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Join in the fun of HISD Virtual Spirit Week

HISD students, parents, teachers, and principals: Are you ready for a fun challenge to showcase distance learning?

As everyone adjusts to the new reality of online instruction, HISD has designated next week (April 13—April 17) as Virtual Spirit Week. Each day will be designated with a different theme to encourage students to share their at-home learning activities. In fact, everyone is invited to participate in the daily challenge—students, teachers, and even administrators.

As you participate each day, take photos or short videos and share them on social media using the hashtag #HISDSpiritWeek. The idea is to flood social media with positive learning activities and create a sense of community, school spirit, and inclusivity.

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Kinder HSPVA receives 10 Tommy Tune nominations, including best musical, for ‘The Color Purple’

HISD’s Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts has received 10 nominations for its production of “The Color Purple” in the annual Tommy Tune Awards competition, which celebrates the educational value and excellence of high school musical theatre in the Greater Houston area.

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