Two schools receive scholarships to fund instruments;
students attend HBCU college fair
HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan and band students
from seven HISD high schools were invited to attend the 2019 National Battle of
the Bands competition Sunday at NRG Stadium, where Washington and Kashmere high
schools received $1,000 each for their band programs.
“I am truly honored to be at such a historic and
powerful event,” Lathan said. “Historically black colleges and universities
play a significant role in educating and developing young minds and the future
leaders of tomorrow.”
Over 300 Houston Independent School District high
school students joined thousands of other area students to enjoy the
competition’s performances, featuring eight collegiate marching bands
representing historically black colleges and universities. HISD high school
band students in attendance included Austin, North Forest, Northside, Sterling,
Waltrip, Westbury, and Yates.
During a recent visit to Nicole Hevener’s classroom at DeChaumes Elementary School, it’s clear she embodies creativity head to toe – from her shock of multi-colored hair and teal cat-eye glasses to her cheeseburger tights and Bob’s Burger-themed shoes.
It’s a look that she hopes inspires her fine arts students to embrace what makes them unique and to express their artistic side.
“I tell people I’m Wednesday Adams and Louise Belcher on the inside and Lisa Frank on the outside,” Hevener said, laughing. “It’s to show my kids that you can work, be successful and still be very fun with your look.
“A school nurse once told me that she had a student who had experienced some bullying, and the student said to her, ‘Ms. Hevener doesn’t care what people think. I’m going to be like Ms. Hevener.’ I hope I’m showing (my students) that you can have that confidence and dress the way you want to.”
Despite the soaring temperatures, an enthusiastic crowd gathered outside HISD’s Blackshear Elementary School on Wednesday for the unveiling of a new campus mural that celebrates the school’s recent academic achievements and improvement in literacy.
“We now have the best mural in the city of Houston – the most beautiful mural in the city of Houston,” Blackshear Principal Alicia Gobert Lewis said. “At Blackshear, we want to make sure that everywhere children look they see something beautiful.”
The mural, which as the brainchild of Lewis, was designed and painted by Houston-based artist Reginald Adams. His art installations can be seen in historic and underserved communities across the U.S. The theme of the mural is Break Every Chain, and it is brimming with literary elements, colorful books, and powerful images of children reading.
Inspired by Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan’s mission to provide fine arts education to more students, HISD will add a fine arts teacher to 37 elementary schools across the district for the 2019-2020 school year.
“For the first time in recent history, all HISD elementary students will have access to a certified fine arts teacher,” HISD Director of Fine Arts Wenden Sanders said. “HISD views every student as an emerging artist, and thanks to Dr. Lathan’s vision, students will have ample opportunity to develop those creative skills.”
Up until this year, roughly 20,000 HISD elementary students had little to no access to fine arts instruction. Now, those students will have the chance to participate in either music, theater or visual arts on a daily basis.
Avani, a rising fifth-grader from MacGregor Elementary School, has dreams of becoming an abstract visual artist, and after two weeks at HISD’s Fine Arts Summer Camp at Tanglewood Middle School, that dream may soon become a reality.
“One day, I have dreams of making abstract art and putting it all over my walls – just splattering paint all over my walls,” she said. “I think camp will help me do that.”
The four-week camp, which is offered to students in grades 3-12, is a superb exhibition of creativity by HISD students who are immersed in the district’s first ever summer fine arts camp. The idea was inspired by Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan’s mission to provide fine arts access to more students throughout the district, according to HISD Theatre Curriculum Specialist Jared Berry.
Two HISD students have been announced as winners of the 2019 U.S. Congressional Art Competition.
Keren Reyes, a freshman from Sharpstown High School, was chosen as the 9th Congressional District’s winner. Her winning piece, ” La Creola,” is a pencil drawing of one of her closest friends who still lives in her home country of El Salvador. According to Sharpstown art teacher Guadalupe Hernandez, when asked why she decided to create the piece, Reyes said that she did not want to forget where she came from and the people she left behind to come to the United States.
Julio Bautista, a sophomore from Mickey Leland Prepatory Academy, was selected as the 18th Congressional District’s winner. His original art work, “Mayan Mindbender,” pays homage to his Hispanic background and the beauty of the Mayan culture.
HISD’s Fine Arts Department will host the inaugural Fine Arts Extravaganza at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 at Miller Outdoor Theater.
The event will showcase a variety student talent from schools across the district. The program will include more than a dozen numbers, including presentations by the district’s dance ensembles, choirs, bands, mariachi, theatre students, and videos that feature student artwork.
Four of HISD’s 22 entries in the 32nd annual Houston Art Car Parade caught the judges’ attention, winning trophies and even some cash.
The Art Car Parade judges like to give out numerous awards, so there are winners in multiple categories, including four first-place winners, four second-place winners, and four third-place winners.
Heights High School students with leader Rebecca Bass won first place for their homage to Texas legend Stevie Ray Vaughn, “Pride & Joy.” This is Bass’s 32nd art car. Bass also received a Lifetime Achievement award, after spending the last 30 years as an Art Car Parade participant.
The City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department in collaboration with Houston First and Discovery Green is hosting the seventh annual Cart Art Decorating Contest on Sunday, April 14.
The Solid Waste Management department is challenging local Houston area schools to decorate a green, 96-gallon recycling cart with recycled materials and art supplies in the “Protect the Species” cart art decorating contest. The contest is open to local area elementary, middle and high schools.
Throughout the month of March, Houston Independent School District Visual Art teachers will showcase their artistic talents in the inaugural HISD Visual Art Teachers’ Exhibition.
Visual art teachers from all over the district applied to participate in the exhibition. Twenty-two artists were selected to exhibit new works for the show. They were selected by a jury of peers based upon artistic quality and instructional testimonial submissions.
HISD artists will be exhibiting new, never-seen-before works for this art show. The faculty showcase is an opportunity for people to view new directions in work by some of the district’s most talented artists and educators.