Category Archives: Fine arts

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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HISD unveils student winners of 2019 holiday greeting card competition

The Houston Independent School District announced the winners of the district’s 2019 holiday greeting card competition on Friday, featuring creative student artwork highlighting family holiday traditions, seasonal decorations, and classic holiday songs.

“I want to thank all the students who participated for sharing and opening up your world to us,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said during the annual unveiling ceremony. “I hope you’ve enjoyed this experience, and I hope we will be able to provide you additional experiences throughout your school career.”

The winners – fifth-grader Edward Lopez of Neff Elementary School, eighth-grader Josiah Rajesh of Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan, and senior Mariangela Rodriguez of Lamar High School – were among 17 finalists from elementary, middle, and high schools. All finalists received a boxed set of their holiday cards. Their holiday cards also will be available for purchase and on display at the HISD administration building.

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HISD to name student winners of 2019 holiday greeting card competition

17 finalists selected from nearly 100 entries this year 

The Houston Independent School District on Friday, Nov. 8, will unveil the winners of the district’s 2019 holiday greeting card student art competition. 

This year, 17 students from HISD elementary, middle, and high schools have been named finalists from a total of 95 entries. The 17 finalists were chosen by the district’s area superintendents.  

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HISD Interim Superintendent, band students attend 2019 National Battle of the Bands

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.  

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DeChaumes ES fine arts teacher hopes to inspire student creativity, support the whole child

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.” 

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Blackshear ES unveils inspirational new mural to Third Ward community

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. 

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HISD expands fine arts access to all elementary schools

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.  

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HISD summer fine arts camp inspires future artists

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. 

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