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December 12, 2013 - Image 6

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-12-12

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DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

theJEWISHNEWS.com

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Arthur M. Horwitz

F. Kevin Browett

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6

December 12 • 2013

From 50th anniversary in 2012: a collaboration piece with Michigan Youth

Arts Festival honors band, honors orchestra, all-state honors choir and
dance students.

Arts Galore

Special to the Jewish News

W

ith arts education one of
the first programs to be
reduced or eliminated in
Michigan schools, Michigan Youth
Arts (MYA) in Ferndale is filling an
important gap for talented high school
students in Metro Detroit and around
the state.
MYAs 2012 survey found that more
than 108,000 students in Michigan
attend school each day without any
kind of art education, and 12 percent
of high school students do not even
meet the state graduation requirement
of one credit in the arts.
The 52-year-old organization is an
alliance that supports and celebrates
excellence in Michigan's young artists
and performers. Its partners include
16 statewide education organizations
across artistic disciplines, including cre-
ative writing, poetry and spoken word,
dance, instrumental music, media arts
and film, music composition, theater,
visual arts and vocal music.
MYAs signature event, the annual
Michigan Youth Arts Festival, is the
nation's only festival for high school
students of this length and complex-
ity, says MYA Executive Director
Marianne Dorais of Oak Park. Over the
course of three days, students take part
in more than 50 interactive, hands-on,
educational rehearsals, workshops and
master classes taught by renowned
professional guest artists and clini-
cians. This year's featured guest artist
is Dan Scanlon, director of Pixar's
Monsters University.
Judith Moses Dworkin of Okemos,
program officer at the Michigan
Humanities Council, former director
of statewide engagement for Michigan
State University Hillel and grant direc-
tor for MSU's Jewish Studies Program,
said, "Michigan Youth Arts provides
programs and opportunities to young
people not found in their educational

Sales Manager Assistant

Lisa Wren

Michigan Youth Arts boosts
budding talent across the state.

Sharon Luckerman

Wendy Flusty
Annette Kizy
Melissa Litvin
Ilene Lubin
Rick Nessel

setting. It gives students a chance to
explore their talents in more depth
and to showcase that talent in a public
forum:'
Lauren Mehringer, MYA commu-
nications manager, 23, of Royal Oak,
and a member of Temple Shir Shalom
in West Bloomfield, was a vocal par-
ticipant in the MYA 2007 and 2008
festivals.
"In high school, making it to the
festival was a huge deal:' she said. "To
perform in a program of such quality
and size was an experience I'll never
forget. It was the highlight of high
school for me.
"The high standard of excellence
carried through to my college and pro-
fessional careers, and it gave me a way
to fine-tune my skills for a competitive
job market."
Over the years, the festival has
grown to include the top 1,000 fine
and performing arts high school stu-
dents selected from a pool of 250,000
candidates from across the state, with
6,500 guests attending the event.
Students from Oakland County make
up approximately 30 percent of total
festival participants.
The 2014 festival is in Kalamazoo
from May 8-10. Cost per student to
participate is $400. To keep the festival
affordable to a wide range of students,
MYA raises funds to subsidize stu-
dents, who each pay $225. MYA also
provides 13 full scholarships, one for
each association represented at the
Festival.
To help raise scholarship money,
MYA is teaming with Closet NV, 6889
Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield.
The consignment store selected MYA
as the charity to benefit from its
monthly "Girls' Night Out!" from 6-8
p.m. Dec. 12. MYA will receive 10 per-
cent of all sales that evening.
For more information on Michigan
Youth Arts or to donate, visit www.
michiganyoutharts.org or call (248)
545-9200.



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