“Take this knowledge and change the world.”

8th graders wrote essays about art…

“Art can spark a memory, represent a thousand words with a simple brushstroke.” — O., 8th

“Art is an opportunity to be yourself, but also be someone else. You can be a quiet person, and draw bold, vivid art. You can be loud, but have soft lines and curves. You can have a perspective, and make all your art similar, or, like an exploding piñata make all of your art unique. Art can be for good days, you can make your art happy, and inventive. Art can be for bad days, when there is no other way to express yourself except than an angry paint stroke. You can do all this, but you can interpret your own way.” — M., 8th

“Every day, I try to encourage myself to look at the world around me and think about what each thing might represent, in my own mind or someone else’s. With a mindset like this, my canvas is the entire world.” — O., 8th

“Art has taught me to see the beauty in every small thing. A small drop of dew on a blade of grass can shine like a diamond forged in the heart of the earth. To see it in this way you just need to get the right angle and the right perspective. …Take this knowledge and make your world a swirl of color and inspiration for the art you can create. Take this knowledge and show it to others, take and and blow on it like a puffy and dandelion and spread the secrets of the artist’s eyes. Take it and change the world.” — M., 8th

“You only need to have a little creative spark in you that you can nurture and enjoy. Wonderful things can come out of this little spark, and fed with the correct attitude, creativity, and enthusiasm, it can become a full blown fire of passion.” — C., 8th

“…when I moved to England I learned that art was a privilege, not a right. We didn’t do art once during that school year in England, no drawing, no painting, no nothing.” — A., 8th

7th graders crafted thank-you notes about Shakespearience…

“The most important thing I learned was how to be confident in front of a group of people and not freak out. As time went on as my class did Shakespeare I noticed that my classmates became more animated as a character rather than just an ordinary actor, and I have you to thank for this. …Kitty and Scott brought a professional feel to our play that got us to work harder and become more engaged…. I learned that a person has to be comfortable in order to present a topic with power, motivation, and emotion! …And it will always be better than you think.” C., 7th

“I do know that I’ll remember that nervous feeling fluttering I had right before I went on stage. The best thing for me was learning and understanding Shakespeare and also getting tips from Kitty and Scott… like facing out to the audience, to speak loud and enunciate everything. …To stay in character meant being someone else, and getting out of my own head was difficult. … Shakespeare taught me that it’s OK to take a risk and to speak out loud. I took a risk going onstage and saying his words for people to hear. Shakespeare taught me that I can speak in front of people, all I need is some practice.” E., 7th

“My favorite part was being so scared to go on stage, [then] step by step saying my lines each with more attitude. Really becoming my character as each line sounded more like my own voice. It was the most spectacular feeling listening to the parents laugh during my argument with Benedic (even though I know more than half of them didn’t understand a word I said). And when I walked off stage, I felt like I was going to burst (and not with fear this time). As Shakespeare once said, “Things won are done, joy’s soul lies in the doing.” I think this means that we enjoy the experience more than the outcome and to think more about the now. Which is true I loved that I did well, but I would give a lot to be on the stage again. I would give a lot to be Beatrice again. I hope we can do something like this soon.” L., 7th

“It taught me to take my time and keep practicing things that seem challenging… Shakespeare also taught me to be confident when acting. …When I was performing, I had a good time, and I acted better because I was into it and that made me more confident, which made me even better. I learned to be expressive when acting and to move freely. …I also learned to try your hardest even when things seem challenging.” C., 7th

“I knew that some of my friends were coming to watch me and I was determined to show them what I had learned, while also trying to stay focused. … It was really cool to see some of the talent that my classmates had in acting.” S., 7th