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From Los Angeles with love.

At the Berkeley Hall School in Los Angeles, I had never heard of the Art Olympiad until I received a call from the ICAF inviting the school to participate. When I laughingly mentioned the phone call to my students, they jumped on the opportunity immediately. I mean, at that very moment they whipped out sketch paper! They weren't daunted by the large size of the paintings they'd have to produce in three short weeks for the Arts Olympiad. It was a marathon that consumed every recess and lunch hour. Six students powered through to a finished painting, with others cheering them on just like a sports race. I sent the paintings by overnight carrier to D.C. just in the nick of time, and a group of us attended the WCF. Once the school year began again, we made a movie about our trip. The students then narrated their highlights of the trip. Here are some impressions in the students' own words:

Kaelan B. (5th grade): "The theme of the Olympiad was appealing because it combined two of my interests--art and sports. My piece was called, "The Art of Baseball. " I chose to do a piece about a baseball player who was the MVP of the World Games. The World Games in my artwork represented "Hope vs Fear. " Hope won in the end. It was fin to interact with other kids from many parts of the world. I met a group of children from Japan who taught me how to write words, including my name, in Japanese characters. The piece looked like art.

Emily L. (6th grade): "One exciting moment at the WCF was when Marine One (the helicopter carrying the President of the United States) took off from the lawn of The White House and flew right over our heads. We waved to the President!?

Ashtyn W. (6th grade): "Being surrounded by different cultures at the festival made me excited for the week ahead. While there we got to make friends from countries around the world like Uganda, Russia, Japan, Africa--and I even got to meet someone from Australia. I bonded with others over interests such as art, dance, and music. Each performance and workshop caught my attention. I never wanted to leave! On the last day of the festival, there was a big drum circle. We got to learn a dance while people played the music. We didn't care that the grass was wet from all the rain and my friend's feet turned green. Even though it was a tight space for people to dance in, and we got kicked and stepped on a little, it was a very fun way to end our trip."

ART TEACHER Tracy Cheney and her students

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Title Annotation:Arts Olympiad
Author:Cheney, Tracy
Publication:ChildArt
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Oct 1, 2015
Words:454
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