Students wander through 'Wonderland' during Torrant Art Festival
June 27, 2019
Jackson, Mich. – Students from the Lyle Torrant Center got a chance to see what it was like when Alice fell down the rabbit hole.
The Jackson County Intermediate School District and The Jackson School of the Arts teamed up for the Torrant Art Festival on Wednesday, June 26, which was based off the classic Lewis Carroll story “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. The school was transformed into the fantasy world, complete with characters and creatures from the popular story. Students and volunteers from the Torrant Center and the Jackson School of the Arts created stations around the school to inspire the artist in the students that attend Lyle Torrant.
Lyle Torrant Center Principal Amy Rogers says the festival provided a rich opportunity for her students to engage with the creativity of all forms of art. “This year’s theme of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ took our students on an adventure into a peculiar world as we played croquet with the Queen of Hearts and created hats for the Tea Party with the Mad Hatter,” said Rogers.
Art is crucial for students with special needs. Research shows artistic activities directly strengthen the cognitive and physical skills that challenge special needs children – such as oral, tactile, visual, sensory and motor skills. Engaging in artistic expression has also been proven to be a successful form of treatment for special education students.
“Jackson School of the Arts mission is to make the arts accessible to everyone in our community,” says JSA Assistant Director Amy Fracker. “We are incredibly happy to bring the benefits of art, theater and dance to these amazing individuals. Art enriches us all regardless of our abilities.” Fracker dressed as the Queen of Hearts for the Festival, while JSA Executive Director dressed as Alice. Torrant Center Assistant Principal Clark Haase played two roles during the festival - The Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit.
Teacher assistant Sara Graham did all the artwork for the festival - and was given a special recognition during the festival's opening ceremonies. The festival also featured artwork from the Hands & heART program, a yearlong collaboration between The Jackson School of the Arts, The Lyle Torrant Center and Northwest Elementary School.
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