A two-week festival of the arts concluded last Wednesday evening with performances from eight schools in the Terrace School hall, in Alexandra.
Schools from the Dunstan Kahui Ako — The Terrace, Alexandra Primary, St Gerard’s, Clyde, Omakau, Poolburn, Millers Flat and Dunstan High School — worked on the festival which included workshops and a visual art exhibition as well as the stage performances.
Hundreds of children and excited family members filled the hall at Terrace School to watch each school show their talents in music, dance and kapa haka. The event was compered by Central Otago District Mayor Tim Cadogan.
Kapa, singing and an extract from a school production by Omakau School made for a wide variety of acts which was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.
Dunstan Kahui Ako across school lead Rachel O’Connell said the arts festival was a way for children from all around Central Otago to come together in a way that was not competitive and not on the sports field, which was where schools most often met.
The festival was in three sections — the performance, workshops and an exhibition at Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery, in Alexandra. All the schools were able to attend each part at no cost to the school, Mrs O’Connell said.
Across School lead Lisa Foggins said workshops in 22 different art forms were held. Some were whole school, such as the harakere weaving; others in small groups, with the children choosing what interested them.
REAP and Central Otago District Arts Trust co-ordinator Rebecca de Jong helped arrange the tutors for the workshops, Mrs Foggins said.
Pottery was popular and one child was heard to say they were going to save up for their own pottery wheel.
The Dunstan Ka hui Ako, which also includes nine early learning centres, was formed to allow educators to collaborate to communicate and share ideas, resources and expertise; to build a better, stronger community and strengthen professional networks and understanding of best teacher practice across their sectors.