Creative Arts Week Celebrates All Art Departments, Involves Middle School

Orchestra+practices+for+Creative+Arts+Week.+Staff+Photo%3A+Carly+McAdam.+

Orchestra practices for Creative Arts Week. Staff Photo: Carly McAdam.

Carly McAdam, Copy Editor

Creative Arts Week, a student and faculty organized celebration of the arts at Menlo, began yesterday, Monday, Feb. 10. Choir, photography, orchestra, moviemaking, jazz band, studio arts, dance and drama will be featured. Creative Arts week will include morning and lunchtime performances each day, an evening event on the night of Thursday, Feb. 13 and culminate with an interactive all-school assembly on Friday, Feb. 14. In addition, the final performance of the Upper School’s winter play, Tartuffe, will happen at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10.   

Unlike in previous years, Creative Arts Week will involve the Middle School. “Most of our work [on Creative Arts Week] so far has been trying to get [the Middle School] involved,” said junior Mack Ford, one of the students helping to plan Creative Arts Week. “[We want to] get them hyped up about the assembly. We’re having a lot of high school arts classes perform at the middle school during middle school lunch.”

One of the goals of Creative Arts Week is to get more students involved in the arts. “Really we’re trying to get people involved in arts who aren’t directly involved in arts classes,” Ford said. “We’re working on ways to make the assembly not so [performance oriented] and ways to get people to come to the Creative Arts Night, which is going to be in the CADC this year and be different from the assembly.” Ford is especially excited about the lunchtime performances this year. “Bella [Guel] is doing an open-mic thing [where students can contribute whatever they want] […] and we’re doing a Menlo’s Got Talent at lunch, so there’s going to be a lot of performances at lunch that I’m super pumped about,” she said. 

Orchestra and Jazz Band Director Leo Kitajima Geefay is also involved in planning Creative Arts Week. He believes that in addition to being a showcase for students’ art, there is more to Creative Arts Week than just performing. “It’s not just about doing another concert or presentation, but it’s about inviting people into our space so that they can see what our process is like,” Kitajima Geefay said. “That, to me, is interesting.” Instead of just seeing the finished products of arts at Menlo, Kitajima Geefay stressed the importance of outsiders seeing how art is made. “Instead of [just looking at] a photo gallery, you could say, ‘how does [the process] really work?’,” he said. “It would be more interesting for the public.”

Kitajima Geefay thinks that overall, Creative Arts Week should be a celebration. “Arts exist throughout Menlo campus; the Creative Arts Department doesn’t have a monopoly on the arts,” he said. “The arts are really for every human being that is here, so […] the goal can really be celebrating the artistry that everyone has on this campus.” Kitajima Geefay wants to highlight that arts classes at Menlo aren’t the only art in our community. “I feel like in the long run the goal is to kind of extend the idea that the arts [are] actually everywhere and we’re just showcasing that,” he said. 

Creative Arts Week officially started Monday, Feb. 10, but was kicked off this past weekend by the first performance of Tartuffe, which opened Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in Florence Moore Auditorium. There were also be shows on Sunday, Feb.  9 at 5:00 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 10 at 5:00 p.m.