BEE the Change

970172_10151941566901324_7809360038521488933_nIn honor of Earth Week, ACA teamed up with Arlington’s Whole Foods to talk about the health of our earth, natural processes, like pollination and how we can help.  Together, we came up with the art installation, Bee the Change, which is on view at the Arlington Whole Foods on Mass Ave.



During our week long Vacation Arts Camp in April, our team of campers and staff made bees from recycled materials.  We used paper tubes, posters and old advertisements donated by Whole Foods.  We also reused their banners and painted signs to to display in the store.



IMG_2606All totaled, our campers made over 150 bees of all sizes and designs. Different age groups of kids contributed different aspects of the project, from cutting out the wings to drawing the faces.   The project was overseen and organized by our Counselors in Training, who helped install the artwork at Whole Foods.

The result is a beautiful swarm of friendly bees hanging over the café at the Mass Ave Whole Foods!  Be sure to check them out next time you are in the area!

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Kids Remembering the Thompson School through Art

Last week, we shared some great moments from the Kids Images of Arlington (IOA) 5th grade art exhibit and opening reception awards ceremony.  Today, I want to share a small subset of images with a big story to tell.

Each year, Arlington’s 5th graders are asked to choose something they think is special or important about Arlington, and then to create a piece of art depicting their own special piece of A-Town.   The children’s artwork is always a wonderful, colorful, exuberant, and sometimes poignant look at the town through the eyes of our kids.

This year, a number of students in the Thompson School district chose to pay tribute to Thompson in their artwork, creating a moving mini-exhibit that marks the end of an era in Arlington.  When the town made the decision to rebuild Thompson, this group of 5th graders were moved to the Bishop School, where they will graduate this spring.  But for many, their hearts are still at Thompson.

Pamina Mejia, “Thompson School.” Pamina says, “Thompson was torn down and I wanted to honor Thompson School in a Special Way.”

Max Fritsch, “Torn Down Thompson.” In his artist statement, Max wrote, “I used to go to Thompson. When I heard it was getting torn down, I grew very sad.”

Nicholas Laroche, “Thompson School.” “Thompson was my old school,” says Nicholas, “and it means a lot to me because I never got to graduate from Thompson.”

Eleanor Leto, “My Side of the Story.” Eleanor says, “I chose this subject because the Thompson School is where I grew up. I have learned to love this school, so I thought I should draw it.”

Ethan Moore, The Awesome Wall of Ye Old Thompson.

Eva Mir, Bus Stop. While not technically a Thompson tribute, Eva captured another change in the neighborhood, saying, “The Bus Stop just started this year.”

Grace Hogan, “Our Beloved Thompson.” “I chose Thompson Elementary because it was my first school before I came to Bishop,” says Grace. “I will never forget anybody who I met there and became good friends with. When Thompson’s rebuilt, I will miss it a lot, but I will be glad they could rebuild it.”

Where the Thompson School once stood, there is now a flat expanse of land waiting for construction to begin.  I haven’t seen plans for the new design, but thanks to these young artists, we’ll always remember the “Old Thompson” and what it meant to its last group of students.

Now in its 7th year, the Kids Images of Arlington Exhibit is a collaboration between the Arlington Center for the Arts and the Fine Arts Department of the Arlington Public Schools.  For more information about the program, please visit our website.

Kids’ “Images of Arlington” artwork on display at the State House

Ben Lindner with Senator Donnelly

A group of young Arlington artists were honored last week at the Massachusetts State House, where their award-winning “Images of Arlington” artwork is on display in the offices of Senator Ken Donnelly.

Senator Donnelly and Representative Garballey with the group in the Hall of Flags

Senator Donnelly and Representative Garballey with the group in the Hall of Flags

The students, all rising Arlington 6th graders, were treated to a reception in Senator Donnelly’s office, and a personalized tour of the State House by Senator Donnelly and Arlington Rep. Sean Garballey.

We learned that when Rep. Garballey was a high school student, he worked as a State House tour guide, but even he couldn’t find the Arlington town flag in the hall of flags!

Presentation of the Official Citation. Pictured, from left to right: Linda Shoemaker, ACA’s Communications Director, Senator Donnelly, and John Budzyna, ACA’s Executive Director.

At the Reception, Senator Donnelly presented an official Senate Citation to the Arlington Center for the Arts in recognition of ACA’s promotion of arts and culture in Arlington.

Want to see more?  Check out our  Slideshow of the State House Exhibit, Tour and Reception

Shakespeare House Party

Something wicked this way comes – to a park near you – thanks to the support of Shakespeare in the Park lovers, who gathered recently for ACA’s annual House Party/fundraiser for Shakespeare in the Park.

Hosted by Judy and Chris Leich in their beautiful home overlooking Spy Pond, our Shakespeare supporters noshed, nibbled, and swapped stories about their favorite Shakespeare in the Park memories over the past 10 years.

David Atkins from Arlington Children's Theatre's Teen Shakespeare Troupe made for a very convincing Macbeth!

In a special preview of this summer’s production of Macbeth by Arlington Children’s Theatre on July 10, David Atkins presented three riveting soliloquies from the show.  Then Arlington’s jazz legend Eva Balazs entertained the group from the piano, quickly joined on guitar by Nat Leich in some wonderful impromptu music-making!

Eva Balazs and Nat Leich made beautiful music together, to the delight of the party guests!

Thanks to everybody who came out to support Shakespeare in the Park.  We hope we’ll see you for one (or both!) shows this summer:

by Arlington Children’s Theatre
Sunday July 10 at 5pm
Spy Pond Field

“Measure for Measure”
by New England Shakespeare Festival
Sunday August 7 at 5pm
Robbins Farm Park

more info:

Shakespeare in the Park is funded in part by a grant from the Arlington Cultural Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.