Thursday, May 1, 2008


There's a great event happening at Stivers School for the Arts this week...

Stivers to host centennial arts festival
School celebrating 100 years

The exuberance, talent and energy that flows through Stivers School for the Arts
keeps it youthful; it's hard to believe the school is 100 years old! In that joyous spirit, the school will continue to honor that storied artistic spirit and celebrate its centennial year of existence with a four-day spring arts festival.

The Stivers Performing and Visual Arts (SPAVA!) Festival will take place May 1-4 at Stivers' new and renovated facility at 1313 E. Fifth St. Beginning with the opening session Thursday evening on through a birthday party (complete with cake) on Sunday, SPAVA! will showcase local, regional and national artists in concerts, demonstrations and gallery exhibits. Some artists will conduct master classes with students during school hours on May 1 and 2. In addition, free workshops on everything from glass blowing to swing dancing will be offered to the public on May 3.

Stivers students will showcase their talents, as well. The festival features performances by the Stivers orchestra, string academy, pianists, hand bell choir and dance ensemble. Another SPAVA! activity will honor a Stivers alum who also turned 100 this year. The street adjacent to Stivers will be renamed Milton Caniff Drive in a special ceremony honoring the famed cartoonist.

Most festival events are free, with the exception of evening concerts and the school's annual "Soup Dressed Up" fund-raiser (soup served in bowls created by Stivers students). Admission for the concerts is $10 each evening; a $30 ticket buys admission to evening concerts May 1-3. Cost of "Soup Dressed Up" is $10. SPAVA! concludes on the afternoon of May 4 with a free concert by the Air Force Band of Flight and free birthday cake for all attendees. For more information, go to

Also, here is a copy of their Fall student newspaper , with a great article about what it was like to return to the renovated Stivers for the first day of class. Take a look!

Finally, on a somewhat related note, here is the Sanborn Map that shows what the Stivers site looked like back in 1887, with today's school site outlined in red:

UPDATE: The opening ceremony and concert were really something! Our own Ms. Bobbie P. presented Stivers with a plaque recognizing their status on the National Register of Historic Places in honor of their 100th anniversary.

After short speeches from Rep. Lucky, Sen. Roberts, and Superintendent Percy Mack, the Stivers Orchestra wow'ed the crowd with an assortment of classical and modern works. The highlight was easily the medley from Phantom of the Opera, which included flashing lights, a fog machine, and a peek at the Phantom himself.

Trust me, you owe it to yourself to check out SPAVA this weekend!

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