Students Shine at OCHO on Earth Day!
On April 22 – Earth Day, there was a full house at OCHO Art + Event Space. Bursting with youth creativity, color and light, the “Luz es Vida Earth Day Youth Performance Café” was full to capacity in more ways than one! Five large, brightly painted banners as well as some wonderful smaller works greeted guests as they entered the gallery space . Each one reflected the “Luz es Vida – Light is Life” theme in its own unique way through the creativity of the many youth hands (over 220!) that worked on them. (See photos of the making of the banners here.)
As the café tables and chairs filled with eager families and students from all three Questa District schools, teen volunteers circulated serving savory and sweet treats to audience members. The round, face-painting table occupied one corner of the room, where kids lined up to receive fun Earth-Day and Luz es Vida face designs on their faces. In the opposite corner was a craft table and buffet of recycled paper and crafting supplies.
Rio Costilla Learning Academy kicked off the performances with shadow and recycled puppet shows accompanied by songs, followed by Earth Day-themed songs, with some even original compositions, performed by Roots & Wings Community School Music program and a solo piano performance by one of its students. Next up was an El Rito homeschooler who dramatically recited a poem, followed by Alta Vista Intermediate students reading their own poems entitled “Where I am From” and “If I Ruled the World.” A collective, participatory rhythm-based rainmaking exercise punctuated by a student-made “rainbow” concluded the evening. Prompting the audience between acts was Gabe Rael with an “applause” sign. Another fun element was that besides our excellent MC for the event, students introduced their performances and provided information about their schools.
Click on images below for slideshow view; double click on slideshow to return to post.
A deep thank you to all of the dedicated volunteers for helping to make the event such a success; to Lynn Gitter and the banner-prep team, to Diane DeFremery and the art-workshop team; to kitchen master, Gaea McGahee, and our teen volunteers, to Olga Gressot and Starr for the delicious sweet treats, to Genevieve deVellis and Lillian Thibedeau for facilitating the recycled craft table, to stage management duo Alberta Bouyer and Jean Frey, to Tim Long – sound-man and event MC, and to Lisa Fox and Pete Mellon for the use of the café tables. Thanks also to the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area Fund (NRGNHAF) and Questa Economic Development Fund (QEDF) and individual donors as well as local businesses and “Luz es Vida” coalition partners for helping to promote the event. Big thanks to the teachers and school administrators for working with us and warm congratulations and gratitude to all of the students for sharing their creative visual and performative accomplishments with us. It takes a village to raise and Earth Day event!
LEAP Project leaders, Claire Coté and Joan long, feel that they can report without a doubt, that the event and project in general was a great success!
Keep your eyes out for the banners, soon to be relocated and installed in local NCRTD Blue Bus stops…..and don’t forget to mark your calendars for our other upcoming Luz es Vida Events in Questa!