Peaceful Hands, Open Hearts

kids prepare multidisciplinary art performance

Lea Kopke

After 10 weeks of hard work, elementary students from throughout the Eau Claire Area School District will display their art, poetry, singing, and dancing at the third installment of the Hands of Peace Youth Art Performance.

About 60 elementary students have been taking part in the biannual after-school program sponsored by BaredFeet Co. and the Chippewa Valley Montessori Charter School. This year the students will share their views on the themes of “peace” and “safe” through artwork, poetry, drama, song, and dance.

“The idea of the program,” said Lynn Buske, director of BaredFeet and Hands of Peace, “is to give families free access to the benefits of participating in the arts.”

The program also gives students the chance to learn how to work as a team, experience being part of a large production, and talk about important ideas. Students choose which art form they would like to use and work together to prepare their works for performance day.

“What better way to teach getting along together – peace – than to see our children standing side-by-side embracing their differences,” Buske said.

The free performances will take place at 4pm on Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2, at the North High School Auditorium, where 60 pieces of artwork and 12 poems will be on display along with four dance groups, four short plays, and two choirs.

Attendees are encouraged to support the program through the purchase of handmade T-shirts or donations.