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Sugar House Journal

Highland Park Elementary to Host Arts Night

Jan 28, 2016 11h44 ● By Bryan Scott

By Elizabeth Suggs | [email protected]

Sugar House - Highland High Park Elementary will have their ninth annual arts night on March 11 from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

The arts night will take place at the school and Sonal Kerr, coordinator of the event, thinks hosting the event will help drive both revenue and interest for the school’s art program. 

“The donations are crucial. Without them, we simply couldn’t have our arts programs,” Kerr said.

In the last six years, the arts programs have made between $25,000 to $35,000. Last year, the arts night made $31,000, which is about $50 per student to have music, art and dance for the full school year, according to Kerr. 

Compared to other schools in the district, Highland Park Elementary has been both the largest and most successful in their art fundraisers, according to the Salt Lake District. 

What keeps it most successful, according to Kerr, is how much the Highland Park Elementary’s Arts Night has to offer: dinner, bake sale, silent auction, children’s activities and market, theme baskets, classroom art projects for auction and activities with teachers. 

“Other arts nights have some of the same things, but I’ve never seen one with all of them.” she said.

It also helps that Highland Park is one of the few schools in the nation to offer visual arts, music and dance for all students, as well as the option of taking band or strings for fifth and sixth graders. 

“We hope to never drop or cut any of our programs,” she said. “We discuss it regularly just in case we have no choice. So far we’ve been able to maintain our programs each year. It’s definitely nerve racking from year to year to see if we can make it.” 

But she is hopeful, saying that art specialists in the school have been trained in each specific art program they’ve been hired into, and that makes learning for the students that much more enjoyable and easy to understand. With three children who attend the school, she enjoys watching each one excel in different ways and with different learning opportunities.

“Core subjects are being reinforced through the arts as well as knowledge and appreciation for music, dance, visual art and drama.” Kerr said. “Every child has a different learning style; art gives us a way of reaching students that may struggle with traditional instruction.” 

Admission for the event is $5. Additional tickets for the various activities are available for purchase before the event and at the door.