More 34 Years of Arts Excellence!
Union's Fine Arts Department proudly presents YouthArts!, an annual fine arts festival showcasing the creative works and talents of elementary and secondary students.
YouthArts! is one of the longest running festivals of its type in the state of Oklahoma, celebrating its 34th anniversary in the spring of 2013. It was founded by Ed Tackett, director of Fine Arts, and has grown immensely over the years.
Under the direction of the district's 50-plus fine arts teachers, the 14-day event is scheduled in late April and includes a variety of performances and exhibitions all open to the public. Those include:
Story from April 20, 2009
YouthArts! (YouthArts! is now 34!)
Hundreds of people - parents, friends and admirers of Union Public School's arts programs - turned out in droves for the YouthArts! anniversary celebration at the Union Multipurpose Activity Center, 6836 S. Mingo Road, Monday night, April 20, 2009.
The gala celebrated one of the state’s longest-running public school arts festivals, which Ed Tackett, director of Union Fine Arts, helped found.
Special Friends of the Arts were recognized, including former band director Jack Griffin, former Union Superintendent Dr.
Wesley Jarman, past and present school board members and the Fine Arts Booster Clubs. Awards for excellence in art in the fields of drama, competitive speech, orchestra, art, vocals and, band were also presented.
During the gala, the public was treated to various musical performances from the High School as well as a number from the Moore Elementary School choir and the Varsity Winter Guard. Parents also enjoyed the opportunity to view visual art from every school in the district from paintings and drawings to photography and ceramics.
In the Redskin Room, special guests milled around displays of photography, ceramics and drawings on display while a student played a harp. Around the UMAC concourse, students entertained parents with dramatic pieces or music played on recorders.
Long before Union was recognized for its football and athletic programs and other achievements, Tackett said Union was recognized statewide for its ability to highlight some of the best young artists in the state with YouthArts! Now, students and teachers plan for the spring event all year long, saving some of their best pieces for the exhibition and boosting their art portfolios.
“The popularity of YouthArts! has had a ripple effect on all of the fine arts disciplines by creating awareness and interest in other programs from color guard to ceramics to special events such as the spring musical to recitals,” Tackett said.
Above, Director of Fine of Arts Ed Tackett, far right, gives former Union band director Dr. Jack Griffin a plaque recognizing him as a Friend of the Arts during the YouthArts 30th anniversary gala celebration at the UMAC Monday, April 22, 2009, emceed by Assistant Fine Arts Director Matthew McCready, pictured far left.