Festival of the Arts showcases student

KINGSTON — Kingston Junior High School art instructor James Andrews expected a good turnout for the June 6 North Kitsap School District Festival of the Arts.

But what he got was something much bigger. Colossal even.

“We had 300 programs, and they were gone within the first hour of the event,” he said. “It was awesome. We had more than 500 people come this year.”

The Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s arts program supervisor AnnRene Joseph attended the event, accepting an award on behalf of Christine Gregoire from the NKSD arts program.

“A gift was given to the governor for her tireless work and emphasis on the arts. We also gave AnneRene an award as well for her efforts,” Andrews said. “We really surprised her with that award.”

The festival featured a little bit of everything.

In addition to the award-winning KJH Cavaliers band, a jump and dance squad, a sasse drum group and a American history through rock group, the Galletta School of Dance, a poetry reading group, a fashion show and the Northwinds Quintet performed.

“The festival was a cross-section of the school district and community artists and their work,” Andrews said. “We had activities at the festival from every level. The event was very positive.”

Andrews said he received positive feedback throughout the entire event.

“The thing I kept on hearing people say was, ‘Wow, I can’t believe there’s all this stuff here’. Hearing people say that was a great feeling,” he said. “I heard it so many times that night at the festival. There was a lot of things going on that the public didn’t necessarily expect to be there.”

Andrews said once patrons arrived, the stayed for a few hours.

“Parents ended up taking their kids for one thing but ended up staying for the entire time because there were various events taking place,” he said. “They were floored by it.”

With such a great showing, Andrews said he hopes the festival will continue to expand into an even larger event in the future.

“I look forward to it continuing on for years to come,” he said. “It’s a big community event, and it’s only going to get bigger.”

The large turnout at the festival of the arts celebration showed just how much the North End cares about art and its artists.

“It’s an example of why we need to continue arts education in this community,” Andrews said. “This area sees how important it is.”

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