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SPOTLIGHT 2022 – We’re Back!

It was finally here! 

SPOTLIGHT 2022 was held at Millikin University on Sunday, May 1st.  This year’s annual event hosted over 200 participants embracing the National PTA’s Reflections Program. Visitors were in awe as they viewed the gallery at Kirkland Fine Arts Center where the children’s entries from this year’s theme “I Will Change the World By….”  were on display.  Families gathered around individual monitors to view film, dance, and music entries as the lobby monitors let everyone enjoy the entries which advanced to the National PTA Level.  

“After two years of remote everything, we opened up the doors again to SPOTLIGHT, an afternoon of celebrating children with art workshops, gallery viewing, and a recognition ceremony,” said Carolyn McCarty, Illinois PTA President.  “This year is just pure excitement to be able to once again bring our children and families together to experience and enjoy, my favorite Illinois PTA event of the year, SPOTLIGHT.”

President Carolyn McCarty engaged with her ‘artist friends’ and families asking questions of the attendees and showing some of her dance moves.  Art is all around us and she encouraged everyone to embrace it, enjoy it and share it as she kicked off this year’s festivities.

Families were invited to participate in workshops facilitated by Millikin faculty and students, the Decatur Arts Council as well as Illinois PTA State Board Members.  Where else can children explore how to be an actor, try their hand at rhythm, learn some choreographed moves, work with clay, paint rocks, draw animals, create a sculpture, or make a fish print all in one day?  They did it all! See photos from this fun-filled afternoon here!

A special highlight this year was the addition of The Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra directed by Dr. Neil Smith. The symphony performed the three pieces composed by students who advanced to the National PTA level in music; Daniel Sosa Chuta – “Music of the World”, Heidi Huntington – “Intermezzo”, and Wren Page – “Clouds Sailing”. What a special treat to hear their composition brought to life by an orchestra. 

Laura Ledford, Dean of Millikin University, College of Fine Arts continued the supporting tradition of the university presenting $1,000 scholarships to high school participants advancing to National PTA level: Chloe Jung – dance choreography, Hailey Rabideaux – film production, Emma Jacobs- literature, Avery Brahm – photography, Corina Xiong – Visual Arts. 

Each year the National PTA Reflections gives children a venue to share their creativity and perspective. Join us next year, May 7, 2023 as we share the amazing pieces our children reflect on and create around the 2022-2023 theme “Show Your Voice”.  See you there!

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