Now in its fourth year, the annual San Benito County Arts Showcase continues to grow with a record number of submissions from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade students. Around 1,250 pieces were submitted for the Feb. 13 showcase, 250 more than last year. Artistic mediums include pastel, charcoal, 3D printing, paper mache, poems and performing arts.
This year’s showcase marks the second partnership between the San Benito County Arts Council and the San Benito County Office of Education.
“It’s not a competition, but just to showcase all the diversity and passion for creativity of our community,” Director of Arts Education Amanda Chiado said.
Several music and dance groups performed at the showcase in the Veterans Memorial Building in Hollister, including Animation Dance Community, Folklorico Juvenil de Hollister accompanied by Academia de Mariachi Infantil Alma De Mexico, Yamamoto Hula Ohana, San Benito Dance Academy, Flying Colors Dance and Fitness, and Kayla Salazar.
“Capturing multimedia is really important to know that it’s not just crayons and oils and whatnot. It’s truly capturing the arts,” said Colleen Myers, instructional support services coordinator for the county office of education.
Myers said she wants the event to keep growing.
“We’re hoping to continue to expand it to the auxiliary rooms,” she said.
Chiado also said she was proud of all the teachers because they work hard to integrate the arts throughout their curriculum.
Students at the showcase took part in a raffle to win a gift basket, and three teachers won individual $250 grants to invite artists to visit their classrooms.
“Our partnership with the county office of education focuses a lot on equity in the arts, so arts integration is a key component of that,” Chiado said. “I was very pleased to see teachers stepping up and feeling really confident about bringing the arts into their classroom and making it a part of their everyday curriculum.”