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May 13, 2013

School arts showcase

Art: Downtown fest spotlights local students' creative work

There were musicians, dancers and even robots in City Hall.

There was pottery and a ballroom dancing display at The Hive, and there was even a “petting zoo,” of sorts, at the Cape Ann Museum.

Saturday was indeed a special day in downtown Gloucester, where students from throughout the city’s schools showed off their talents and their works through the annual Gloucester Public School Arts Festival, which drew hundreds of parents and other residents to four downtown venues that served as showcases for the schools’ and students’ creativity.

In all, the five-hour event — which included City Hall, Cape Ann Museum, Sawyer Free Library and The Hive, the innovative Pleasant Street arts venue affiliated with Main Street’s Cape Ann Art Haven — spotlighted every aspect of the schools’ art programs and more, through band and concert performances by the likes of Gloucester High School’s Docksiders and three levels of school choruses.

In the meantime, visitors got to browse more than 1,000 pieces of student-crafted art work. And some classes took the festival beyond the traditional arts realm, with a robotics presentation at City Hall and the city’s fifth-graders’ Mad Hot Ball ballroom dancing exhibition.

As for the “petting zoo?”

That was a music petting zoo conceived by Gloucester High music director and Docksiders’ conductor David Adams, whose “zoo” offered kids of all ages the chance to touch, pet and handle musical instruments at the museum.

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