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Annual Arts Festival will be held Saturday April 24 at MAHS

Athena Kildegaard was duct-taped to the wall as part of the Morris Area Arts Boosters' 2009 Art Festival. This year, MAHS principal Mike Coquyt will take a turn being duct-taped.

Once again, the Morris Area Arts Boosters will be holding its annual Arts Festival, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Saturday April 24, at the Morris Area High School.

This year's festival will feature all local entertainment, including Adair Horgen and Della Conroy, a preview of the high school production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," a UMM jazz ensemble featuring Anika Kildegaard (MAHS '09), many talented student solo and group performers, and more. Two artists connected with the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA) will be showcasing their work and giving demonstrations: Kurt Nelson, wood-carver, and Sarah McDermott, paper bead maker. The PRCA will also be sponsoring a dance activity with Ferolyn Angell and a Storytelling Corner.

High school studio arts students will be demonstrating on two pottery wheels. As always there will be a wide variety of games and the phenomenal Cake Walk. This year the Robotics Team will also participate by challenging all comers to duct-tape Mike Coquyt, the high school principal, to the wall. How many strips of duct tape will it take? A delicious lunch will also be available.

There will be a Silent Auction, with featured items including tickets to the last program of the UMM Performing Arts series, a fishing expedition with the Morris Area Schools superintendent Scott Munson, Andes lift tickets, a harvest dinner featuring pheasant, a bicycle tune-up, a jambalaya dinner, and much more.

The Festival is one of the boosters' primary fund-raising events of the year. Funds have gone toward a piano for the high school theater, a new potter's wheel, the commissioning of music for both the wind ensemble and the concert choir, prizes for the Poetry Outloud competition (our students have gone on to state and national competition), entry fees for music clinics, in-school residencies in drama and dance, and many other projects that have enhanced the fine arts programming in the Morris public schools. In addition, last year MAAB began awarding the Adair Horgen ABC scholarships for students who excel in accompanying, band, and choir.

The Boosters are always seeking to increase its membership base, and holds it annual membership drive in conjunction with the Arts Fest. Membership is open to any and all who are interested in the arts and in the importance of art in a well-rounded education. Individuals wishing to support the Boosters can send donations to Adele Cotter, Treasurer, at 909 Park Avenue in Morris. The boosters' long-range goal -- in a time of dwindling support for arts education -- is to develop long-term and sustainable funding for support of arts education in the schools. The Boosters are "eternally grateful" for the many supporters of the arts in the Morris area: other arts organizations such as the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance and Footnotes Dance Studio, businesses such as Willie's, Prairie Sky Greenery, and Common Cup, and the many artists, musicians, and parents of Morris students who have made such a difference in the lives of Morris youth.