Two dozen students will get their “red carpet moment” this Friday.
Dixon School of Arts & Sciences is holding its annual exhibit on Friday, with this year’s theme being “I Am Dixon.” The event will feature fashion, music, dance and an opportunity for students to showcase their unique personalities and aspirations.
Donovan Black, a performing arts instructor at Dixon, chose the topic after reading Natasha Tarpley’s book “I Choose to Be,” which focuses on children’s infinite potential. The annual showcase aims to help Dixon students realize their potential.
“I call it the red carpet moment when all eyes are on us, we’re glamorous and we’re fulfilled like we’re on top of the world,” Black said. “It’s so important, and that’s why I want to try to make sure I’m picking students who aren’t always the best at everything they do and/or their grades aren’t always where they should be. But these kinds of things change your perspective, when you have a full audience of 250 people looking at you and clapping and aspiring to be that person, it changes your life. I think that’s why I love the stage and art.”
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There will be 24 students walking the runway, each dressed by a designer, and they will perform a small inspirational vignette to introduce a chosen character to the audience and the world.
Black, for example, will be a peacock and share, “I’m the peacock because when I walk around my feathers are down, but when the lights come on I know how to show who I am.”
Kevin Kovacs, principal and superintendent of schools at Dixon, will also participate in the showcase with the message, “I am a visionary.” He chose it because he sees it as his responsibility to expand opportunities for Dixon students and create a future that builds on their legacy as a school focused on science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.
The school has slowly built partnerships with area programs, including the Chappie James Flight Academy, the Pensacola Little Theater, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Community Garden from the Ground, and others, to provide students with an abundance of targeted opportunities to choose from.
The showcase is another opportunity where students can learn intangible skills such as public speaking, confidence and the ability to find their voice when placed in uncomfortable positions. Kovacs said she believes it’s adults’ responsibility to help students step outside their comfort zones to build their confidence.
“I was watching a rehearsal today, they were being coached on how to be confident on that track, and I heard the adult say, ‘You have this one chance, this is your two minutes to let the world, this cafe, this theater know who you are in this character.’ , Kovacs said. “And again, it’s very exciting to see the students rise to it.”
When students leave Dixon and enter high school, Kovacs hopes they will carry with them the lessons learned both in the classroom and in activities like the showcase.
“We strive for students to become the artists they are meant to be, said Dixon board member Lisa Puzon.” She said not every student will be an artist, dancer, musician or engineer, but they will find the path that is right. for them.
Puzon and her husband were former visiting artists at Dixon in 2008, and from their experiences then and now, they understand how much these events and the arts in general help students find purpose.
“We got used to hearing from the students, ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do that,’ then it changed from that to, ‘I can’t wait to do this.’ It was like a beautiful experience when that thing clicked, when that light came on and they just feel like, ‘Oh man, I can’t wait to find out what else I can do,'” Puzon said.
Do you want to go?
When: Friday, March 31, 6:30 p.m
Where: Dixon School of Arts & Sciences, 1201 NH St.
Tickets are $2 and proceeds will help fund arts programs at Dixon. To purchase a ticket, contact the school at 850-435-0511.