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The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

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The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

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ArtsFest brings new workshops, experiences for students

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Lucy Byrnes
This year, Artsfest hopes to engage students with art through new workshops and schedule.

Taking place on Feb. 28, ArtsFest is a dynamic event that celebrates creativity and self-expression among students through a variety of workshops led by students, faculty and guest artists. This annual event offers an immersive experience that explores many different forms of art, from traditional to unconventional mediums. This year, students can expect one, longer assembly at the beginning of the day with a panel of artists. Additionally, this year’s ArtsFest will offer a variety of Workshops from a tour of Rockefeller Chapel to medieval fighting.

A notable change for ArtsFest 2024 is the decision to condense the traditional two assemblies into one in the morning, offering a streamlined experience for students. This year’s assembly will feature a range of artists on a panel led by Principal Martin Woods.

“The assembly will feature a performing artist, recording artist, a comedian and a streetwear designer. This year we have no traditional visual artists,” faculty adviser Brian Wildeman said. “The assembly focuses on what it’s like being a young professional in art.”

Elizabeth Oyler, ArtsFest president, emphasizes the importance of this unified assembly in setting the tone for the day’s activities. 

“I think it’s a great way to mix everything in and keep students engaged. We want to make sure it’s a day for the students as opposed to a day for the faculty to tell students to ‘do’ art,” Elizabeth said.

Elizabeth brings a new perspective to ArtsFest this year. As a senior, Elizabeth is passionate about redefining the boundaries of ArtsFest, encouraging her peers to explore new mediums of expression.

“As the president, the way I wanted to approach it is redefining the way we see art,” Elizabeth said. “People at Lab are creative in many ways, and I see art as a way that someone expresses themselves, the way we choose to spend our time and the way we creatively engage with the world.”

Mr. Wildeman brings excitement and enthusiasm for this year’s ArtsFest and is committed to creating a wide range of workshops for students to enjoy.

“This year we have workshops led by administrators, teachers, students, parents, alumni and guest artists,” Mr. Wildeman said. “We have a lot of good workshops for students this year.”

Mr. Wildeman hopes to have the ArtsFest signup form go live a week from ArtsFest. This may be delayed due to planning and technical complications.

Here are some noteworthy workshops to consider signing up for.

Rockefeller Tour:

Carillonist Alex Johnson will lead students on a tour of Rockefeller Chapel to see musical instruments and the tower’s mechanical room featuring 100 tons worth of bells. Mr. Johnson will give a demonstration of the Carolin in addition to a trip up to the roof for a 360-degree view of Hyde Park.

Medieval Fighting:

Belegarth Medieval Combat Society offers a thrilling and affordable sport where participants engage in combat using padded weapons like swords, maces and bows, along with various types of armor such as shields. All necessary equipment is provided, so come dressed comfortably and be prepared to immerse yourself in action-packed fun!

Sewing Competition:

Taking up two periods, this all-day sewing competition allows participants to divide into two teams who will compete against each other to create a garment by the end of the day. Students will have the choice to sign up for one or two sessions. The winning team will be awarded a prize.

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About the Contributors
Milo Platz-Walker
Milo Platz-Walker, Reporter
Milo Platz-Walker is a member of the Class of 2025 and serves as a reporter. He joined the staff as a ninth grader in 2021 and returned as a junior. Outside of journalism, Milo competes in karate, listens to music and spends time with friends and family.
Lucy Byrnes
Lucy Byrnes, Photographer
Lucy Byrnes is a beginning photojournalist and a member of the Class of 2026. Her favorite part of photojournalism is getting involved with school activities. Outside of photojournalism, Lucy participates in making the costumes for school plays and enjoys various forms of visual arts.

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