Dogwood festival to showcase student artwork

DOWAGIAC — This week, Dowagiac Union Schools staff and students will be busy setting up exhibits and placing artwork around the halls of the high school as part of a Dogwood Fine Arts Festival event.

The Dogwood Fine Arts Festival will be giving local students a chance to show off their artwork and other talents by hosting a youth fine arts night as part of the festival. The Youth Fine Arts night will open at 6 p.m. at Dowagiac Union High School, 701 W. Prairie Ronde St., Dowagiac. Student concerts will begin at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

According to Dowagiac Union High School Principal Kelly Millin, the event is meant to showcase the creative work of Dowagiac students, be it work from their art classes, choir or band. The choir and band will be hosting concerts during the event, and the band will close out the evening with a performance of the Dowagiac Chieftain fight song.

“As [the event] is part of the Dogwood festival, it is a celebration of our students,” Millin said. “It’s a big celebration of art in general.”

Though the event is taking place at the high school, the youth fine arts night will feature work from students of all ages, from kindergartners to high school seniors.

“It’s amazing what these kids can do. It’s something you have to see,” Millin said. “We have so many talented students all the way up from the little-bitties to the seniors, and they are all going to get the chance to show off their work.”

Both students and parents look forward to the fine arts night each year, as it gives the students a chance to shine, Millin said.

“The kids are honored. They are excited to be a focus for the night. Some have several items and different medias or have a whole collection,” she said. “I think it is really fun for them.”

Making the event happen has been group effort between the student, the staff at Dowagiac schools — who Millin called “fantastic” — and the community, Millin said. She added that she is grateful for the ways the community has support students at Dowagiac Union Schools and their creative endeavors, saying that she hoped the community would continue to do so by attending the event.

“There has been a long history in Dowagiac of appreciating fine arts. The community has embraced the arts show and what these kids can do,” she said. “It’s fun for us to be a part of that.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit dogwoodfinearts.org.

A full list of Dogwood Fine Arts Festival events:

May 3: Starfish Circus, 7:30 p.m., Dowagiac Middle School Performing Arts Center, 57028 Riverside Dr., Dowagiac.

May 4: Starfish Circus, 7:30 p.m., Dowagiac Middle School Performing Arts Center, 57028 Riverside Dr., Dowagiac.

May 10: Fischoff Soiree, 7:30 p.m., Dowagiac Train Depot, 200 Depot Dr. Dowagiac.

May 10: Klassics for Kids, 1 p.m., Dowagiac Middle School Performing Arts Center, 57028 Riverside Dr., Dowagiac.

May 11: Fischoff Soiree, 7:30 p.m., Dowagiac History Museum, 201 E. Division St., Dowagiac.

May 12: Sweet Tea Trio, 7:30 p.m., Dowagiac Middle School Performing Arts Center, 57028 Riverside Dr., Dowagiac.

May 15: Storytelling Master Class: 7 to 9 p.m., COA Front Street Crossing, 227 Front St., Dowagiac.

May 16: Storytelling with Ed Stivender, 7:30 p.m., Southwestern Michigan College, 58900 Cherry Grove Road, Dowagiac.

May 17: Youth Fine Arts Night, 6 p.m., Dowagiac Union High School, 701 W. Prairie Ronde St., Dowagiac.

May 18: Karen Dionne, 7 p.m., Southwestern Michigan College, 58900 Cherry Grove Road, Dowagiac.

May 19: Harp Twins, 7:30 p.m., Southwestern Michigan College, 58900 Cherry Grove Road, Dowagiac.

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