WMU News

Youth Arts Festival forms pact with state arts council

Feb. 14, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- The Michigan Youth Arts Festival has formed a partnership with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and been awarded a grant from the state arts agency.

As an arts education partner with MCACA, the festival has won a grant of $71,500 to support participation by more than 1,000 talented high school artists selected to take part in the 2002 event. Additionally, the grant will help provide honorariums for an artist in residence, guest conductors and master teachers. The Western Michigan University College of Fine Arts will once again be host of this year's festival, which will be held May 9-11 on the WMU campus.

The festival board has hired a new executive director, Gayle Hoogstraten of Portage, Mich., whose past experience includes several years as the executive director of the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo and who was a 2001 recipient of the Arts Council's Community Medal of Arts Award. She is an alumna of WMU.

Hoogstraten says that she is "delighted and honored to have been selected as MYAF's first executive director. The festival is the ultimate learning experience for high school students from across the state and is truly rewarding for all who attend the many events of the festival."

The Michigan Youth Arts Festival provides performance and exhibition opportunities and educational workshops in art, creative writing, dance, film/video, instrumental music, vocal music and theatre for the state's top high school artists. Started in 1963, this will be the festival's 40th year and the 18th time it has been staged at WMU.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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