Arts in the Park Concludes 11th Year with Graduation, Performances

Arts in the Park has become an annual summertime tradition for the Springfield Regional Arts Council. The program, a collaboration featuring a number of local arts agencies, has put together a deep series of summer workshops aimed at promoting different art forms and teaching self-confidence and civility to students (K-8) from the Springfield Community Center.

Today was the final day of the eight-week program. Students received diplomas and performed for their parents and gathered community members. Poetry, music and dance all took center stage. On the walls around the room were works of art the students completed during the camp.

This summer’s Arts in the Park theme was “Making an Impact.” Students were urged to make connections of love, civility and kindness through the arts, all according to the Tenants of Civility as defined by Springfield-Greene County Civility Project. This year’s series was also served as a pilot program for a civility research program enacted by the SRAC and researched by students from The Forest Institute of Psychology. The results will be tabulated and the impact of civility training on the kids will be shared with the community. This initiative was funded in part by a Community Innovations grant from the Community foundation of the Ozarks, awarded in April.

At a glance, it seemed to be a success. The energetic students encouraged and embraced one another as they performed for their parents. “Each of these kids has learned to respect one another and respect their environment,” said SRAC program coordinator Stephanie Cramer.

Organizations that contributed to the Arts in the Park programming included Springfield Little Theatre, Moxie Cinema, Springfield Ballet, Springfield Pottery’s Claymobile, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Springfield Regional Arts Council, MO Poetry Slam Springfield, and SRO Lyric Theatre.