No matter who you are, no matter where you are, the fine arts will reach you.

No matter who you are, no matter where you are, the fine arts will reach you.

“The arts are a universal language,” Kathryn Stone, Jackson High School history teacher said when discussing the appeal and success of the ninth annual Jackson Local Schools All District Arts Extravaganza, held Feb. 21.

The Jackson community came out on a snowy night to support the school district's art, music and theater students and their accomplishments. The event serves as the largest  fundraiser of the year. Attendees were able to show support by participating in a live auction, silent auction and basket raffle.

On the main stage, in the high school commons and in the auditorium, visitors watched performances by the high school jazz band, high school steel drum band, group and solo performances by Jackson School of the Arts students, and the Jacks-N-Jills. Choirs that were featured were the high school Freshman Chorus, Choraliers, Jackson Memorial MiddleSchool Chamber Ensemble, Amherst Choir Cubs, Strausser Choir and high school Chorale.

Stone, who teaches history in the Jackson School of the Arts (JSA) program simple stated, “our kids are awesome.”

Part of the tradition of the extravaganza is the introduction of the incoming freshman JSA class. “

It is our largest class ever,” Stone said. A total of 75 students came to the stage as the JSA class of 2019.

The visual arts from middle school and high school were featured in the commons with artwork displayed throughout. Senior Emily Cao, an IB high level art student, had 10 pieces of her art displayed.

“It ( the class), gives me lots of freedom to choose the art I want to complete,” Cao said. She chose realism and surrealism.

For the art display, middle school and high school students were asked to present two pieces they would want displayed at the extravaganza, according to Alonzo Yost, a ninth- through 12th-grade visual teacher.

“We hoped when we received all the entries, they could get them all displayed,” Yost said.   

JSA seniors Ben Houston and Dominic Martello reflected on what they see as a highlight of being in the JSA program. Martello, a second year JSA student, said it allows him to do what he loves – be an actor.  He played lead roles in the high school musicals presented by Jackson High School the last two years, “Footloose” and “42nd Street.”

Houston, who has been in JSA four years and a member of Jack-N-Jills for three years, said the highlight is the performances the group has in the community and the annual spring performance showcase.

As the extravaganza ended on Saturday, Susan Gardner, district art consultant for the JSA program, thanked the crowd for attending.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the support the community has given us,” Gardner said.