Last Friday afternoon I was able to enjoy an event that is unique to Worthington Kilbourne High School. Where else in Central Ohio is a day devoted entirely to the arts, creativity, student expression, and FUN?
Arts in Action is an event that takes place every year in the late spring. The 1150 students of Worthington Kilbourne are given a forum to display their works of art. This can take the shape of paintings, photography, sculptures, singing, and instrumental or vocal performance.
One of the main events of this day is the highly competitive “Throw Down”, where potters race to create a clay pot on potters’ wheels. Each match is a head to head match and the tournament is single elimination. Five points are awarded and the winner is the person who wins at least three points. One point is awarded for the first potter to center his clay. The other four points are awarded after the match is over, 10 minutes later. Another point is awarded for the tallest pot, and one point for the thinnest walls. If a potter has won these three points, it is known as a technical knockout and the other two points are not awarded (as there are only 2 points left, the other potter cannot win). If however a technical knockout does not happen, a panel of three judges (two students and a teacher or administrator chosen at the start of the 10 minute period) will vote on which pot they think is better based on artistic merits and creativity. The potter who gets at least two votes from the panel wins two points. Often, the final match is judged by three former champions (sometimes current students, sometimes alumni). This year’s winner was Ajha Williams! She was the number one seed in the tournament and from my untrained eye it looked like she dominated the event.
Throughout the day students interacted with one another, they created art with their principal, and they displayed their unique talents in sometimes unique ways. I watched students freestyle rap in the gym and then watched Worthington Kilbourne Deans, Tom Souder and Adham Schirg, throw chocolate pie in each other’s face to raise money for charity. I watched a few students ride a mechanical bull and a few others paint landscapes. The day is truly eclectic.
We expect student achievement in Worthington. We also expect to produce students who are creative, who collaborate with one another, and who can express themselves with positive communication. Arts in Action helps students with these skills and it’s just a whole lot of fun. I appreciate that we have a staff at Worthington Kilbourne High School that is willing to go above and beyond, and to tolerate some controlled chaos, in order to create rich, unique, positive experiences for kids.