Friday, October 14, 2016

Autumn news at the high school

The 2016-17 school year is off to a tremendous start. Lots of recognition for students and faculty, lots of events, lots of buzz in the air. Please help us celebrate what we know will be a great year!

Our dance instructor, Mary Harding, and one of our students, Destiny Anderson, are both nominees for the SAGE Awards in Dance. Mary has been nominated as an Outstanding Educator and Destiny is nominated in the Outstanding Ensemble category as a member of S.H.E. (She Who Holds Everything) in “9th Inning.” Congratulations to you both!
Visual and music
In addition to Mary Harding’s nomination for a SAGE Award, several other faculty are being recognized for their work as artists. Jeremy Lundquist, who teaches printmaking, received a Jerome Residency at Highpoint Center for Printmaking. Josh Clausen has been awarded a Jerome Composter/Sound Artists fellowship of $20,000. Woot woot!
Sun Yung Shin, one of our English teachers, has a new book of poetry out, “Unbearable Splendor,” which is getting rave reviews from the Star Tribune to the L.A. Times, among others. This follows the recent publication of a book she edited, “A Peculiar Price: New Writings on Race in Minnesota.” The collection of essays was named the “One Conference One Read” of the Minnesota Library Association’s conference in Duluth Sept. 29-30 and Shin was a speaker at the conference. Proud to have you in the Perpich family, Sun Yung!
Visual arts
Senior Allison Baxter was chosen as one of the five students from the Twin Cities accepted for the High Point Center for Printmaking teen mentorship program, a very competitive program. Congratulations, Allison!
Perpich student watercolors are currently on display at Golden Valley Public Library in honor of Teen Read Month.
Visiting teaching artist Felice Amato will be the keynote speaker at the 78th Annual Kutztown University Art Education conference on Nov. 18 in Pennsylvania. Congrats, Felice on this honor!
Gateway to Sedona, a publication for the city of Sedona, Ariz., published a feature story on visual arts faculty member Pat Benincasa, whose work is up for the Sedona Art Prize. You can see more of Benincasa’s work here. Nice story, Pat!
Media arts
Meg Dorn, junior in media arts, had a poem featured during the Up and Out: Revolution of Self Festival at Intermedia Arts Oct. 1. Very cool, Meg!
Theater and literary arts
Advanced theater and senior lit students performed “The Wastelands: An Opera” last weekend with the professional theater touring group, Children of the Wild. It was an unusual and suitable setting at an abandoned paper mill off Glenwood Avenue. “The Wastelands” is an experimental folk opera based loosely on Dante’s “Purgatorio,” investigating the seven stages of grief in a time of violent political and environmental unraveling.
Visual and media arts
We had a very successful Portfolio Day on Monday with 30 universities and art schools coming to Perpich to interview and advise our students. This is a unique opportunity that no other high school in Minnesota offers. College representatives shared with us that our students are always impressive and well prepared for college and that they look forward to coming here because they always find exceptional students to recruit to their programs.
Common Experience, a program at Perpich in past years, has been revived with great success this fall. Speakers to date include Amara Hark-Weber (literary ’99); Kat Perkins, 2014 star on The Voice; and Rose McGee, founder of Project Sweetie Pie. Next up is TU Dance on Oct. 24. The speakers discuss their work and, if performers, they share brief performances. Interaction with the students is a key component as is sharing artistic vision, wisdom and encouragement.
This year’s exchange with students from Luoyang’s #1 Senior High School went very well under French instructor Trina Keller’s management and the support of faculty, staff, students and parents who hosted students on weekends. The students did field trips throughout the Twin Cities and took classes in dance, watercolor and other disciplines during their time with us.  
Speaking of exchange students, Camille Solon, a high school student from Plats, a small town in the south of France, will be attending classes at Perpich Monday, Oct. 17 through Friday, Nov. 7. She will be in the dance program. Be sure to say bon jour and bienvenue!
One hundred-twenty of our students attended a Westminster Town Hall Forum to hear Eddie Glaude Jr., author of “In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Back America” and “Democracy in Black: How Race Still Governs the Soul of America.”
Dedication Day 2016 on Oct. 5 was an emotion-filled afternoon as new students and staff were welcomed into the Perpich family and everyone dedicated themselves to making art, working hard, supporting each other and creating community during the coming year. This year the day ended with a rock 'n' roll party from the Perpich alum who is an international recording star and can sell out First Avenue--none other than Sean Tillman AKA Har Mar Superstar

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