April 11, 2012PLYMOUTH—On Wednesday, April 18 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., local students, schools and community members will be coming together at the Flying Monkey for the second annual collaborative event, Convergence.
This year, the event is hosted by Plymouth Regional High School (PRHS), and all proceeds from the event will be going to benefit CADY.
"It will be an awesome two hours of art and music," said PRHS art teacher and event coordinator Lynn Sanborn. "Everybody is welcome to come; it's free, with donations being accepted at the door, so if people want to donate, all of the proceeds are going to the CADY organization. They give back to a lot of our students, so it's nice to be able to give back to them."
Starting at 5:30 p.m., community members will be able to come into the Flying Monkey and view more than 100 pieces of student art on display that has all been donated to be sold in a silent auction.
"As the silent auction is going on, Plymouth's fabulous culinary teacher, Florencia Gazzolo, and her culinary arts students have made all of the food for the evening, and will be serving it at that time," said Sanborn. "Then, at 6:45, everyone will go into the auditorium, and the performance will begin with a contemporary dance piece, and then music for the rest of the night."
There will be several musical performances from PRHS music teacher William Gunn, who will be singing solo and with his chamber ensemble, and solo instrumental performances from Holderness School's music teacher, David Lockwood.
"We decided to make this into a community art, music and dance show," said Sanborn. "It blossomed into this huge, beautiful monster."
Convergence began last year, and was held at Holderness School as a collaborative art show.
"Convergence started last year, when Franz Nicolay, a fabulous photography teacher at Holderness Prep, and I decided to do a collaborative photography show last year at the Edwards Gallery at Holderness Prep, and we decided every year to switch where it is held," said Sanborn. "This year, the high school will host it, and we decided to make it a benefit."
Not only did the collaboration of art work that appeared in the show impress Sanborn, but the collaboration between students from two different schools was amazing for her to experience as an educator.
"Last year, my favorite part of the whole thing was seeing our students collaborate with their school and form relationships, and meet for the first time to explore the arts," said Sanborn. "My favorite visual I have is seeing one of our kids and one of his (Franz Nicolay's) kids meet for the first time and critique each other's art work. It was such a neat thing."
This year, Convergence added a new collaboration by benefiting CADY (Communities for Alcohol and Drug Free Youth), which is extremely excited about the event because it helps to embody their mission to join home, school and the community together.
"I love seeing community, and this is a perfect example of a community coming together to support kids," said Deb Naro, executive director of CADY. "You have two schools coming together, businesses coming together, different genres coming together — Convergence just sums up what we are doing here"
One of CADY's goals is to give students the tools to make the right decisions, and with Convergence being a student driven event, students are given the power to make decisions and collaborate at this event.
"It's purposeful," said Naro. "They are giving back to their community, and this event is giving them opportunities to make good decisions, which is empowering. Convergence will empower them with good decision making. It is exciting to see."
It's not just PRHS, Holderness School and CADY excited — area students are excited about the upcoming event, as well.
"The kids are so excited," said Sanborn. "They are so excited about it. They have been preparing their art work for a month now, and getting it all matted and ready to go."
Students donated their work, and are extremely excited to show it to the community and have their art be purchased by those that support the arts and live locally.
"They donated their work knowing it was going to a good cause, and I think they are excited to give back to the community," said Sanborn. "I think they are also excited for other people to see their work and comment on it."
Sanborn pointed out that the community has been so supportive of the arts at PRHS by packing Cultural Arts Nights and art shows that thanking the community was a big priority for everyone involved with Convergence.
"We just want to thank the community for always supporting our programs, more than any other place I know in the country," said Sanborn. "We are so fortunate to be in a community where most everybody supports art and music and the students and it is just incredible."
Student art will be on display as an art exhibit prior to Convergence, on April 16 and 17 from noon to 5 p.m. at The Flying Monkey.