Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Darke County Center for the Arts will present it's final Arts In Education program for this school year during the week of March 17 with performances by “Mr. Blue Shoes,” the creation of Grammy-Award winning producer/performer Michael Dyson. “'Mr. Blue Shoes' will take students on a 400-year-journey through the blues, starting in Africa and leading all the way to rock-n-roll,” explained DCCA Artistic Director Keith Rawlins. During the five-day residency, the artist will perform for fourth through sixth grade students in each local public school district as well as St. Mary's School and DeColores Montessori School. These shows are free and open to the public.

According to Mr. Rawlins, “Mr. Blue Shoes” combines blues music, oral history, and life lessons to inspire children about music and learning. “Michael uses song, dance, and storytelling to immerse students in a historical journey through America's cultural heritage,” the DCCA official stated. Rawlins said that audience participation is a keystone of the experience and that the oral and visual elements of the program address all learning styles and complement classroom curriculum.

DCCA's Arts In Education series annually presents performing artists to students in all grade levels of local public schools. During the past year, AIE presentations included folk duo “Wild Carrot” performing for kindergarteners through third graders, while high school students enjoyed chamber quartet Carpe Diem, and pianist Alpin Hong played for those in junior high school.

Arts In Education is sponsored by Target, DP & L Company Foundation, Vectren Foundation, Greenville Federal, Maid Rite Sandwich Shoppe, The Andersons, Edison Community College, Darke Rural Electric Trust, BASF, Family Health, Littman-Thomas Agency, and Mercer Savings Bank. Additional funding is provided from DCCA memberships and the schools. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. DCCA also receives operating support from the Harry D. and Esther Stephens Memorial as well as funding from the Ketrow Foundation and Lydia E. Schaurer Memorial Trust Fund.

DCCA's Arts In Education programs are scheduled in cooperation with the schools; for more information about specific times for “Mr. Blue Shoes” performances, contact DCCA at 937-547-0908 or at dcca@centerforarts.net.

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