For Douglas High School students, the end of last school year brought feelings of excitement, but also brought dread and fear at the thought of losing some of their favorite arts programs.
To bring awareness of the importance of these programs, "Arts and Ag in the Park" is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 13 in Minden Park.
The event will showcase Douglas High programs, including drama, drawing and painting, photography, screenprinting, ceramics, culinary arts, and agriculture.
"What's really important to know about this event is that it is organized, run, and executed by students, with the advice of a few caring adults who are the heads of each of the programs," said Carson Costa, the founder and organizer of the event.
There will be a live photo shoot, art, including pieces from drawing and painting, photography, ceramics, and screenprinting. There will also be brief performances by the drama club and some floriculture, which is no longer offered at DHS.
For children, there will be color mosaic crafts, improvisation games, a petting zoo, and cookie decorating.
The event itself will be free, but there will be food and art for sale.
"When they told me the drama program may be lost in the budget cuts, it felt like I'd been hit in the stomach with a baseball bat," said Costa.
It was during a brainstorm session that Costa came up with the concept for Arts and Ag in the Park.
Costa said there's really nothing these programs can not do.
"None of the brilliant programs at DHS deserve to be cut; they are all run by passionate people, and the students who participate in them love what they do and the people they do it with. I wanted to save them all, but knew it wasn't possible," she said. "These programs mean a lot to the students. They're more than just hobbies. I know tons of kids, just from the drama program, who say the club saved them, whether it be from a lack of hope, a lack of friends, or a lack of confidence. These programs develop into families and support groups."
To give these programs the support and recognition they deserve, Costa turned to Minden Town Board Member Roxanne Stangle for help. Together, they began planning an event which would bring these programs out into the community.
"I just hope that this event will help gain more support from the community," Costa said. "I believe that with enough support behind them, all of these programs will survive the recession and be able to flourish when times are better. For now, that's the most important thing."
IF YOU GO
What: Arts and Ag in the Park
Where: Minden Park
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 13