Valparaiso Community Schools: Spring into the @rts Fruition

Valparaiso-Community-Schools-Spring-into-the-Arts-FruitionWritten by Jessica Corral, Spring into the @arts Coordinator and Art Teacher at Flint Lake Elementary Schools
A mere walk in the woods on an early August day, and suddenly an inkling urges you to veer off the path. Then, they reveal themselves ... black raspberries bursting to perfection, juxtaposed in the sun amid a thin blanket of shade.

The timing, the location, the combination of elements, the inkling ... it is serendipitous. Any berry lover understands the significance of such a moment. Much like a fisherman to his catch, an artist to her craft, a teacher to her learners; we unexpectedly arrive at rewarding moments.

Spring into the @rts started as a solution-seeking venture, one focused on providing students with an incredible, districtwide, art experience. It has organically grown into quite a vision, drawing in key ingredients from our community to help it ripen.

Developing a student-centered art festival is a bit more complex than berry picking. Luckily, the collaborative opportunities harvested from this outreach extend far beyond the seed planted in June 2015.

Take, for instance, the grand opening of Valpo Art House & Gallery, which will feature VCS sixth through 12th grade student artwork during The @rt-chitecture Walk, and just so happens to pair up with our official kickoff day on April 22. Astounding.

Or, consider the partnerships with VCS STEM and robotics teachers who will provide a student-operated technological platform via The STE@M Show. Priceless.

And of course there is the live production with Valparaiso University theater majors and our very own Flint Lake second-graders to be performed at our featured event, "The@ter Outreach." Speechless!

We also are excited about the celebratory "We @RT Valpo" film developed by VCS staff and Career Center students to be unveiled at our first Valpo Film Festival!

Jaw dropping.

The timely partnerships don't stop there. We are working on featuring Hot Shop, Valpo's latest glass installation at Valparaiso University, establishing Valpo's first student film competition, inviting VU and community artists to display artwork in participating businesses and providing a multitude of platforms for the performing arts, (specifically highlighting Flint Lake choir students). The list keeps on growing.

Like fruit grown from rich soil, we are reaping rewards thanks to partnerships with our district, community, Valpo businesses and organizations.

There are several ways to support our Spring into the @rts Festival. Be a sponsor! Be a donor! Be a volunteer! You can certainly show support by attending our slated events or visiting us online at

We are seeking artists who have a variety of talent and styles to be featured at our closing event, “Where Did V@n Gogh.” Please email with three or four images of your work to be considered.