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Utopian Academy For The Arts| Georgia Approved Charter Middle School » Budding Actors, Culinary Arts Students Shine In Spotlight At Dinner Theater

Budding Actors, Culinary Arts Students Shine In Spotlight At Dinner Theater

NMS_5618 More than 350 people attended Utopian Academy for the Arts’ Black History Month Dinner Theater in Forest Park last week. The show, “A Letter to my Young Brothers and Sisters” combined the talents of the school’s budding actors, film editors, singers, dancers, and chefs.   Scholars shared original essays on heroes and pivotal moments in black history. Some also highlighted present day issues facing African-Americans. Students wrote fictional messages from slavery, the civil rights struggle, the Birmingham church bombing, the Black Lives Matter movement, and other topics.   “They did a superb job,” Sharon Daniel, board chair for Utopian Academy, said of the students. “They are the reason why we fought so hard to open this school. We wanted them to have a quality education with opportunities like this that allow them to showcase their talents and intellectual abilities.”   One of the highlights of the evening was a moving dance routine to the song “Glory.” Students walked across a human bridge on the backs of dancers symbolizing the historic march in Selma at Edmund Pettis Bridge.   “It was great,” said Xavier Poindexter, a seventh grader who sang in the chorus. “I really liked it.”   Poindexter said he was also happy that all artistic departments highlighted student work. This is the second major production at Utopian Academy that involved all disciplines.   Choral students sang “Stand Up For Love” and “The Run Away.” Culinary arts students served up hot plates filled with generous portions of grilled chicken, macaroni and cheese, and green beans. Visual arts students turned a corner of the auditorium into a makeshift gallery where they hung vivid paintings and displayed framed sketches. A video created by broadcast arts students was met with applause after its debut during intermission.   Ebonne Craft, director of Fine Arts at Utopian Academy and executive producer of the program, was “impressed” by the quality of the student work featured. Students received a thunderous applause for the contributions as they took a bow.   Craft said the monologues were assigned as a class project that combined lessons taught in social studies and language arts. The scholars with the best essays were chosen to appear in the Black History Month program. “Writing the monologues challenged students to look at current events and historical events and to give their viewpoints,” Craft said. “The goal of the evening was to spark dialogue between parents and their children about important issues from the past and present.”   Artesius Miller, executive director and founder of Utopian Academy, applauded the efforts of faculty and students. “I’d like to thank Miss Craft and the rest of the arts department for their hard work and creative vision for this program,” Miller said. “Our students did a wonderful job.” NMS_5616 NMS_5624 NMS_5617 NMS_5619

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