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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

iCreate 2013

This is the third year of iCreate. It started with Westwinds' desire to partner with local schools in ways that encourage and give a platform to the creativity of children as we celebrate what it means to be human.

My aunt is a published poet. She used to sit with me and write poetry. She encouraged me. She celebrated with me as I put those words to melodies at her Kimball "Magic Chord" organ. That investment she made in me has paid off in my confidence, my skills, my art, and my desire to teach others. It was these memories that funded my dream of iCreate.

3 years ago we began inviting schools to participate in writing poetry based on the themes of perseverance and/or courage. This year we added the theme of hope. The local schools' staffs choose two winning poems from each grade in their school (3-8 grade). Those poems are submitted to the iCreate band made up of local musicians from Westwinds and throughout Jackson. On the night of March 6, the band will reveal songs written from the children's poetry in a multimedia concert extravaganza at the historic Michigan Theatre.

Students have an opportunity to win art scholarships, gift certificates, recognition in front of their family and peers, and (best of all for many of them) the chance to have their poetry turned into a song that will be written and performed by local musicians and songwriters. One Grand Prize winner will receive a brand new guitar and guitar lessons.

The evening of the performance, students will arrive and be escorted down a red carpet surrounded by screaming fans with cameras. Inside the historic theatre, guests will be treated to a video about the history of iCreate full of interviews with children and faculty of local schools. With no time to waste, the band will reveal song after song. Country, blues, bluegrass, rock, punk, reggae, folk . . . they've all been done before.

This is what local schools are saying:

"The iCreate" project has really created quite a stir at Bean Elementary. We had a large number of students participate last year, and expect even more to jump on board this year. This has given students a valuable opportunity to showcase their creative writing skills and to watch in amazement as their words are put to music. Watching kids light up at the realization that their words can move others is so rewarding and fun to see. We're excited to partner with our friends at Westwinds!”

–Mike Ykimoff, Principal, Bean Elementary School

"iCreate has motivated Paragon students to take their writing to the next level. When students see their poetry come alive thought music, their faces light up. We are grateful to be a part of an event that builds success in our school and community."

–Zack Perfitt, Principal, Paragon Charter Academy

Join us Wednesday, March 6 at 6:30 at the Michigan Theatre in downtown Jackson.

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