Day-long Festival Celebrates Arts in the Middle School

(Written by Grade 10 World of Work Intern Lonneke vandenAkker. Photos by Grade 10 World of Work Interns Linus Kuehl and Ben Kwon.)

On Wednesday, the center of the WAB campus transformed into a performance hub of theaters, stages, and galleries.

It was part of an annual festival celebrating the arts, with live music, drama, art, film and, for the second year, design exhibitions. Now in its tenth year, WAB's MADDFest (Music, Arts, Drama, Design, Film Festival) has become a tradition, showcasing the artistic talents and efforts by our developing Middle School students.

Focused around the theme "This is Us," some students created and performed original drama pieces related to their school life, while others performed musical numbers from their favorite movies.

Grade 8 student Oscar Shiel was displaying a massive piece of artwork in the HUB. He said MADFest at WAB allows him to explore creativity and self-expression and is a representation of how the arts are a part of our lives and used to inspire others.

"Everything isn't about the 1s and 0s. It is about being who you are," he said, while standing in front of his art exhibition, one of the largest and most colorful on display in the building. "You have to be creative; life is creative."

Throughout the school year, students have a variety of opportunities to take part in the arts, both for curriculum courses and outside of the classroom as extracurricular. The day-long festival is a culmination a year of learning, but also a symbol of WAB's special connection with the arts.

"People need to be creative. It is our way of expressing ourselves," said Jessica Chang, WAB's head of Middle School Arts, noting that the arts allows people to reflect and find unique avenues to demonstrate their ideas, aspirations, and passions. "It is a way for our imaginations to become reality."

An opening ceremony set the stage for the day, featuring guest performances of modern Chinese dance, acrobatics, and hula hoop. There were also a variety of workshops students attended with professionals to study their crafts. The energy and dedication displayed by the performers inspired the students to bring their passion into the day's activities.

To learn more about how WAB students explore the arts, visit our Middle School Learning page.