Hills Grammar ArtsBeat – a Community Treat
Two weeks of celebrating a wide variety of artistic endeavours ended with a bang on September 1! The final day of ArtsBeat offered families a quality artisan’s market day with old fashioned fair games, live entertainment, a wonderful production of Peter and the Wolf narrated by celebrity Penny McNamee and a beautiful picnic setting for the big finale – a spectacular fireworks display by Howard and Sons. The inaugural arts festival set a cracking pace with over thirty events, workshops and activities for school and community families; from Shakespeare to slam poetry, concerts to creative writing, debating to dance and claywork to calligraphy. Hills Grammar opened its creative doors to all!
“The campus was transformed into a huge sculpture garden with students’ artwork displayed throughout the gardens and lawns,” commented Co-ordinator Cate Redman. “The annual book parade wound its way through the bush where parents had a great view of the characters as well as the sculptures. It was wonderful to welcome so many friends and families to the school over these two weeks. We will be announcing next year’s festival theme soon – stay tuned.”
Supporting our farmers
The devastating effect of the drought has touched the hearts and minds of all Australians. Community groups, schools and individuals are supporting fundraising drives with love and conviction. Hills Grammar is no different. From the 3 year old to 18 year old students and their families, a raft of initiatives have gained momentum to help our farming community in NSW.
A gold coin donation day (Pre-School to Year 12) started the ball rolling and staff joined in with the ‘paper variety’ donation at staff meetings. The ArtsBeat Aussie Bush Dance featuring Sydney’s premier bush band, the Inland Navigators, was the perfect forum to bring further awareness to this cause. The crowd was entertained by songs of shearers, farmers, stockmen and convicts. Proceeds from the bake sale and sausage sizzle raised more money for the farmers.
Individual students were particularly moved by the plight of the farmers and made personal contributions. Year 5 student Lachlan Ashenden made and sold his handmade “Furever Friends” at the ArtsBeat artisan markets. All proceeds from his handmade face washer friends were donated to the appeal. Six year old Yug Katiyar in Kindergarten decided that instead of receiving presents for his 6th birthday he would ask his friends and family to donate to the farmers instead. Both boys raised over $1000 for the appeal. There was even a corporate matching gift!
The school community also donated over 40 formal dresses, suits, bags and shoes to the Canowindra community so that farming families could enjoy the traditions of a school formal without needless expense. There will, no doubt, be further creative ideas and actions to come but for now we thank the Hills community for their generosity and care for a great cause.