Monday, December 4, 2017

Creative Arts Festival in the Small Church School

Creative Festivals Facts:
1. The Antiochian Orthodox Department of Christian Education organizes the Creative Arts Festival which includes art, photography, poetry, and creative writing.
2. The Antiochian Orthodox Department of Youth organizes the Bible Bowl.
3. The Antiochian Orthodox Department of Youth organizes the Oratorical Festival.
Full details through this link:

Let's focus on the Creative Arts Festival (#1 above) and how to get started with organizing a festival in a small church school. Joy Wise, Church School Teacher and Creative Arts Festival (CAF) Coordinator at St. Thomas Antiochian Orthodox Church, Snohomish, WA shares how CAF workshops are organized in this small church school:

"I made the decision for students to work on their CAF projects during Sunday School classes. I spent time getting familiar with the theme and the lesson plans, which I found invaluable. I was working with middle school aged kids, and spent about three weeks developing the theme with them. I took it in small chunks and encouraged them to relate the theme to what they see/experience in Liturgy. The lesson plans were really great. I looked at the plans for all ages, and ended up using ideas from each of them. I also used a vlog from "Be the Bee." It helped to expand the theme." Since we are a small parish, we have chosen to teach the CAF Theme throughout the year in our Sunday School classes, and will focus on the actual art projects on a quarterly basis. We want to stretch it out in order to develop the theme thoroughly. The theme has so many layers, and we want to make sure that each student has the time to understand the theme and how it relates to Liturgy, to their community, and to themselves. So we will review it throughout the year as we work on the art projects."

Lesson plans for Creative Festivals 2018 for grades PK-12 are available at

Gathering Materials for Creative Arts Festival Workshops:
"I found that it is helpful to have good quality poster board. This is the base of every project. Pay attention to the size requirements of the CAF. I had all kinds of crafting materials: colored pencils, paints, glue, scissors, straight edges, lots of scrapbooking paper and card stock, colored pens, glitter. I gathered it all at sales and with coupons. The main thing is to have the materials displayed in a way that is easy for the students to access. And, it is helpful that the kids have a nice space to work in."

Creative Arts Festival Eligibility, Rubrics, Submission Requirements:
"Familiarize yourself with the CAF website. Look everything over so that you know the rubrics for each entry. Contact the CAF director for your diocese. Let them know that you will be participating. Ask if you can help them in anyway and if they have any further requirements. You have to think ahead to get ready for shipping the artwork. Make sure that you know the "due date." "


Assistance with the Creative Festivals is always available from the Antiochian Orthodox Department of Christian Education. Rosemary Shumski is the Departmental Administrator for the Creative Festivals and can be reached through email, or by calling 717-747-5221.

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