Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival Brings Arts to Students

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(Photo courtesy The Music Center) - Kathleen Kane Eberhardt, Terri Kohl, Valerie Foster Hoffman, Andrea Greene Willard, Margaret Sheehy Collins, Annette Ermshar, Nancy Van Tuyle, Gretchen Valentine were among the local women who helped organize and support The Music Center’s Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival.

First published in the April 7 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.

A group of local women who are members of the Blue Ribbon committee, the women’s support organization of The Music Center, recently hosted the Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival, their annual event and California’s longest continuing free arts education program, according to event organizers.
It has welcomed more than 890,000 students since its inception in 1970. Fifth-grade students from throughout Los Angeles County are invited to experience a live performance at The Music Center. This year, the festival spanned four days with two performances each day at The Music Center’s Jerry Moss Plaza.
Students were entertained by the Versa-Style Dance Company, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit and hip-hop dance ensemble.
Attending schools received advance standard-based curriculum materials, background on the artists and classroom activities designed to prepare students for the performance they would be seeing.
The Music Center’s event also featured choreography, inspired by the dance company, for the students to perform together after the completion of each performance.
Students also learned about audience etiquette, what to watch for during the performance, as well as dance history and terminology.
More than 100 Blue Ribbon members volunteered over the four-day festival to keep the event running smoothly and make the students feel welcome at The Music Center. Due to COVID-19 closures, the festival was presented virtually in both 2020 and 2021.
The co-chairs of this year’s in-person Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival were Pasadena resident Annette Ermshar as well as Grazyna Simon. Terri Kohl is the Blue Ribbon president.

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