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Turning fortune into art

January 26, 2012
By Kathleen Palumbo , Town Crier correspondent

Following months of preparation, for the student participants who recently performed in Canfield High School's "Synergy of the Arts," success was in fact written in the stars.

Bringing together CHS students of the arts, "Synergy of the Arts" celebrated its third year in production at the school on Friday, Jan. 6 under the direction of CHS guidance counselor and Drama Club advisor, Dr. Becky Heikkinen, who said she had initially read about the program in a theater journal which chronicled a small community's involvement in it.

The program itself entails the choice of a "fortune," by Heikkinen. Having begun preparations in September, according to Heikkinen, participants chose to work either independently or in a group, and were given one week to come up with their creation when it became their turn. The first group, which was the only one with whom the fortune message was shared, performed for the following group, based on the inspiration they gained from the chosen message.

Article Photos

Photo special to the Town Crier
Wearing an original design by CHS student Libby Urig, pictured at right, is fellow student Alicia Smith. The two worked as a team for the third annual “Synergy of the Arts” program held Jan. 6 at Canfield High School.

Week by week, one group would perform for the following, with each gaining inspiration from the previous, with the first group remaining the only one aware of the words that inspired the creative process.

On the night of the public performance, when all of the students perform not only for the public, but for one another, Heikkinen offers up a giant fortune cookie and the original saying which inspired the evening's performances.

Student Libby Urig, who designed a dress worn by fellow student Alicia Smith, said she began her foray into sewing when her grandmother "decided" she would make a good seamstress. Graduating from a kid's sewing machine to a real one, Urig said she joined 4-H's "Ready to Sew" program and eventually won first prize in the county fair.

Having incorporated her sewing prowess into her first involvement with the "Synergy of the Arts" program, "It's a wonderful skill to have," said Urig.

Nathalie McClune, who has participated in "Synergy of the Arts" for each of its three years at CHS, this year using digital arts, said she enjoys seeing everyone's reaction and hearing what they like the best about the program.

With the message "It's never too late to become what you might have been," having kicked off the initial group and in turn spurred the creativity of numerous CHS student participants, "Synergy of the Arts" saw a third successful year of production.

"Synergy of the Arts" is a fundraiser for the Canfield Players Drama Club, as it begins preparations for its spring musical, "Thoroughly Modern Millie" which will be offered from March 29 through the 31.



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