A celebration of collaboration

Notre Dame's arts departments get together to organize a Collaboration of the Arts event for the middle school.

On the evening of Tuesday, May 14, Notre Dame's middle school held its inaugural "Collaboration of the Arts" event. According to Lauren Zajdel, who teaches visual art in the middle school, it was another chance to show how Notre Dame collaborates within its various curricula.

"It was a big hit and we already have it on the calendar for next year," she said. "But back when I experienced my first student art show last spring, we didn't have much of an attendance and I knew that I had to take a different approach for this year. So, with the help of the other middle-school art departments: band, choir and drama, we organized this event and collaboration."

She said they figured it would be a great learning experience and trial run with the potential to continue annually. But most importantly, she added, it would be a great platform to showcase the students and all of their talents. 

"We know how much overlap there is within our departments and so the collaboration just seemed to be a natural thing to do!"

The evening began with with a performance piece compliments of the drama, choir and band departments. Special student awards for each department were announced and distributed, and the evening concluded with beverages and food while attendees toured the middle-school visual art show curated by Zajdel.

Meredith Scott, Notre Dame's theatre director said the various arts departments have been talking about doing an arts night for a few years, but were not quite sure where to start. 

"The middle school seemed like the right place to start," she said. "We all enjoy working together and many of our students are involved in more than one art form or pursuit. To be honest, it was a little overwhelming to figure out how to make this come together the first year. However, creative minds have a way of trusting the process."

Notre Dame Director of Bands Joe Martin also was pleased with the way the event turned out.

"The Collaboration of the Arts was a nice way to recognize the students success to a much broader audience of parents," he said.

Comments or questions? mkelly@ndpma.org.

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About Notre Dame 
Notre Dame is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's lower and middle schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. NDPMA is an International Baccalaureate "World School" and is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers. It is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org