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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Artz Week/24/Daze" by John Lategan

To the matrics who were wrongly denied their Arts Celebration; and an appeal to review the Arts programme for 2011.

Months upon months pass of sports matches, derby days, swimming pool fund-raising and calls for better and more sport facilities. But the damp in the bands' rehearsal space, the cramped-ness of the music room and the lack of a devoted theatre-facility is ignored: the Chapel is a chapel and the hall architecturally prevents sound from developing and thus cannot, rather, should not be used for plays and orchestral or band performances; 'twas designed for indoor sports.

So after having to endure all that, the one short week that the school focused on the Arts was always the highlight of my year. It may not necessarily have been everyone's highlight, but absolutely everyone did enjoy Artz Week. It was - besides Founders' Day, which does not really count as a student orientated tradition - the only tradition that the College recognized.

Artz Week was great. All the arts were acknowledged and it fit into the school time table beautifully. There'd be normal lessons, because the academic programme ought not to be interrupted. The Art Exhibition would take place in the hall for the duration of the week. Read and Current Affairs - two non-academic periods - would be used for Interhouse Debating and other presentations. A performer or troupe would entertain us in the last two period of Wednesday and another on Friday. And of course, the most beloved of all activities: the Interhouse Singing and Plays. These would happen in the evenings.

Thus, at most, two hours thirty minutes of actual lesson-time would be missed in that entire week; but those two and a half hours were enjoyed to the utmost by the student body, and it was a worthy tradition to uphold.

Artz 24 was introduced in 2009. It was one single day dedicated to the Arts: one day that failed. That is the truth; and we should not be ashamed to admit that Arts 24 did not succeed as well as it could have.

Because it was only one day, planning a decent programme was difficult. There was no build-up to the Interhouse Singing. The Art exhibition was only attended to for one day. the 'non-interhouse plays' were under-supported: as few people were involved and they had no Interhouse spirit. All the other Arts-week related events were cancelled. Artz 24 was an entire day missed, and not fully enjoyed.

As a result, we celebrated Artz Daze this year. I must admit that Daze was rather enjoyable; and that I was hoping to write about how bad Artz Daze was and that we need Artz Week back. But I cannot. However, the school needs to return to the original principles of Artz Week! Revive the tradition!

The Arts should be celebrated over a few days. The eisteddfod was an awesome idea (thumbs-up Chapman). My only regret is that I couldn't experience more: that is the unfortunate side of having the different sections run simultaneously.

If we celebrate the arts over a longer period of time, we can bring back Interhouse Singing and the Interhouse Plays, the essence of the Arts Celebration. Incorporate these into the eisteddfod and still bring in professional performers -that is a sure way of truly celebrating the arts.

Substantailly less (about four hours less) lesson time was "lost" during Arts Week than during both Artz 24 and Artz Daze. There is no just reason not to Celebrate, Appreciate and Sophisticatedly Elaborate on the Arts!


  1. Best article, school-related, ever. Us grade elevens did not even get to enjoy the excitement of planning for the inter house singing - an event looked forward to by most participants. And if you asked a teacher - actually any teacher - they just said they do not know why I we must ask somebody else.Pretty much the school took most things away that is looked forward to when reaching you prime senior years.

  2. Well DONE JOHN, I agree 100% but one could argue, that with one day dedicated to waltzing around and listening to the odd eisteddfod piece is certainly academically unproductive. A whole week of restless kids and interrupted routines is a lot more unproductive and negatively affecting the "learning".

    I believe that as a school we NEED inter house singing and plays as it balances out the different facets and "egos" within the school. I do recall some dignitaries stating that the, "Inter house plays are not good theater and therefore are a waste of time and energy!" and it rightfully shouldn't be "good theater". As these are school kids practicing/workshopping something together in the last moment. They are meant to be bad. In the same breath funny and tasteful as well and that is what they are.

  3. I agree many people don't like the idea of interhouse singing because of the fact that it takes up time and usually ends up with a house singing a corny or overplayed song, but just think there is already so little interhouse pride in how long will they decide that the houses should just be dropped because no one cares?

  4. Y do some comments not GET ADDED?

    My previous comment of the Singing being a plot to become prefects(which was completely PC) was not added but other comments have been added subsequently? Is someone just fiddling with the screening process? Yes, No, NO, Yes, Yes, Yes, No, no... :|

  5. Yes. Comments (esspecially those from 'Anonymous') get moderated.

  6. True. Artz Daze was fun, mostly. But people prefer comedians to relatively boring plays. So yes you can have a shorter arts program that arts week by people will enjoy it is you fill the time with things that people are interested like the comedian and the magician we had during current affairs.

  7. As a grade 8 this year I was looking forward to the interhouse plays and singing. I was very upset when they were cancelled. I think the Artz week should be brought back, as there is (probably, I wouldn't really know) more time therefore more "productions" which would be better prepared for. Artz week sounds like alot more fun!!