B.A.M. (Burrell Arts and Music) Night
In the fall of 2013, the music and art department of our district began working with the Arts Education Collaborative in Pittsburgh, PA, to conduct a self-review of our programs. The goal of this review was to be a catalyst for goal-setting, visioning, training, and curriculum re-write. During this process in the fall of 2015, myself, along with our middle school art teacher, began discussing about doing a combined music and art show in our building. After including other arts staff, this discussion quickly became something bigger. Within just a few months, we were involving administration and other staff members from all grades (K-12), and the idea for B.A.M. (Burrell Arts and Music) Night was born. The concept was simple – develop an event where all of the excellent things going on in our arts programs could be displayed and shared with the community. We quickly set the date for our first event, which was held in February 2016. Arts and music staff began working on plans for public displays of art, interactive art pieces, and performances of small and large musical ensembles, as well as soloists. Administration hopped on board with financial support for refreshments, shuttle bus service, and parking police. Many staff members chipped in to help prepare, as well as work at the event. The first event was held February 26, 2016, and EVERY STUDENT in our entire district was involved in some capacity, whether it be a visual art piece or as part of a musical performance. While we didn’t know what to expect audience-wise, a rough head count showed that 1,300-1,500 people attended. Word quickly spread of the excitement of the event to the community. Now planning for our 4th event, we have now grown to a 4-hour event and have added musical theater. In addition, annual attendance now runs around 2,000 people. Our city advertises for us and many elected officials, as well as all of our administration, attend the event. We’ve heard commented by many that this is now “the event” that people look forward to every year in our school district and community. What began as a way to share the arts from our school with the community quickly blossomed into an event that has become a staple within our entire town.
Overview of planning and execution process for this project
- September 2015 – Initial brainstorming between Mr. Querry (Music Dept. Chair) and Mrs. Scheller (MS Art Teacher)
- October/November 2015 – Initial meetings with music and visual art staff to “outline” event, facilities reserved
- December 2015 – Administrative involvement, other teachers get on board, additional details planned – rough schedule for event planned (6-9 PM)
- January 2016 – Planning team meeting – schedule finalized – 3 hour art show, 2 1/2 hours of music ensembles, 3 hours of solo/small groups (in separate space – library turned into “parlor”) – Heavy advertising of event begins
- February 2016 leading up to event – schedules printed, volunteers sought and gathered, flyers go home with students across district
- February 26, 2016 – 1st Annual BAM Night – 1,300-1,500 attend and every district student K-12 involved in some aspect
- April 2016 – reflection meeting
- Each school year since – initial meeting in September, planning through year, event in spring.
- Our 4th Annual BAM Night is scheduled for February 22, 2019. Last year, an estimated 2,000 people attended.
Sponsors/charities/volunteers/ other groups involved in the project and the benefits to each.
Benefit: Showing off district facilities and sharing our arts programs and accomplishments of our students with the community
Numerous student groups setup information and demonstrations at the event, including HS Art Club, HS Drama Club, MS Drama Club, HS Band and Choral Boosters, as well as information from the Arts Education Collaborative
Specific Budget Breakdown
- $1,000 – refreshments
- $150-$200 – parking police and shuttle bus driver salary
- $300 – materials for publicity and promotion and handouts at event
- All other items are part of regularly-budgeted district expenditures, thanks to our district being a big supporter of the arts programs financially. Staff time is all donated.