Day of the Arts tradition continues at Juniata Gap


Danielle Bardelang

Sing along. Juniata Gap’s students join in with a sing-along to end the Day of the Arts. Day of the Arts has been a tradition at the school since the spring of 1998.

On Nov. 10, Juniata Gap students participated in the Day of the Arts activity day. The day consisted of multiple organizations performing for the elementary students, including some from the junior and senior high school.

The Day of the Arts is an annual day full of events that celebrates all forms of arts, some including: painting, dancing, music and theater.  

“The students saw a shortened production by the AAJHS Drama, attended four one hour presentations by various local artists and ended with a special sing along in the gymnasium,” director Tricia Rosas said. 

The Day of the Arts is not a new activity to Juniata Gap, for it has been around since the spring of 1998.

“In the very beginning, we had a few thousand dollars to spend, and each year, the amount was less. At this point, presenters would volunteer their time at best. Now the building has turned into an amazing art museum because of all the volunteer help we have received. Great effort was made to make sure children [at Juniata Gap] were given the experiences with various art forms throughout the day,” former chairperson Donna Preston said. 

This year’s event is the first in three years.

“We had to stop for the past three years due to COVID-19, so finally being able to pick this tradition back up again was really exciting for not only our students, but our staff as well,” Rosas said. 

The event started at 9 a.m. with the mascot and cheerleaders cheering on the children as they exited their buses, and it continued all day until 2:30 p.m. before dismissing the children for the three-day weekend. 

“It is a very fun way to spend my day before leaving for the weekend,” second grade student Brynlee Dryburgh said. 

According to Rosas, some volunteers not only volunteered their time, but also donated snacks, water and materials for the event. 

“We are so blessed to live in a community where the arts are celebrated. Yes, the kids have art class and physical education, but in their art classes there is typically only 30 minutes for kids to do their art. We don’t really ever have time to crack out the paints,” Rosas said. “I also enjoyed watching the kids take part and do things such as dancing and yoga because for a lot of kids, they’ve never really done anything like that before in our school.”

Over the previous years of Day of the Arts, a mural of student artwork has grown throughout Juniata Gap. 

“The fifth grade class was the one who started the mural, and then each class added to it with their own pieces of artwork. Once it dries, then we will be able to hang it up for all students and visitors to enjoy,” Rosas said. 

Dryburgh had more than one favorite experience of the day. She participated in dancing with the high school Lioneers, learned how to do an Irish jig, painted, watched the drama club perform and more. 

“My favorite part was going to the gym to see the drama club perform because my sister is in the drama club. I also liked going to play charades and Simon Says with one of my other teachers,” Dryburgh said.