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Barrow County Schools Fine Arts Festival to showcase young artists

WINDER - The windows are covered with original artwork, the lobby is full of displays and performers will present concerts and monologues every night this week at the Professional Development Center in Winder.

About 600 of the county's promising young artists will be showcased during Barrow County Schools' Fine Arts Festival, a week long annual event that celebrates a wealth of creative talent.

"We utilize every inch of space," said Lisa Leighton, spokeswoman for Barrow County schools. "We hang artwork horizontally and cascade them vertically on the walls and even cover the windows with it."

Amanda Partee-Manders, Winder-Barrow High School art teacher, saved her students' work all year for the event.

"If they make a 100 on the project based on effort, growth and creativity, I put it in the festival," she said.

The elementary school honor chorus, with singers from all the county's elementary schools, will kick off the event with a performance at 6:30 p.m. Monday. Thirteen of the county's 16 schools will offer 30-minute performances Tuesday through Friday beginning at 4:30 p.m. Notable performances include the Apalachee High School Jazz Cats, the Statham Elementary School chorus, the Winder-Barrow High School woodwind quintet and the Kennedy Elementary School steel drum band.

"The students built their own steel drums," Leighton said. "It's part of the requirements to be in that band."

The festival will move to the Northeast Georgia Arts and Convention Center when it opens in 2009, said Michael Oubre, WBHS band director.

SideBar: If You Go

What: Barrow County Schools Fine Arts Festival

When: 6:30 p.m. Monday with 30-minute performances beginning at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Visual art displays on exhibit all week beginning at 8 a.m. Monday.

Where: Professional Development Center, 179 W. Athens St., Winder

Cost: Free

For more information: Call 770-867-4527