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LMHS Dream’s: The 3rd Annual Visual and Performing Arts Extravaganza at La Mirada High School

Academy for Performing Arts

Academy for Performing Arts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Cat Dayco Guerra

While the arts continue to diminish in neighboring schools and districts, the visual and performing arts at La Mirada High School are achieving and growing at record levels.

In the Spring of 2009, La Mirada High School acquired a limited state grant to officially establish the Visual and Performing Arts Academy. The purpose of this academy is to prepare students for a career pathway in the areas of art, dance, music, or theatre and to foster these talents to make a difference in the community and our world. In the first year of the program, a new dance studio and dance program was created with grant funds and funding from the Lucerne Art of Dairy Cow Contest.

A guitar program was started, and the first annual VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts) Extravaganza was held. This event was the first showcase of its kind to present the best of students’ art, dance, music, and theatre combined in one fabulous evening. It was held in the gym, free of charge with an attendance of over 350 people. It was the highlight of the year for students in the Academy and the arts, as they performed and exhibited their talents and also shared in the achievements of their peers. Since one goal of the VAPA Academy is to prepare students to enter the fields of Media Arts and Entertainment as professionals, it seemed logical to move the VAPA Extravaganza from the gym to the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts the following year.

With support from prominent members of the La Mirada community, professionals in the arts, families, staff, teachers, and friends of the high school students, this event themed “Inspire!” was well-attended by over 600 people even with little to no advertisment. Those that attended were very impressed with the high level of performance, the artwork on professional display, so they spread the word.

This year, the third annual VAPA Extravaganza will be held on April 3rd at 6:30 p.m. at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and is expected to sell out.

The theme is “Dream.” Performances will include songs from the first-ever Beauty Shop and Barber Shop Quartets, Musical Theatre, Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, Guitar Class and Choir. Dance performances will be comprised of tap, jazz, hula, hip-hop, ballet, Flamenco, and more. Poetry, speed painting, Shakespeare, and a handful of solo and duet performances will also complete the evening of entertainment. Amazing student artwork will be on display in the lobby.

Also, special performances by students from Benton and a local dance studio will highlight the work of our VAPA Senior Interns. This is an evening you won’t want to miss! Tickets are only $10 and can be purchased at La Mirada High School’s front office from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday or by emailing Cat Guerra at [email protected]. Tickets will be $15 at the door, the day of the event. VIP tickets are also available for $50, which includes hors d’ouvres and a pre-show reception at 5:30 p.m. The arts continue to inspire and make a difference in the lives of our students. Come support their talents at the 3rd annual VAPA Extravaganza, and keep the dream alive!

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