TJC students ready to shine in the Arts Festival

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Although it’s never been done before, it goes on all the time.

“When we started the Bell Tower, it was always my goal to maybe expand it into an arts festival,” English professor and Department Chair of the Humanities, Dr. Linda Gary said. “We’ve got the best arts programs around, I came from Dallas and what really impressed me was the incredibly rich arts programs, music and dance, and what other school does The Nutcracker every year?”

Tyler Junior College’s inaugural Arts Festival will be a collaboration of all the campus’ art departments, hosted the week of April 10-17, 2015.

Each art department on campus will have a different event taking place. Art, dance, music, theatre, visual communications, literature, and more departments will host their events “all day long,” Gary said.

“It’s coordinating things we’re already doing, all this stuff, there’s nothing unique here. All the performances, exhibits and all that, the departments are already doing,” Art department chair Chris Stewart said. “It’s a good opportunity to say this isn’t anything special, this is what the arts on the TJC campus traditionally does, we just organized it.”

There will be a mix of students, faculty, guests, people from the community and even high school students who have joined together to showcase the arts as one.

It’s “all about the students here” visual communications Professor Tamara Haynes said. And once again “most of this stuff are things we do anyway, but getting it all together and introducing it all together in a fine art.”

Although this will be a week to show what the arts at TJC are truly capable of, what the departments do for the students is what’s really special.

The main purpose is to “highlight the arts programs that hone students talents and provide them with opportunity to build their skills and experience so that when they transfer … and when they get there they have a skill set that their peers at that school don’t have,” Dr. Gary said.

Stewart adds, “College is more than some classes and studying what you think you should study. Higher education is more than just learning a specific area, there are a lot of things out there which can enrich your lives.”

“TJC has been here 80 plus years and has a long and rich history, but one thing that can happen is people take you for granted,” Dr. Gary said.

That’s why it is so important to have events like an arts festival, because it reminds the community why you’re here and what you have to offer.

“I think the arts are terribly important for anyone, for a community, they speak of who we are, the human experience. TJC is very fortunate that they have the quality programs in the areas that they do,” Stewart said.

Dr. Gary concludes, “Our goal is to generate an even greater community interest in TJC, we want parents and students to say ‘why would you go anywhere else’?”

For more information on events contact 903-510-3515 or at lgar@tjc.edu or tjc.edu/artsfestival.

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