ISAS Arts Festival
The ISAS Arts Festival is coming back to Holland Hall!
The Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) Arts Festival began in 1967 with an invitation from the Casady School Choir to the choirs of Wichita Collegiate and Holland Hall to participate in a collaborative program. Since then, the Festival has grown to be the nation’s premiere annual regional arts festival among independent schools. This will be Holland Hall’s seventh time to host the festival. (1969, 1973, 1984, 1994, 1999, 2005).
Q: What is the ISAS Arts Festival?
A: The Festival is an annual, 3-day performing and visual-arts showcase for upper-school students from schools in the ISAS (Independent Schools Association of the Southwest). The 2020 festival will bring more than 3,500 students and guests to Holland Hall April 2-4, 2020.
Q: How will the Festival affect the campus? What happens each day?
A: The Festival will occupy almost every building and outdoor space on our campus. Parking for Holland Hall volunteers/faculty/students during the Festival will be available at a nearby parking lot, and shuttles will bring us on and off campus. Multiple tents will be set-up to house dining and outdoor venues. Set-up for these will commence on or before Thursday, March 26, 2020.
Q: What is the Holland Hall school schedule the week of March 30–April 4, 2020?
A: Monday, March 30 — All Branches in Regular Session
Tuesday-Wednesday, March 31-April 1 (8:00 am – 4:30 pm)
- Primary School — All Classes in Regular Session
- Grades 4-6 — No Classes
- Grades 7-12 — ISAS Service Day
- Parent Volunteers — ISAS Service Day
Thursday-Saturday, April 2-4 — ISAS Arts Festival, campus closed to all except Festival participants and faculty/student/parent volunteers
Q: What actually occurs during the Festival?
A: Participating students exhibit and perform their work in the visual and performing arts, and attend other schools’ performances and exhibits. Workshops in the various art areas are also planned. The Festival is an intense learning opportunity and a lot of fun. Many students say the ISAS Arts Festival is a highlight of their school years. Each visiting school is assigned a “homeroom.” Buses from 50+ schools start arriving mid-morning on Thursday, April 2. After check-in, students will install their artwork, prepare to perform, and they attend the arts venues with concurrent shows and workshops until 10:00 pm. Friday, April 3, is a full day, with students on-campus from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm for performances and workshops. Saturday, April 4, is another early start, and the Festival wraps up by about 12:30 pm. Out-of-town participants spend the nights at local hotels.
Q: Will Holland Hall students participate in the Festival?
A: Students who are members of vocal music, instrumental music, and dance ensembles and the theater and visual arts programs will get specific information from their teachers. There is also an opportunity for students not participating as performers/artists to serve as festival volunteers. Specific questions about participation may be addressed to the Festival Coordinator or the Upper School Dean of Students.
Q: How will the Festival impact athletics and competitions?
A: All on-campus practices and competitions will be suspended on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The schedule for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday will be determined by the Holland Hall Athletic Director to accommodate on-campus festival preparations – more info to come.
Q: Where will everyone eat?
A: We will set up a food tent, seating approximately 3,000 people and meals will be provided:
- Thursday — Box lunch option, dinner
- Friday — Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Saturday — Breakfast and box lunch
Food truck vendors and the concession stands will have additional food options for sale.
Q: As a parent or alumni, can I volunteer to be a part of the Festival?
A: Absolutely! In fact, your participation is needed! We have needs for venue set up and take down, monitoring of non-performance spaces such as vending, dining, or hospitality areas, and supervision of the campus offering assistance to our guests. We will need volunteers Tuesday, March 31-Sunday April 5. We will have volunteer sign up opportunities posted on our School’s website in the months and weeks leading up to the Festival. Sign up for as many shifts as you like! You must be signed up for a shift to be admitted to the Festival on that day.
Q: How is the ISAS Arts Festival organized?
A: The Festival is organized into venues:
- Musical Theater and Dance
- Choir and Show Choir
- Band, Jazz Band, and Orchestra
- 2-D and 3-D Art, Photography and Digital Imaging
- Vocal and Instrumental Solos/Small Ensembles
- Theater Scenes and Monologues
- One-Act Plays
- Coffee House
- Film and Video
- Drum Line
For the opening on Thursday until closing on Saturday, events occur simultaneously. Students are encouraged to attend different performances or workshops. All events are monitored by parent and faculty volunteers.
Q: How can I find out the details about the schedule?
A: Detailed information will appear at hollandhall.org/ISAS 2020 leading up to the Festival.
Q: Are students competing for awards and trophies?
A: The Festival is non-competitive, but all performances and artworks are critiqued by professionals in the performing and visual arts. Critiques are provided by arts educators who provide encouraging, constructive comments. For example, in the performing arts, the adjudicator listens to the performance and writes comments, such as “consider this approach” or “excellent intonation.” The written critiques are provided to each school. If time permits, the adjudicator might work with the performers, and the other participants and audience get to hear the remarks. In the visual arts, each student artist has a few minutes with the adjudicator, who might say, “I like your concept; tell me why you took that approach,” or “you have an interesting theme; consider expanding it this way,” with the artist’s classmates and teachers in attendance.
Q: Can parents, alumni, and friends drop by and watch the students perform?
A: Security is the School’s top concern; therefore the School will be on lock-down for the entire Festival. Only people involved in the Festival in an official capacity may be on campus. This means that only volunteers who are signed up in advance and Holland Hall faculty and staff may come to the Festival (besides the 3,500+ registered, participating students and chaperones).