Department to Open Student Art Exhibit and Host Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for National PTA's Reflections Program Winners

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For nearly half a century, the National PTA has inspired millions of students to become involved in the arts through its Reflections Program, and each year many of the winners are recognized at the U.S. Department of Education with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open an exhibit of their artwork. On Tuesday, Jan. 14, Acting U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Jim Shelton and National PTA President Otha Thornton will give keynote remarks at the opening in the Department’s Auditorium at 400 Maryland Ave., S.W. They will be joined by Executive Director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Rachel Goslins and Reflections Committee Chair Dawn Small.

The speakers will focus on the significance of the arts, the benefits of arts education and the importance of integrating the arts into the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In addition to the 65 pieces of art work in the exhibit, the highlight of the event will be performances by award-wining students Bailey Callahan, an awardee for her music composition "The Magic of Moments" in the Middle School Division, and Jessica Clay, an awardee for her dance choreography “Born to Be Somebody” in the Special Artist Division.

Since its inception more than 40 years ago, the National PTA's Reflections Program has encouraged millions of students in preschool through high school across the nation and in American schools overseas to explore their artistic talents, in dance choreography, film production, libraries, musical composition, photography, and the visual arts.

The exhibit will be displayed at the Department until Feb. 27, 2014. The theme of this year's program is "The Magic of the Moment."

The Department's Student Art Exhibit Program, now in its 11th year, features visual art created by students in U.S. and international schools, and provides students and teachers an opportunity to display creative work from the classroom and promote art as an effective path to learning and knowledge.