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Mohonasen gets creative at arts festival

Mohonasen High School students at might have felt a little extra creative energy in the atmosphere, as they participated in the Capital Region Media Arts Festival on Thursday, March 26, hosted by Niskayuna High School.

At the festival, student videos, photography, computer art, graphic art, Web page designs, and electronic music were judged by professionals in those fields. In addition, students applying to The New York State Summer School of the Media Arts had their portfolios adjudicated during the festival.

Fifteen high schools from around the Capital District participated in the competition, which was co-hosted by the Capital Region BOCES Arts in Education Program and Niskayuna High School, which has been hosting the program for 11 years.

The highlight is always the work done by kids, said Scott Walroth, Director of Art Education K-12 for the Niskayuna Central School District. "Just the opportunity to have them share their own individual voices and their own individual perspectives through their work with everyone, for me, is always the highlight."

He said the student work provides a glimpse into how young people perceive the world.

"Kids view the world a lot differently than we as adults do, and I always find it refreshing to see what they think and how they feel," said Walroth. "It's something that hopefully will keep all of us young."

Included in the 15 schools that participated were Bethlehem High School, Guilderland High School, Mohonasen High School, North Colonie High School, Scotia Glenville High School, Shenendehowa High School and Voorheesville High School.

Keynote speakers for the event were Ashley Velie and Kevin Monahan, award-winning news anchors from two major television networks. Velie is a producer for "CBS News" and her husband, Monahan, is a producer for "NBC Nightly News."

They shared their experiences of how they got to where they are, including stories of the time they spent covering the news in Afghanistan and Iraq and the challenges they faced being in a different country with a different language, and about "being at the mercy of those who are there to guide you and keep you safe."

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