College Information Night is Here!

Make sure to join us tonight at our annual Fine Arts College Information Night. Registration begins at 6:30 pm at Howard High School in Ellicott City, followed by a short plenary session at 7:00 pm before breaking out into panel discussions for music, theatre, visual art, and dance. At 8:30 pm, there will be an additional session open for financial aid and scholarship information. Our event is growing still, and we would love for you to experience everything College Night has to offer.


2013 Teen Opportunities Fair

Teen Opportunities Fair
Sat., Nov. 16, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
North Laurel Community Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, Laurel

This free event connects teens ages 11-17 with leadership, volunteer and recreational programs in Howard County. Attend powerful presentations, see dynamic demos, and learn about great things teens can do. Get connected to opportunities in academics, art, business, community, finance, government, job skills, leadership, music, nature and outdoors, sports and theater. Learn ways to build your résumé, develop leadership skills, or just have fun.  Student leaders from the Howard County Association of Student Councils (HCASC) will share school leadership opportunities.

Parents are also welcome. For more information, contact Holly Harden at 410-313-4625 or visit

If you attended our College Information Night, you may see some familiar faces at this event, too.

FAAC Update

A new school year has begun, and the FAAC is excited to continue our work with the Howard County Public School System.

State of the Arts in Howard County Schools

We had our first meeting of the 2011-2012 school year on September 19, 2011.  After a brief welcome by FAAC co-chair George Wilson, current and new members of the council introduced themselves and their ties to the arts and the Howard County Public School System.  HCPSS Fine Arts Coordinator Mark Coates presented a State of the Arts.  Highlights from his presentation include:

  • Art labs: programs to assist students in digital media
  • Music Technology labs: MIDI set-ups with keyboards and computers, Sibelius notation software, Smart Music student assistance software, Garage Band
  • All lab spaces to be created or retro-fitted by Summer 2012
  • All high school auditoriums are now centralized in the office of the HCPSS Fine Arts Coordinator
  • Inspections of all high school theaters were performed and funding has been secured to standardize light and sounds systems across all high school theaters
  • 2011-2012 marks the fortieth year of the Columbia Mall Art Show for HCPSS students

College Information Night

Janis McNutt introduced College Information Night, and Stephanie Gurwitz-Zurier provided a brief description and sought volunteers to help moderate panel sessions and other required tasks.  More information will be provided in a later post.

High School Communication Liaisons

It was suggested by a council member that we establish communications liaisons with each school to provide more focused communication with school administrators and teachers.  FAAC would create a newsletter type of communiqué to distribute to the schools and school board members.

Board of Education

Brian Meshkin, HCPSS parent and a member of the Howard County Board of Education, attended our meeting to familiarize himself with the county arts administrators and hear the concerns of all council members.  Mr. Meshkin is quite interested in keeping arts involved with all school in Howard County and taking our schools in a direction that would enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to become STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math).  He sought our ideas and suggestions for improving arts education in HCPSS schools and innovating the teaching of common core subjects to enhance students’ interest in school and improve their test scores.  A council member provided feedback on enhanced arts integration, in particular, at Thunder Hill Elementary and its dramatic effect on their test scores.

Parks and Recreation

Holly, a representative from Howard County Parks and Recreation, was in attendance and seeking a partnership with a HCPSS school to provide an after-school program involving the arts. Her department would be providing the funding for this program.

Openings Within the Committee

Positions for a secretary and website administrator were open and volunteers sought. Katey Pearson, parent and violist, volunteered for the secretary position, and Donna Wiles-Noyes, parent and clarinetist, volunteered for the website administrator position. The FAAC co-chairs and members thank these women for their commitment to our council.

Next FAAC Meeting

The next meeting of the FAAC will be in November. Details will be updated as they are received.

Long Reach High School Student Art Show

click on image to view full size

Columbia Art Center Association presents the Long Reach High School Student Art show at Long Reach Shopping Center.  Student works from Jillian Jenkin’s Art I and Art II are on display from February 22 through February 28.  Join us for a special reception on February 24th, 6:30-8pm.

Long Reach Shopping Center
6100 Foreland Garth
Columbia, MD 21045
Phone: 410-730-0075
Fax: 410-997-2902

Howard County Arts Council’s 2011 Arts Scholarship

Need money for college?  Apply for the Howard County Arts Council’s 2011 Arts Scholarship.

The Council will award a minimum of $10,000 in scholarship funds to students entering college in the 2011-2012 academic year. Scholarships must be used for enrollment in an accredited college program for a degree in the arts.  Applicants must be a legal resident of Howard County. Applications must be postmarked or hand-delivered by Monday, December 13, 2010.

Download the application form here.



The Glee Effect

It appears to be a national trend forming in high school arts programs. It is all because of the Fox TV show “Glee”. Across the nation, more and more students are succumbing to the “Glee Effect” and there seems to be an uptick in enrollment in school choirs and theatre programs. Here is a sampling of articles that were in the press recently.   The first article quotes a Marriotts Ridge Student in the first paragraph.

‘Glee’ puts high school choirs at center stage – Baltimore Sun

The ‘Glee’ effect: Singing is cool again

As one choral teacher gleefully puts it: Singing is cool again.

Glee: How “Glee” is changing high school choir

The “real Will Schuester” explains the way Fox’s hit show is pushing boundaries in a world known for jazz hands

High school choir programs growing fast and gleefully – Wire – Lifestyle –

Gabriel Herrera has never had a Slushy thrown in his face.