Arts Boosters—A Parent’s Experience on the Group that Adds Creative Flair to MICDS Arts
MICDS is thrilled to have such a bright and vibrant committee that supports the Arts at our School, the Arts Boosters. Arts Boosters is a parent-led volunteer group within the Parents Association that any current MICDS parent or guardian is welcome to join. The group supports the visual and performing arts by promoting and sponsoring special events for our MICDS Arts programs throughout the year. MICDS Arts include band, choir, orchestra, theater, and visual arts.
We recently interviewed one of the 2022-23 Arts Boosters Co-Chairs Dr. Shalini Paruthi P’25, ’28. Read on to learn more about Arts Boosters from the parent perspective including what Arts Boosters does, its impact, and how to get involved. Be creative, Rams!
Q: What inspired you to become involved in Arts Boosters initially and what inspired you to lead it now?
A: The mission of Arts Boosters is inspiring: “The MICDS Parents Association Arts Boosters committee is dedicated to raising school spirit across all arts by encouraging participation and engagement. Arts include band, choir, dance, orchestra, theater, and studio arts. Be creative, Rams!”
The arts inspire me daily. From the music I wake up to and the drawings on the walls at home and in my office, to dramatic performances from my children about the choices for dinner or just listening to them practice the viola or saxophone, art truly makes my heart happy! Thus, when Arts Boosters was being revived this year, I was delighted to be asked to take on the role of Parent Liaison to the Orchestra. The Arts allow our children excellent opportunities for personal and emotional development, collaboration with their peers, and bring our community together. There are even studies showing that exposure to the Arts improves cognitive development, language skills, and academic performance in children. Arts Boosters raises school spirit around the Arts program, complementing the strong school spirit for sports and academic programs.
Q: What do you like about Arts Boosters?
A: I love that Arts Boosters is about encouraging the participation and engagement of our students, parents, staff, and faculty within our MICDS community. We have parent liaisons for each area of the Arts. The parents on our committee have been absolutely wonderful to work with, and we learn from each other, sharing ideas and helping each other out. Parents Kelly Wright P’25, ’27, ’29 and Kelly LaMartina P’22, ’25 have been instrumental in reviving Arts Boosters and providing guidance. For example, Arts Boosters has sponsored and assisted with receptions for studio art exhibits, choir concerts, band concerts, and orchestra concerts. Additionally, Arts Boosters supports meals during rehearsals and performances by the theater and choir students. The combination of arts + food + fun can be powerful for bringing people together!
Q: What do you do as part of Arts Boosters? What impact does Arts Boosters make?
A: Arts Boosters brings cheer! This year, Charger the Ram, our mascot, made appearances at the orchestra and band concert receptions, as well as Arts Fest. The high-fives, laughter, smiles, selfies, and hugs say it all—Arst Boosters aims to bring families and school faculty/staff together to cheer for our students’ creativity, whether that is in the form of dancing, singing, drawing, making music with instruments, or communicating stories. We are here to encourage and support their imaginations, collaborations, and growth! Arts Boosters strives to boost school and community participation and cheer for the Arts program led by the very multi-talented MICDS JK-12 Arts Department Chair Jo Nardolillo. We hold fundraisers and support activities and initiatives of the Arts Department. Also, Arts Boosters helps to increase the level of excitement as was clearly visible during Arts Fest, with a guest appearance by Charger, a photo booth, sidewalk chalk drawings, musical tattoos, colorful musical maracas, and a reusable bag to take home all that swag! Planning for next year has already begun! So far, we are aware of approximately 50 arts events for the 2023-24 year!
Q: What’s a favorite moment you’ve experienced as part of Arts Boosters?
A: The most recent orchestra concert on May 2 was my favorite! The performances were just magical by the students in Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School. There was thunderous applause by the audience of family members and friends wanting more! It was wonderful to see the seniors celebrated and the gratitude by students and families for their musically-brilliant teachers. During the reception sponsored by Arts Boosters, students were introducing their families to other students and families, all while enjoying delicious snacks and beverages. All were congratulating the students on all the hours of practice culminating in their uplifting and emotional performances. Charger was busy with high-fives and photo opps! There were party favors for the students. It was so fulfilling to see the progress made by our students from the fall concert to the spring concert, and I loved seeing the students connect with each other. Music brings such joy, conveys stories, and can evoke strong emotions. With Arts Boosters adding additional support, the concert night could not have been more fulfilling!
Q: Why should others consider joining AB?
A: Arts Boosters is a great opportunity to cheer on and root for our creative Rams and teachers as they grow and excel in the Arts! It’s a wonderful way to meet so many fellow parents who share the same passions for the Arts and love to show their support!
Check out the Parents Association portal page for more information about Arts Boosters and to join this bright committee (see the button entitled “PA Volunteer Descriptions & Sign-Up Info” or the “Arts Boosters” button). Thank you to our Arts Boosters for all that they do! Keep being creative, Rams!