Bringing you HP Arts news and highlights!

HP Arts is a Non-Profit Organization Supporting HPISD Arts Education Since 1987

Kelli Miller, HP Arts 2017-18 President

Happy first day of Spring!  Leaving Winter for Spring is particularly pleasing for someone like me who is usually cold... Dallas had a real Winter this year... enough already!

HP Arts has been busy, and I know that our investments in support of the arts in HPISD are meaningful to students and appreciated by our community.  The HP LitFest was very successful on many fronts, including fantastic participation by Adam Johnson (underwritten by La Fiesta de la Seis Banderas) whose student and parent presentations were cogent, enlightening and engaging.  HP Arts underwrote half of the more than 75 student workshops in which literary and music artists lead class period-length presentations and discussions about their craft and lives as artists.  Read more below!

Every March, HPISD highlights the Fine Arts departments and showcases the talented students and teachers during the Highlander Festival at HPHS.  Theater and Dance performances are on March 25, a Choral Concert on March 26, an Instrumental Concert on March 27, and Art Shows on March 27 and 28.  Find times and locations on the HPHS calendar.

Looking ahead to the rest of the school year, we are focused on funding several remaining programming requests for the HPHS debate teams and clinicians for MIS/HPMS and HPHS orchestras.  HP Arts will also review a few year-end capital investment requests.

Enjoy this time of year when nature is reborn and gives us all a reminder of and perspective on renewal.  I'll leave you with a quotation from Vincent Van Gogh:

"Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more."


Kelli Miller
HP Arts 2017-18 President

2017-2018 Funding for HP Arts - THANK YOU!

HP Arts is celebrating its 31st year of enriching the educational experience of all HPISD students.  Since its inception, HP Arts has distributed nearly 1.2 million dollars to grant teacher requests from all HPISD campuses for arts programming, technology, equipment and instruments.  This would not be possible without the generous support of HPISD families, community members and La Fiesta de la Seis Banderas.  We at HP Arts are grateful for the continued support!

For a detailed list of our generous individual patrons, please click HERE.

For more information or to support HP Arts, visit

Kid Art Donation Funds Visual Art Requests on Every Campus

HP Arts is excited to provide an update on the programs made possible by Kid Art's generous donation this year. Stay tuned for more news about the impact these programs are having.

The board approved art teacher requests on every one of our campuses this spring, thanks to Kid Art!  The visual art projects funded include large format painting equipment for the studio and specialized drying equipment to expand the number of students who can explore painting techniques at the high school and ceramic sculpture for 3D projects at HPMS.  We are also thrilled to  announce  that the Kid Art donation will allow HP Arts to welcome Desmond Blair, a visual artist who has overcome his  physical   disabilities , to speak with fourth graders at each elementary school this spring.  Preview his inspirational story here.

Thank you to Kid Art!

For more information on Kid Art, please visit to

HP Arts Appreciates Teachers and Administrators

HPISD Fine Arts Faculty

Carrie Ellen Adamian and Jodi Perdue, HP Arts Board Members & Event Coordinators

Brad Oldham, Brad Oldham Studio

HP Arts hosted a fun gathering on January 30 for our amazing Fine Arts teachers and administrators in appreciation of everything they do.  Former HP Arts board member Brad Oldham generously donated his studio for the event.  Tasty bites and refreshments were served and entertainment was provided by the artist Krandel Lee with The Original Butt Sketch company.  Art by talented HPISD students from all campuses adorned the walls and remained on display in the studio for two weeks.

Thank you to Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin for opening your studio!

HP Arts Funding at Work
LitFest at Highland Park

The annual Highland Park Literary Festival took place in February. HP LitFest is the recipient of the largest HP Arts programs funding for 2017-2018, with underwriting being provided for half of the workshops.  Workshops available to HPHS students were journalism, visual storytelling (photography), poetry, graphic novels, playwriting, songwriting, nonfiction writing, editing, fiction writing, film producing, screenplay direction and writing, and on being an editorial cartoonist/illustrator.  

Seeking to inspire and encourage students to celebrate language in all of its forms, LitFest included an assembly with the keynote speaker funded by La Fiesta de la Seis Banderas, a community event, and more than 75 small group workshops.  The workshops connected HPHS students with novelists, journalists, poets, storytellers, playwrights, screenwriters and songwriters.  LitFest also encompassed student and parent book clubs, Flik Fest for LitFest, Open Mic Night and a Student Writing Contest.  An Awards Breakfast will be held April 18 to recognize the student winners of the writing contest and Open Mic Night.

LitFest is made possible with the cooperation of the HPHS English department faculty, and by generous donations from La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas, HP Arts, HPHS PTA, and HPISD families.  

Aaron Smith, HPHS Faculty Advisor, spent countless hours preparing for HP LitFest.  Mr. Smith's courses include Newspaper (the Bagpipe), English II PAP, Creative Writing and Online Media.  Mr. Smith is pictured here with Keynote Speaker Adam Johnson and LitFest Co-Chair Amanda Lewis.

Margaux Anbouba, Assistant Beauty Editor for GOOP and 2008 HPHS graduate, presented on writing for a blog.  She shared her typical day at GOOP  and  discussed the  difference between "online" and "hard" journalism.  "With online journalism, I typically write like I speak."  Ms. Anbouba handed out lip gloss samples to students and had them describe the attributes, discussing which ones she would write about and why.  The students were interested in her journey from HPHS graduation to New York City and her position at GOOP.

Salim Nourallah, a Texas-based singer, songwriter and producer covered the ins and outs of the process and craft of songwriting with his group of students.  The students were engaged and having a great time with Mr. Nourallah!  He had the students submit lyrics on index cards and explained which ones would work and why.  Together they managed to write a song in 45 minutes.
3D Laser Printer Arrives at HPHS

Chris Fullwood, HPHS Fine Arts Teacher
Mr. Fullwood shared photos of the new 3D laser printer.

The highly anticipated Glowforge 3D Laser Printer, funded by HP Arts in October 2015, finally arrived at HPHS in January.  Chris Fullwood and Heather Smith, teachers in the HPHS Fine Arts Department, originally applied for funding from HP Arts more than two school years ago.  The 3D printer was quickly approved by the HP Arts Board before the price was to double following its pre-order stage.  Awaiting its arrival has created some excitement in the department.  Mr. Fullwood, along with his fellow faculty team members, cannot wait to share it with the students and put the printer to work.  Glowforge uses a beam of light the width of a human hair to cut, engrave and shape designs from a wide variety of materials such a wood, fabric, cardboard, leather, acrylics and even edible compounds such as chocolate. Our school will be able to incorporate this modern tool into design and technology courses in areas of prototyping, sculpture and technology.  Our students will have the opportunity to get inspired by and familiarize themselves with a cutting edge tool used in the industry today.

This is only one example of how monetary contributions to HP Arts help put our school on the forefront of education.  Thank you for your contributions to HP Arts!

Highland Belles Awarded Overall Grand Champion at the Crowd Pleasers North DFW Showcase 2018 - Congratulations!

The Highland Belles won Grand Champion Team having the highest point total of the entire Crowd Pleasers Dance Competition on Saturday, February 17 in Keller. HP Arts recognizes their discipline and hard work, and congratulates the Belles on their achievements!

HP Arts Brings Shakespeare to University Park Elementary School

On February 28, third grade students at UP Elementary were treated to a performance by Shakespeare Dallas funded by HP Arts.   The performance titled, "What Visions Have I Seen?", introduced students to Shakespeare's works with a focus on word origins and on Shakespeare's use of the English language.  In contrast to a traditional Shakespeare production, "What Visions Have I Seen?" is interactive.  The students assisted the actors, participated in scenes, and played games related to Shakespeare's vocabulary and word choice.

NoteKnacks for Armstrong Elementary

Mrs. Dansky's second grade class at Armstrong Elementary was the first to use NoteKnacks (funded by HP Arts) to begin a rhythm composition unit in Music class.  

NoteKnacks are interactive, hands-on rhythm manipulatives that allow children to create their own rhythm patterns using correct time signatures. Students can draw their music on paper, perform their composition and have a visual, self-created manuscript they can sing or play.  This kinesthetic approach to understanding music composition benefits students of all grade levels and learning styles.

HP Arts Supports Latin Dance at MIS

During their social studies classes prior to the Winter Break, sixth graders at MIS had the opportunity to learn various Latin dances in their studies of South America. Some of the dance forms they learned included Salsa, Cha Cha, and Cumbia.  In sixth grade Social Studies, students learn the traits that define a culture and gain an understanding of cultural borrowing and cultural diffusion in our world.

Pictured below are students from Ms. Wofford's second period Social Studies class. Ms. Wofford even participated in the dancing!

Special Ways to Donate to HP Arts

"Take A Seat" at HPHS!

Your $500 donation will honor your child, family member, a favorite teacher or HPISD organization in the HPHS Palmer Auditorium!  The elegantly engraved brass plaque is prominently displayed on the arm of the auditorium chair.  Funds raised are used for ongoing improvements in the auditorium areas.  

If you would like to support HP Arts through the Take A Seat program, please contact Leslie Kibby at

Play It Again, Sam!

The HP Arts Program, "Play It Again, Sam!" is designed to recycle instruments from the community back into the school music programs.  The instruments are considered a donation to HP Arts and are eligible for a tax-deductible contribution.

If you would like to donate an instrument, please contact Steve Gruber at

Arts Fun Fact

Arts Fun Fact
Provided by HP Arts Board Member, Kristen Pratt

Recently, third graders at University Park Elementary were treated by HP Arts to  Shakespeare Dallas' production of What Visions Have I Seen?  My initial impression was that the performance was so interactive and engaging that it might even make Shakespeare relatable to nine year old students.  What I learned during that hour, however, was that Shakespeare is more relatable than we realize - to all ages.  In fact, even the nine year olds are likely to have recently used a word or phrase created by William Shakespeare.  "Gossip?" - Shakespeare.  "Dawn?" - Shakespeare.  "Eyeball?" - Shakespeare.

Scholars debate the exact count of new words and phrases that Shakespeare contributed to the English language, but it is in the range of 1,500.  In the 1950's, the tally of first-use citations attributable to Shakespeare stood at 3,200.  More recently, however, digital databases have allowed computers to simultaneously search thousands of historical texts, leading scholars to believe the tally to be closer to 1,500 or 1,600.

Even if the count of Shakespearean words and phrases was originally overestimated, it is impossible to overestimate the impact of the words and phrases he did create.  They have saturated the English language to the point that they are sometimes hard to avoid.  "For goodness sake" (Henry VII, 1623) tracking down all his contributions would be a "wild goose chase" (Romeo and Juliet, 1595).  But one might say it is "a foregone conclusion" (Othello, 1603) that the list goes on "forever and a day" (As You Like It, 1623).

Board of Directors

HP Arts Board of Directors

Executive Committee
President                                     Kelli Miller
Vice President                             Jill Dalton*
Secretary                               Tammy Testa*
Treasurer                            Jennifer Murray
Programs Chair                         Carla Moss

Programs Committee
Programs Chair                        Carla Moss
Armstrong Elementary               Aimee Cali
Bradfield Elementary              Lizzie Bailey
Hyer Elementary                  Melissa Allan*
UP Elementary                       Kristen Pratt*
MIS/HPMS              Georgianna Moreland*
HPHS                               Kathleen Whalen

Publicity Committee
Publicity                              Mikee Smythe*
Artisan                                     Niki Hudson
Instagram                Georgianna Moreland*
Facebook                               Dorota Baird*
Website                                       Kelli Miller

Arrangements                   Stacey Cochran
Membership                                 Ting Cai*
Play It Again, Sam!               Steve Gruber
Special Events          Carrie Ellen Adamian
                                                Jodi Perdue
Sponsorships                          Molly Pieroni
Student Art Coord.                Janese Deitch
                                          Robyn Galerston
Take A Seat                             Leslie Kibby

*New Board Member
HP Arts | |

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