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2017 Mercer County Teen Arts Festival May 12

TRENTON, N.J.Hundreds of teenage artists and performers will experience the 2017 Mercer County Teen Arts Festival on Friday, May 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The festival provides high school and middle school students from the County’s public, private and parochial schools an opportunity for a day of full arts immersion at  the West Windsor campus of Mercer County Community College.

“Mercer County has many remarkably talented young people, and the Teen Arts Festival gives them an opportunity to display their work to a wide audience and get positive feedback from professionals in the art world,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes.

The day is filled with master classes, workshops and hands-on art-making activities. Through these sessions, teens have the opportunity to make new friends and network with their peers, learn new artistic skills, enhance skills they already have and become better prepared for their future. Sessions are offered across artistic disciplines. Among the many offerings are: plein air painting, ceramics and portfolio review for those engaged in visual arts; performing arts students can explore music improv, modern dance or rock vocals; and students with literary ideas can work on creative storytelling and publishing workshops.

Critique sessions are also a key aspect of the day. Experts and teachers in each arts field offer students constructive feedback on their work and performances to help advance students’ understanding of their work, provide suggestions for future exploration in their field, and even offer guidance for their future academic and career endeavors.  These critiques go beyond a simple statement of an artwork being “great,” and truly offer opportunity for the students to see their work in a new light.

All art and performances presented for critique are further evaluated by the adjudicators, and a select group of students are offered a special opportunity to present their work at the State Teen Arts Festival, which takes place May 31 through June 2 at Ocean County Community College in Toms River.

The Mercer County Teen Arts Festival is presented by the Mercer County Division of Culture and Heritage. The Division is excited to introduce a new Teen Arts Festival Coordinator, Marisa N. Benson, for the 2017 event. Ms. Benson is a Ewing-based arts consultant with experience in community arts and festival programming. She has worked on large multi-arts festivals and events in Trenton, Camden and Orange, with a specific expertise in arts programming for youth, family and community audiences.

Questions about the Mercer County Teen Arts Festival or other Division of Culture and Heritage programs may be directed to or 609-278-2712.

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