LEIPSIC — The combined Putnam County Arts Festival attracts hundreds of people every year.
This year’s event was at Leipsic High School on Sunday and featured hundreds of pieces of art as well as plenty of music.
“The band and choir have been going on since 1948,” said Gary Herman, curriculum coordinator at the Putnam County Educational Service Center.
The art part of it goes back to around 1970.
The combined band, choir and arts festival was formed in 2014.
“By combining it, we’ve been able to bring a better awareness of the arts to our county and we actually have brought in more people to the art show by combining it,” said Melissa Basinger, curriculum coordinator for the Putnam County Educational Service Center.
The artistic talents of Putnam County students were on display Sunday in Leipsic, but you can also find their work elsewhere.
“It’s just phenomenal the artists right here in our schools. It’s just unbelievable, the different pieces of work that they produce — and not only at this show, but some of our students also have artworks out at other shows right now to like the Kewpee show. There’s a show coming up in Delphos so the high school art students have multiple pieces of art displayed at multiple locations at the same time,” said Basinger.
Herman says studies have shown an arts education can help students develop skills like “creativity, collaboration, confidence, cultural awareness, empathy and critical thinking and those skills carry over to any kind of job they may get and make them more well-rounded individuals.”
There were around 130 students involved this year in the band and choir part of the arts festival.
“They go through a process of an audition and they get chosen to be part of the group and then they’ve worked these past two Fridays at Bluffton University with our guest conductor,” Herman said.
There were 14 students who won Best of Show awards for the art portion of the festival including Abi Long, Karley Stant, Abi Reyna, Hallie Kamphaus and Jake Koenig from Miller City-New Cleveland; Keaton Suever and Sean Garberson from Fort Jennings; Cruz Lugo, Madison Hutton, Evelyn Russell and Bridget Wood from Pandora Gilboa, Grace Miller from Kalida; Shy Giron from Leipsic and Erin Duling from Ottawa Glandorf.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.