Adrian School Board Receives Fine Arts Department Update


ADRIAN – Since being selected to lead Adrian’s Public Schools Fine Arts Department earlier this summer, educators Michelle Force and Emily Gifford have taken the lead when it comes to creating a plan and a vision. 90 days for fine arts programs.

To bring Adrian’s school board and the public up to date on what’s going on in Adrian’s fine arts department and what’s planned for things to come, Force and Gifford provided an update during of the board meeting on September 12. The ministry’s 30-90 day plan was unveiled and it was packed with information.

The district is currently in the first 30 days of the plan, but the 60 and 90 day plans have also been reviewed.

The primary focus during the first 30 days, Force said, is to develop marketing for a cohesive fine arts social media presence and a webpage for the department. Another high-priority task, she said, is getting students interested in attending a Fine Arts Explorer camp, scheduled for Oct. 12. to a variety of fine arts programs at Adrian Public Schools.

All the buildings in the district have rooms dedicated to art, choir and instrumental music. All elementary buildings now offer theater programs for young students to explore and perform on stage at the district’s Julianne and George Argyros Performing Arts Center.

Participation in the camp would cost $20 per student and would begin after school in high school and last until 5 p.m. There is a limit of 50 students who can attend, but Force and Gifford said they don’t want to turn away other students if they seem interested in attending the after-school camp.

Similarly, students would be grouped into classes during camp, with first- and second-year students working together and third-, fourth-, and fifth-year students forming another group.

Emily Gifford

As for social media pages, Gifford said students could post weekly student spotlights, showcasing what they’re learning at Adrian’s schools while being involved in the fine arts. The department, she said, would explore social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. The name of the fine arts social media page, on all platforms, is Adrian Maples Fine Arts. Social media posts would be informative and let the public know what’s going on in the department and upcoming show dates. One of the purposes of social media pages is to generate excitement, Gifford said.

As the 60-day plan’s timeline nears, Gifford said the department will look into implementing an online ticketing system for the performing arts center. The ticketing system, she explained, would allow theater guests to pre-purchase certain seats throughout the auditorium, which they are not able to do at the moment because the seats in the theater are not numbered. . A link to purchase tickets for theater productions can be found on the fine arts page of the district website, The college fall play is coming up soon, with show dates October 7-9.

The 90-day plan, highlighted by Force, would continue to build on the progress and successes of the first 60 days of the plan while sending surveys to students and parents. The polls, Force said, would gauge public response to whether the fine arts plan makes students and parents grateful for the availability and offering of classes at Adrian’s schools.

“Really, we want to make sure that we provide programs and learning opportunities that are accessible to all students, but that are also inclusive and fit into the mold of ‘arts for all’,” Force said. .

The fine arts department also aims to work collaboratively with community partners who can showcase student work outside of school. This was most notably accomplished when the Adrian High School Marching Band and Orchestra performed Saturday at the Artalicious fine arts fair in downtown Adrian.

Some of Adrian’s art students even showcased their creations at Artalicious, when the Adrian City Chambers building opened for a digital art exhibit, which was offered to K-12 art students in each Lenawee County School District.

Since the decision was made to formalize the PlayBill strategic plan through the guidance and leadership of Force and Gifford, the 90-day plan has come to fruition in at least 50 days, Force said, if not less.

Several board members noted their pleasure with the update and said they were excited about the direction of Adrian’s art offerings.

“When we talked about opening up the PlayBill plan and seeing where we are now, it was like a dream come true for a lot of us,” said school board chair Beth Ferguson.

In August, Adrian’s school board approved Force as Fine Arts Coordinator and Gifford as Principal of the Julianne and George Argyros Performing Arts Center. Both instructors have worked for Adrian Public Schools for several years.

In addition to taking on the role of fine arts coordinator, Force is a voice teacher at Springbrook Middle School and still teaches part-day.

Gifford directed, coordinated, and designed many of Adrian’s public school plays and musicals, as well as managed the theater. She will also work throughout the district as a substitute teacher.

The creation of a fine arts coordinator position was part of the district’s PlayBill strategic plan, which called for this individual to manage the performing arts center, guide fine arts curriculum and instruction in the district, and would support teachers in professional development to maintain the cohesion of the K-12 arts curriculum.

Instead of just one person, the district chose to hire Force and Gifford to carry out the strategic plan.


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