Attendees of last year’s Celebration of the Arts admire artwork done by students from Royal Oak Schools at Royal Oak Middle School. The Celebration of the Arts will take place from noon to 5 p.m. June 1 this year.

Attendees of last year’s Celebration of the Arts admire artwork done by students from Royal Oak Schools at Royal Oak Middle School. The Celebration of the Arts will take place from noon to 5 p.m. June 1 this year.

Photo provided by Melissa Behring


Celebration of the Arts to showcase Royal Oak talent

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published May 21, 2019

 Children paint a piano as part of the Royal Oak Public Piano Project during the Celebration of the Arts at Royal Oak Middle School last year.

Children paint a piano as part of the Royal Oak Public Piano Project during the Celebration of the Arts at Royal Oak Middle School last year.

Photo provided by Melissa Behring

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ROYAL OAK — From noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 1, the fifth annual Celebration of the Arts will return to the Royal Oak Middle School auditorium and front lawn.

The free festival, which began as a celebration of the middle school receiving a new sound system, has morphed into a showcase of visual and performing arts in the Royal Oak community.

“It’s great for Royal Oak because it brings together all of our various arts organizations under one umbrella for one day a year,” said Jason Gittinger, Royal Oak Commission for the Arts member and founder of the Detroit School of Rock and Pop Music. “They share each other’s audience, and hopefully that spreads throughout the rest of the year.”

Event chair Melissa Behring said she is impressed with the scope of the Celebration of the Arts.

“It’s amazing how many artists in all areas of art come together in our community to support this, and how broad their reach is between family and friends,” Behring said. “One of the really exciting things is the fact that there are so many bands within our area that do live music.”

Artwork will be on display from local artists, members of the South Oakland Arts Association, and students from the Royal Oak Schools district and St. Mary Catholic School.

Throughout the day, three stages will host a wide range of musical guests, including the Royal Oak High School and Royal Oak Middle School jazz ensembles, the Royal Oak Concert Band, the Royal Oak Symphony, the Royal Oak Children’s Choir, the Royal Oak Concert Choir, and students of all ages from the Detroit School of Rock and Pop Music.

During the afternoon, the winner of the Royal Oak Optimist Club’s student video/film contest, as well as the winner of the Royal Oak Commission for the Arts’ Community Arts Award, will be announced.

Guests will be able to participate in interactive activities, such as a tie-dye T-shirt station, a sidewalk chalk and paint area, an “instrument petting zoo,” and an opportunity to paint a piano for the 2019 Royal Oak Public Piano Project program.

Visitors also will be able to enter a contest sponsored by Oliver’s Foundation to create a drawing of their favorite pet. Attendees will vote on a winner, who will be awarded a prize of a $50 gift certificate.

Detroit Mini Donut and Franks Etc. food trucks will be on-site serving up food and snacks.

Royal Oak Middle School is located at 709 N. Washington Ave., near Main Street and Catalpa Drive.

For more information, call (888) 988-7625 or email jason@gittinger.name.

Call Staff Writer Sarah Wojcik at (586) 218-5006.

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