Honors set for Returning Artist Christopher J. Watkins at public reception, November 13

ReturningArtist HeadShot - 2019
The Arts & Letters Commission invites the community to a reception honoring Returning Artist Christopher J. Watkins at 7 pm on Wednesday, November 13 in the UCHS Pruitt Library, 7401 Balson Ave. (Jackson Ave. entrance).
  Watkins is a noted music director and composer from the University City High School Class of 1988.

As the commission’s 2019 honoree, Watkins will work with music students in elementary, middle and high school classrooms in a series of sessions during the week of Nov. 11-15 and will also share his expertise in assemblies with younger students as well as master classes with older music students. 

He said he “looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for various genres of music and his memories of the impact University City Schools have had on his life journey.”  Watkins’ musical journey began in his early teens when he began playing the piano and organ at church, taught by his musician mother, Anita Watkins-Stevens.  He remained in the area after his time in the school district, continuing his education at Webster University.

Since 1994, the commission’s Returning Artist program annually features artistically renowned graduates of University City High School who return to share their fields of work.  Typically, one artist is invited per school year, and all visiting alumni artists have established careers in their fields.  Program activities are concentrated at University City High School in a variety of classes.  Some activities take place in middle school and elementary school classes in both public and non-public schools.

There are two goals of the program:  to encourage students to investigate careers in the arts and to enrich the schools’ art programs.  Returning artists have included visual artists, glassblowers, photographers, writers, filmmakers, graphic designers, videographers, animators, instrumental musicians, composers, actors, singers and dancers.  A complete list of the honorees may be found here.

Questions about the program may be sent to the commission, at ucityartsandletters@gmail.com.

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