Weather Forecast


Arts Alive still taking off after 25 years

Dona Macaulay-Bradt confers with Paul Christensen before the Arts Alive kick-off assembly Wednesday at Sunnyside School. (Republican Eagle photo by John Russett)

A quarter century ago a Sunnyside Elementary teacher saw in students a creativity which was going unrecognized.

On Wednesday, Dona Macaulay-Bradt returned to school to help kick-off the 25th year of Arts Alive.

Macaulay-Bradt said she started Arts Alive to recognize the abilities of students in performing arts, visual arts and creative writing.

When she started Arts Alive, Macaulay-Bradt said the community was incredibly supportive.

“That’s what makes something go, when there’s a lot of enthusiasm and participation,” the retiree said.

Arts Alive is for Red Wing students in kindergarten through grade 4 and ends with exhibits at various locations plus a show at the Sheldon Theatre. The anniversary show will be on Feb. 21, 2014.

Students can participate in three areas with a limit of two performing arts performances.

Mentoring sessions are also part of the experience to help the students fine-tune their works.

Macaulay-Bradt said Arts Alive has changed some since it started but the general idea remains the same.

The idea is for everyone to know they are someone special, she said.

Arts Alive director Emily Christianson started Wednesday’s assembly dressed in a silver astronaut costume to help celebrate the silver anniversary.

Students who participated in Arts Alive last year performed to show their fellow students what the program is all about.

Macaulay-Bradt sang and danced as part of the show, and Christianson joined in as well.

Macaulay-Bradt said one of the reasons she started Arts Alive was to help the children see themselves in a positive way. After all these years, Macaulay-Bradt said she looks back on her years with Arts Alive fondly.

“Just the inspiration I got from the children was payment enough for me,” she said. “It was the most invigorating thing I think I’ve ever done.”

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


(651) 301-7876