Bellefonte Senior Institute class honors art and community

Olivia Aberegg, Design and Layout Editor

On Saturday, April 8, the Senior Institute class hosted their second annual Arts Festival. The festival took place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the front walkway of Bellefonte High. At the event there were sixteen craft vendors, five student vendors, seven food trucks, and a children’s festival with four games. The weather for the festival was sunny and warm as compared to last year with rain and cold temperatures.

The Senior Institute class is taught by English teacher Mrs. Jessica Lloyd and art teacher Mrs. Heather McClure. This is Mrs. Lloyd’s twelfth year teaching the class and Mrs. McClure’s sixth year. 

Each year, the Senior Institute class plans a charity event for either a member or business in the community. When the class was first introduced 25 years ago, some of the previous service projects were creating their own books and going to read them to the elementary students. This year, the Senior Institute class chose to honor the Centre County Youth Service Bureau. Through the hard work of everyone involved in the process, the Senior Institute raised $2,386 at the festival.

Senior Cora Seigworth was one of the student vendors and described her experience with the festival.

“The Senior Institue Arts Festival was super fun. It was a great opportunity for me and all of the other vendors to get our stuff out there and make some money off of it,” Cora said.

Senior Institute member Maya Knupp expressed how the festival was a great way for the members of the community to come together and have fun.

“The festival was a great success. We had a lot more vendors and food trucks come in so there was a lot more to see. From what I could do there were even more people who came. We raised a lot of money in the end as well. I and the others had a lot of fun talking with peers, community members, and teachers,” Maya said.

Senior Pauline Alterio explained her involvement and responsibilities on the day of the festival.

“On the day of the festival, everyone in the Senior Institute had their own duties. I myself mostly helped with the raffle stand and one of the children’s activities. The day of the festival was an incredible amount of work, but we all had such a great time and we’re so grateful to all the local businesses who helped us out,” Pauline said.

Mrs. Lloyd described the biggest challenges that arise when planning the Senior Institute Festival.

“Last minute details are always the most challenging part of planning these Senior Institute events. We can plan for months, but without fail, there is always something that comes up last minute that we have to scramble to take care of. This year, it was just little things that we didn’t know about until the week of the event, like having the food vendors provide paperwork to the district,” Mrs. Lloyd said.

Although the festival was a success, there was a lot of time, effort, and commitment that went into the planning process and the execution of the festival.

“Planning and organizing everything was a huge task, but it really paid off in the end. We had lots of people show up and it was awesome to see our community come together to help the Youth Service Bureau,” Pauline said.