2024 i3 Art Expo to showcase the power of public schools

For the fifth year, Bossier Parish students will get to publicly showcase their artistic endeavors demonstrating the power of public schools.

The i3 Art Expo will be held May 2-4 at the Bossier Civic Center. This highly anticipated tradition celebrates creativity and artistic expression among students, staff, and families by showcasing the talent and innovation within Bossier Parish Schools.

“We have a lot of artistic talent in Bossier Parish Schools and want to show that in all of its forms,” said Christy Bucker, i3 executive director. “This event shows that Bossier Schools values the arts and knows that it makes a well-rounded child.”

The three I’s in the i3 Expo stand for inspiration, imagination, and innovation as art comes in many forms. The i3 Art Expo reflects that with visual and literary art, vocal and musical performances, filmmaking, animation, and even hands-on activities.

Other attractions include digital media, a short film competition, an art gallery, student performances, a scavenger hunt, book fair, and even a costume contest.

Inspired by STAR WARS, aliens, and space, the costume contest will see participants present their otherworldly attire and vie for top honors. Whether channeling their inner Jedi, alien, or space explorer, contestants are encouraged to let their imagination soar and bring their favorite characters to life.

Participants will range from pre-kindergarten to adults in the categories of individual and group. The participants will be judged by creativity, theme, and most original, with one “overall best costume” chosen.

The costume contest is an effort to bring in the relatively new art form of cosplaying and, simultaneously, a fun way to engage the community.

“This is our first foray into it and we mainly built the contest around this year’s theme, so we want to gauge the interest in it. We want to keep adding and growing to suit what students are doing, so maybe we will add a cosplay category next year,” Christy said.

The variety on display shows that Bossier Schools is using i3 to give all art forms a spotlight. Christy notes that balancing all that is easy because the dedicated art teachers and talented arts program integrate the arts into students’ daily education. 

This attention to maintaining arts in the schools comes amidst a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) courses and digital career fields. Christy notes that while these subjects are important, the arts are also crucial to a student’s development.

“We get so focused on reading, writing, and arithmetic that we can forget the role of arts in making a well-rounded student. A lot of jobs require artistic ability and thinking,” she said. “We have a digital arts program, but we want students to be hands-on. We don’t want them only making digital things.”

And, she notes that students are responding as the i3 Art Expo grows each year. 

As of mid-April, there were nearly 800 entries with theater, film, and 3D arts entries left to be added. 

“This level of student involvement shows the power of public schools,” said Christy. “We want to showcase our students’ artwork, but we are going to have a variety of things for the public to enjoy from innovation activities to technology with robotics and drones.”

She added, “We want the community to see how much we appreciate the opportunity to educate their children.”

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