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Special Event

Anti-Bullying Awareness Presentation—Healing Hearts: From Hurt to Hope

Thursday, September 26, 2013, 10:30 am

Collaborative project by Matt SaGurney and Student Teacher Jane Stevenson’s high school students at Kenmore East High School

FREE for Members / FREE with Gallery admission for non-members

As part of an anti-bullying awareness campaign led by art teachers Kelly Tomasello and Rich Tomasello, the Albright-Knox will host an anti-bullying awareness presentation in the Auditorium on Thursday, September 26, at 10:30 am. The program will include a presentation on acceptance by Tim and Tracy Rodemeyer; a choral performance by City Honors students, led by music teacher James Sharrat; the screening of a short film created by Williamsville North High School students, presented by teacher Brad Curcio; and a performance of classical scenes with an anti-bullying theme by Melissa Naylor's students from Starpoint Middle School. This presentation is open to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis. 

About the Campaign

During the 2012–2013 school year, art teachers Kelly Tomasello and Rich Tomasello focused on art as a tool in teaching anti-bullying awareness in a dozen schools around the region. Teachers and students worked on projects in different media, including performance and video, which will be included in the presentation on September 26. After the presentation, participating students will experience a docent-guided Art’scool tour of the related education exhibition Healing Hearts: From Hurt to Hope and related works in the Gallery’s Collection.

Healing Hearts: From Hurt to Hope, is on view through September 29, 2013, in the Education Exhibition Hallway. This exhibition features the work of student artists in kindergarten through twelfth grade from eight local school districts. The artworks created for this exhibition reflect and call attention to the need for anti-bullying awareness.

Event Recap

On Thursday, September 26, 2013, the Albright-Knox hosted an event inspired by the Education Hallway Exhibition Healing Hearts: From Hurt to Hope. The event was initiated by art teachers Kelly and Rich Tomasello, along with James Sharratt from City Honors School, Melissa Naylor from Starpoint Middle School, and Brad Curcio from Williamsville North High School.

Two hundred and ten guests experienced an hour-long program that included performances dealing directly with the need for anti-bullying awareness. The program began with a presentation by Tracy and Tim Rodemeyer, parents of the late Jamey Rodemeyer. Forty students from City Honors School Choir sang songs about their stance against bullying, including an original song by ninth-grader Destyni Cruz. 

A group of students from Starpoint Middle School performed a theater piece that included a visual backdrop of bullying that was taking place through group text messaging. The actors remained silent while Erik Satie’s “Gymnopédies” played in the background. It ended with bystanders intervening to stop the bullying and encouraging acceptance among their peers. The program concluded with a video created by a group of Williamsville North High School photography students that centered on personal identity.

Students who attended the program took guided tours through the Albright-Knox’s Collection and Healing Hearts: From Hurt to Hope. The tours focused on discussions about anti-bullying awareness and acceptance in the students’ lives.

Free guided tours and busing for students were provided through the Art’scool program, which is made possible by a generous grant from BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.