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Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
New American Conservatory and New American Youth Ballet members Kramer Snead, 18, left, and Schyler Straessle,17, warm up Sunday at the 26th annual FAME Festival.
Showcasing young artists’ talents

FAME a mecca of creativity

Dancers from South Side’s Boys In Motion perform Sunday during FAME at Grand Wayne Center.
Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
Mishael Paraiso, 11, warms up before his piano recital Sunday afternoon at the Grand Wayne Center during the 26th annual FAME Festival.

There were paintings of lions, tigers, bears and whales and cats and dinosaurs.

Some appeared to be species not yet created in the real world, but of beings that could only emerge from the mind of a child.

And there were self-portraits, portraits of others, pictures of pirates, houses, families, fruit and nearly anything else that might grab the imagination of an elementary school kid.

There were sculptures made of clay and papier-mâché molded into the forms of superheroes, of pies and cupcakes and bowls and vases. Then there were some sculptures made of tinfoil, folded and wadded up until the shape of a man or woman appeared. Some were running and dancing; others just sitting or throwing a ball.

And there were also the ballerinas and violinists; the flutists and the cellists; the trumpeters and the singers; all of them ready to perform for their parents and others Sunday afternoon at Grand Wayne Center.

The 26th annual Fort Wayne FAME Festival took place over the weekend, and once again it allowed children to show off their creativity and talent in the arts and music.

“Their creativity is really amazing,” said FAME’s executive director, “T” Irmscher, of the children’s art.

Every year festival officials pick part of the world to highlight as a theme, and this year they decided to teach children some Southeast Asia culture.

Members of Gamelan Sekar Jaya, a company of musicians and dancers from San Francisco who specialize in the performing arts of Bali, were on hand to perform for the crowd.

Those same members will also be making visits to area schools throughout this week.

And as has happened in past years, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, under the direction of Assistant Conductor Sameer Patel, performed a composition by fourth-grade children.

FAME’s Composer-in-Residence, David Crowe, took various music written by the children and formed those pieces into one entire score. The Fort Wayne Ballet also performed.

“It’s a great way to celebrate the kids,” Irmscher said of the festival. “They’re so proud to show off their musical and art talents. They’re always rewarded in sports, but this is a great way to reward them through the arts.”