The second Arts Con saw 627 students from 19 local schools compete last month at Northeast Alabama Community College.

The Epsilon Alpha Chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta, a national English honor society, held NACC’s second Arts Con on Oct. 23. Arts Con 2019 welcomed students in grades seventh and eighth and ninth through 12 to compete in the following categories:

• Group Fiction

• Group Poetry

• Group Dramatic Improv

• Pumpkin Carving

• Grammar Knowledge

• Drawing

• Vocal Performance

• Instrumental Performance

Jeff Hawes, an English instructor at NACC, said although it’s a competition, Arts Con organizers hope to provide a fun, relaxing day for students who excel in the arts.

“Mrs. Joan Reeves, Division Chair of the English and Fine Arts Department at NACC, and I had the vision two years ago to create an event where students could be celebrated for their love of the arts,” Hawes said. “Last year, we had 160 students attend the first Arts Con, and we never imagined we would have such a turn out for this year’s event.”

The following 19 schools

participated in the event:

Albertville, Valley Head, North Jackson, Cherokee County, Geraldine, Rosalie, Dade Middle, Section, Fyffe, Fort Payne Middle, Fort Payne High School, Pisgah, Gaylesville, North Sand Mountain, Collinsville, Henagar, Cornerstone Christian Academy, Mountain View Christian Academy, and Cornerstone Christian Homeschooling.

Below are the winners of the Arts Con categories designated by grade and school:

Seventh and Eighth Grade Poetry

1st: Cherokee County High

2nd: Fort Payne Middle

3rd: Dade Middle

Ninth through 12th Grade Poetry

1st: Dade Middle

2nd: North Jackson High

3rd: North Sand Mountain High

Seventh and Eighth Grade Short Fiction

1st: Dade Middle

2nd: Gaylesville High

3rd: Dade Middle

Ninth through 12th Grade Short Fiction

1st: Geraldine High

2nd: North Jackson High

3rd: Cherokee County High

Seventh and Eighth Grade Grammar Knowledge

1st: Alice Jones (Fort Payne Middle)

2nd: Jordan Wright (FPMS)

3rd: Mattie Smith (FPMS)

Ninth through 12th Grade Grammar Knowledge

1st: Alyssa Ingram (Cherokee Co.)

2nd: Caroline Lloyd (Cherokee Co.)

3rd: Natalie Moon ( Cherokee Co.)

Seventh and Eighth Grade Dramatic Improv

1st: Henagar School

2nd: Albertville High School

3rd: Gaylesville High School

Ninth through 12th Grade

Dramatic Improv

1st: Albertville High School

2nd: Geraldine High School

3rd: Albertville High School

Seventh and Eighth Grade Drawing

1st: Caitlyn O’Shields (FPMS)

2nd: Kyle Caminiti (FPMS)

3rd: Ella Hawkins (Dade Middle)

Ninth through 12th Grade Drawing

1st: Mia Brows (Cherokee Co.)

2nd: Olivia Windsor (Cherokee Co.)

3rd: Katelyn Boozer (Valley Head)

4th: Kendall Southerland (Cherokee Co)

5th: Isabelle Garrett (Cherokee Co)

Seventh and Eighth Grade Pumpkin Carving

1st: Fisher Abbott (FPMS)

2nd: Dax Varnadore (FPMS)

3rd: Cooper Garrett (FPMS)

Ninth through 12t Grade Pumpkin Carving

1st: Shane Bray (Mtn. View)

2nd: Madelyn Huffman (Cherokee Co.)

3rd: Jake Bray (Mtn. View)

Seventh and Eighth Grade Vocal Performance

1st: Anna Beth McSpadden (Henagar)

2nd: Dulce Elorza (FPMS)

3rd: Lannah Grace Beard (Pisgah High)

Ninth through 12th Grade Vocal Performance

1st: Dylan Keasler (Cherokee County)

2nd: Adria Hamilton (Albertville High)

3rd: Camilo Vega (Albertville High)

Seventh and Eighth Grade Instrumental Performance

1st: Caleb Jacobs (FPMS)

2nd: Styles Waldrop (Geraldine)

3rd: Sophia Shi (FPMS)

Ninth through 12th Grade

Instrumental Performance

1st: Carter Pridmore (FPHS)

2nd: Colby Cobb (Cherokee Co.)

3rd: Caleb Hilley (Cornerstone)

Hawes said young people in this area are “starving for exposure to the arts” and may not have the opportunity to take part in arts programs.

“The students seemed thrilled to be part of such a wonderful day,” he said. “Yes, it is a competition where students compete in group fiction, poetry, dramatic improvisation; or individually in vocal performance, instrumental performance, grammar knowledge, drawing, and pumpkin carving; however, we want this day to be relaxing for the students, so that they can work with students from other schools who share the same interests and passions.”

Teachers whose students participated in the event expressed their excitement for the representation the students received through Arts Con, he said.

“One highlight of the day for me was a teacher who came to me, thanking us for providing a day like this for her students,” Hawes said. “Almost in tears, she exclaimed, ‘I’ve never seen my students so excited about writing.’ I thought to myself, ‘Mission accomplished’.”

David Campbell, president of NACC, said the faculty and staff hope to support programs and events in the area that will expose students to the arts.

“As a college, NACC does all that it can to financially support and encourage the arts in our area,” Campbell said. “We like to think that through our talented personnel and the college’s financial support, many arts opportunities occur for area students that would not otherwise. We want to be an arts center for our community.”

Hawes said the college hopes to make the event even larger next year at its third installment.

“Our goal is that every school in north Alabama will be represented at Arts Con 2020,” he said.

For more information on Arts Con, email

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