Are you more creative than a fifth grader?

Local students come together for a day of art, music and fun

Despite the upcoming nor’easter, The Hudson County Gifted and Talented Consortium’s Creativefest! was in full swing on Wednesday, March 6. Creativefest! allowed fifth graders to attend two of 18 workshops about the arts.
Secaucus’s Clarendon School hosted the event. Students, teachers and facilitators from eight districts in Hudson County – Secaucus, Bayonne, Hoboken, North Bergen, Union City, Guttenberg, Harrison and Kearny – attended.
“Hudson County has been known for collaboration,” said Marie Llanes who teaches at Union City’s School of Performing Arts and is the Gifted and Talented Coordinator who runs the event. Secaucus’s Gifted and Talented Coordinator Michele Wurst also ran Creativefest! alongside Llanes.
The workshops included “Time to Look at New Jersey,” which was a musical; Junk Rock, creating musical instruments from recycled materials; Cheerleading; Earth as Art, drawing comparisons between art and science; Hudson County Mural of the Meadowlands; Mardi Gras Masks; Self Portrait Collages; Seashell Windsocks, used for hanging around the house; The Art and Science of the Roller Coaster; Music Collages; Latin Rhymes; American Ballroom; Creative Dance; Crafty Confections, making cookies with customized cookie bags; Yarn Weaving; Dream Catchers, and Musical Theatre Dance and Drum Circle.

Collectively creative

The agenda began with a welcome portion from 9:15 to 10 a.m. where students settled in and sang current pop songs. The workshops began slightly later than 10 a.m. but the students were eager to attend their workshops. The afternoon workshop was from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The second day was meant to have a presentation portion where students showed what they learned as well as their works of art, but it was canceled due to bad weather.
“This is a great opportunity for you to make new friends, to meet new people, respect each other’s interest, and to learn something new,” said Clarendon School Principal Pasquale Cocucci.

“Art is kind of my passion and it’s really nice to express yourself.” – Mickaela Eugene.
“I know you’re gonna learn some wonderful things today,” said Llanes. “Creativefest! is an amazing experience. The arts strengthen academics.”
“I like the fact that you can make friends and you can also create things that you’ve never created before,” said student Maylin Martinez from Secaucus.
“It’s fun,” said student Julia Riolo from Bayonne. “It’s good so you can meet other people.”
“Spectacular. I’ve never done anything like it,” said Daniel Leal from Guttenberg, who was a part of the morning Mardi Gras Masks Workshop.
“I like art and music,” said Phoebe Dileo from Hoboken, who took part in the morning Music Collages Workshop.
“It seems really fun, ‘cuz you’re painting and drawing sketches about all different things you see outside,” said Natalie Kashian from Secaucus, who was a part of the morning Hudson County Mural Workshop.
“I wanted to learn more crafts,” said Ayub Shifa from Union City, who took part in the morning Yarn Weaving – God’s Eyes Workshop.
“I thought it would be exciting because I’ve never done one before,” said Martinez from Secaucus, who took part in the morning Dream Catchers Workshop. “Making dream catchers is really fun.”
“Art is kind of my passion and it’s really nice to express yourself,” said Mickaela Eugene from North Bergen.

Vanessa Cruz can be reached at

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