The Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Library took fun to a whole new level last Thursday, June 12, with its annual Kentwoodpalooza extravaganza.
Through the support of the library faculty and combined efforts of Kentwood’s very own teen community, the event commemorated the arts with film, live music, poetry, and painting.
The day kicked off at 1pm with Jibber Jams, where local musicians Dan Rickabus and Max Lockwood of Big Dudee Roo sang songs of intelligent silliness for kids of all ages. The band lead kids in a round of cooperative singing and dancing with songs such as “The Blue Faced Blues,” and “I Wanna Do What I Wanna Do but I Wanna Do What I Wanna Do With You.”
After Jibber Jams, families were able to walk outside and watch students from East Kentwood High School’s National Honor Society art program as they painted their first ever live mural to be hung in the library’s teen section.
“Our role is to find connections for the kids and instill a sense of civic duty through the arts,” said East Kentwood High Art Teacher Le Tran.
Library circulation assistant Barb Williams collaborated with the students in creating the mural’s design. The final sketch illustrated the power of reading and imagination, an inspirational message for everyone.
Also featured at Kentwoodpalooza was the Kent County Teen Film Festival Encore, where students from the winter showcase showed their films once more with family and friends.
Teens took to the Ampitheatre stage at 4pm, where local bands December Assembly, Phantom, Virgo, and Big Dudee Roo performed for a crowd of nearly 600 people until 8pm.
A guitar writing workshop, songwriting workshop, and poetry writing workshop and awards ceremony were also held later in the day.
“This is our fourth Kentwoodpalooza and we are excited to see what other events we can bring in next year,” said teen librarian Greg Lewis. “The event is funded through a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Affairs.”