Annual ARTS ALIVE Celebration Already Spotlighting Student Talent

Robert C. Byrd High School senior Kevin Collins got a glimpse into the world of graphic design as part of winning a recent poster competition for Arts Alive. Arts Alive is the West Virginia Department of Education’s (WVDE) annual event to showcase the outstanding achievements of West Virginia public school students in dance, music, theatre and visual art.

As the winner of the statewide Arts Alive 2015 Poster Design Contest, Collins spent a day at the WVDE tweaking his 2015 Arts Alive poster design. Collins worked with WVDE Creative Lead Michael Daniels to make his design come to life.

Collins’ design will be used to promote this year’s Arts Alive celebration scheduled for Friday, April 03, 2015 at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, West Virginia.

The event is free to the public.

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To learn more about Arts Alive visit:

Earlier this year, the Arts Alive planning committee sent out a call to all public school students to submit an original poster design.

Students were encouraged to think abstractly and design images that are not stereotypical of an art form.

Collins’ design features an eye capturing the philosophy that art exists in every corner of our daily living environment.

Arts Alive aims to support developing and established arts programs in public schools throughout West Virginia; inspire local education systems to embrace the arts as an essential part of every child’s education; and empower the broader learning community to advocate for comprehensive arts education in public schools.

Movie Review: ‘The Hunting Ground’

In 2012 filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering made “The Invisible War,” a documentary about the horrific epidemic of military sexual assault. The film helped crystallize a heretofore hidden and underreported issue and catalyze a movement to address it, within the Pentagon and beyond.

One can only hope that the team’s new film will go even further.

“The Hunting Ground” continues Dick and Ziering’s lucid and infuriating investigation of sexual violence, in this case the crime of campus rape and the scandalous lack of response on the part of college administrators and local law enforcement. From its first moments, compiled from YouTube videos of ecstatic high school seniors getting their acceptance letters, “The Hunting Ground” makes clear that its message isn’t just intellectual, legal and political, but deeply emotional. In a series of harrowing interviews, young women — and a few young men — recount in sickening detail how they were attacked, raped, threatened and discounted on the very campuses that should have been safe harbors for their learning and personal growth.

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Unlike the military assaults Dick and Zierling uncovered in “The Invisible War,” campus rape isn’t a secret.

But as the filmmakers convincingly maintain, that’s not for lack of trying by university brass who, in desperate competition for tuition dollars and alumni contributions, have gone out of their way to talk students out of reporting assaults or obfuscate their own poor records. “The Hunting Ground” chronicles the efforts of campus rape survivors Andrea Pino and Annie Clark, who can be seen literally connecting the dots to reveal the breadth and depth of campus rape culture, and who have shrewdly reframed it as a violation of female students’ rights under Title IX.

As inspiring as these efforts are, “The Hunting Ground” is still most effective as an emotional experience and, with luck, as a galvanizing one. Viewers will note that the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity — whose initials, according to some in the film, have been known to stand for “sexual assault expected” — is the one whose members made the news this week for singing a racist chant. With its unflinching portrayal of cynical school officials and their corrupt symbiosis with the sports teams and Greek systems to which they’re beholden, “The Hunting Ground” is, at its most basic, a damning indictment of entitlement and impunity.

★ ★ ★

PG-13. Contains disturbing thematic material involving sexual assault, and profanity. 90 minutes.

Movie Review: ‘Cinderella’

Perhaps the best-known fairy tale of all time has been given a lush, if lifeless, production in “Cinderella,” an opulent reimagining that spares nothing in the way of color, texture and rich visual value, but rarely manages to quicken its own pulse or that of the audience.

The solemn-looking Lily James plays the title character, the daughter of a wealthy merchant and his delicate wife. In a magical land similar to 19th-century Britain, she grows up talking to animals, charming her parents and striving to fulfill her devoted mother’s wishes that she display courage and, above all, be kind. “There is power in kindness,” the older woman says wisely. When tragedy befalls the family and her father remarries, the new blended family — including a style-conscious stepmother and her two vain and silly daughters — is enough to put even Cinderella’s most faultless virtues severely to the test.

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Director Kenneth Branagh and screenwriter Chris Weitz clearly have tried to bring the old story into line with 21st century feminist values: Far from a passive victim waiting to be saved by the handsome prince, their Cinderella is a paragon of quiet integrity and insight. But the lovely and fundamentally uninteresting James is no match for the fire and elemental venom exuded by Cate Blanchett’s evil stepmother, who is by far the film’s most interesting character. With her chartreuse and green wardrobe, scarlet gash of a rictus grin and darting fits of cruelty, she seems to have beamed into “Cinderella” as if from a 1950s Douglas Sirk melodrama into a cozy Merchant Ivory period drama.

Branagh tries his best to infuse “Cinderella” with energy, from having his characters compulsively swirl and spin in otherwise static scenes to the palace intrigue and power plays that take the place of conventional romance. He even tries to inject some humor (yes, that’s Rob Brydon in a cameo role, and Helena Bonham Carter hiding behind a hideous pair of prosthetic teeth), but to no avail. For all its gossamer, gauze, filigree and refinement, “Cinderella” drags when it should skip as lightly as its title character when she’s late getting home from the ball.

★ ★

PG. Contains mild thematic elements. 112 minutes.


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1. “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead)

2. “Prodigal Son” by Danielle Steel (Delacorte)

3. “The Assassin” by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott (G.P Putnam’s Sons)

4. “One Wish” by Robyn Carr (Harlequin MIRA)

5. “The Buried Giant” by Kazuo Ishiguro (Knopf)

6. “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Press)

7. “A Spool of Blue Thread” by Anne Tyler (Knopf)

8. “Dead Heat” by Patricia Briggs (Ace)

9. “Private Vegas” by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Little, Brown)

10. “Mightier than the Sword” by Jeffrey Archer (St. Martin’s Press)

11. “Leaving Berlin” by Joseph Kanon (Atria)

12. “Obsession in Death” by J.D. Robb (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

13. “Heir to the Jedi” by Kevin Hearne (Del Rey/Lucas)

14. “Gray Mountain” by John Grisham (Doubleday)

15. “The Whites” by Richard Price (Henry Holt and Co.)


1. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up” by Marie Kondo (Ten Speed)

2. “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande (Metropolitan)

3. “The 20/20 Diet” by Phil McGraw (Bird Street Books)

4. “Killing Patton” by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

5. “Bold” by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler (Simon & Schuster)

6. “Goddesses Never Age” by Christiane Northrup (Hay House)

7. “Effortless Healing” by Joseph Mercola (Harmony)

8. “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler (Dey Street Books)

9. “Girl in a Band” by Kim Gordon (Morrow/Dey Street)

10. “Money: Master the Game” by Tony Robbins (Simon & Schuster)

11. “Get What’s Yours” by Laurence Kotlikoff, Philip Moeller and Paul Solman (Simon & Schuster)

12. “Thug Kitchen” by Thug Kitchen (Rodale)

13. “The Food Babe Way” by Vani Hari (Little, Brown)

14. “H is for Hawk” by Helen Macdonald (Grove)

15. “You Can, You Will” by Joel Osteen (FaithWords)


1. “The Target” by David Baldacci (Vision)

2. “One Wish” by Robyn Carr (Harlequin MIRA)

3. “Festive in Death” by J.D. Robb (Berkley)

4. “Close to Home” by Lisa Jackson (Kensington/Zebra)

5. “The Longest Ride” (movie tie-in) by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing)

6. “The Bootlegger” by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott (Berkley)

7. “American Sniper” (movie tie-in) by Chris Kyle (Harper)

8. “A Real Prince” by Debbie macomber (Mira)

9. “Missing You” by Harlan Coben (Dell)

10. “The City” by Dean Koontz (Bantam)

11. “The Heist” by Daniel Silva (Harper)

12. “Power Play” by Danielle Steel (Dell)

13. “The Apple Orchard” by Susan Wiggs (Mira)

14. “The Immortal Who Loved Me” by Lynsay Sands (Avon)

15. “Sight Unseen” by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen (St. Martin’s Press)


1. “American Sniper” (movie tie-in) by Chris Kyle (William Morrow)

2. “Invisible” by James Patterson and David Ellis (Grand Central Publishing)

3. “The Collector” by Nora Roberts (Berkley)

4. “The Husband’s Secret” by Liane Moriarty (Berkley)

5. “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown (Penguin Press)

6. “Still Alice: A Novel” (movie tie-in) by Lisa Genova (Pocket)

7. “Mean Streak” by Sandra Brown (Grand Central Publishing)

8. “Unbroken” (movie tie-in) by Laura Hillenbrand (Random House)

9. “Fifty Shades of Grey” (movie tie-in) by E.L. James (Vintage)

10. “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand (Random House)

11. “Wild” (movie tie-in) by Cheryl Strayed (Vintage)

12. “The Girls of Mischief Bay” by Susan Mallery (Mira)

13. “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman (Moody/Northfield)

14. “Life Is _______” by Judah Smith (Thomas Nelson)

15. “10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse” by J.J. Smith (Atria)

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