Mere days away, the Youth Expo, which recognizes and celebrates the endless artistic talent and interests of students, all ages, encourages the public’s support by attending the free event on Saturday, April 12. Created and presented by Cumberland Artisans for Creative Expression (CACE), the second Youth Expo will again be held at the Cumberland County Community Complex (fairgrounds) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Community Complex is located on Livingston Rd. near its intersection with West Ave. (Hwy. 70 N) in Crossville.

Those who have never attended the Youth Expo will be treated to a variety of musical groups, plus individual piano recitals during the day. Participating in the Youth Expo are all 11 Cumberland County Schools (nine elementary and two high schools), one private school, plus home-schooled youth; the Youth Expo will include 129 pieces of two-dimension art matted and mounted by the Art and Frame Shop, a generous co-donation with CACE. These works may be viewed and enjoyed as attendees browse the exhibit hall. Additionally, says CACE President Sharron Eckert, ”There are several schools, who, instead of individual pieces, will be combining a number of pieces into a large mural or patchwork hanging.” The high schools will be entering framed works as well. Every type of artistic expression is encouraged by the Youth Expo, Including visual, three dimensional, musical, writing, performing, and fiber.

Hands-on experiences affords visitors the opportunity to experience for themselves how a craft is performed or executed. In the past this has included two-dimensional fine art with a painter on hand to discuss his or her favorite medium — oil, watercolor, pencil, or others. It is one of the most popular features of the Youth Expo with students enjoying the participation and fun.

“A new feature in the hands-on experiences will be clay-pottery coordinated by members of the Art Guild at Fairfield Glade, and Swedish huck weaving. The Fan-Tastic Quilters have prepared exciting experiences for youth of all ages including selected fabric and sewing nine-square blocks. Practice dulcimers are being provided by Pleasant Hill Elementary School; members of the Dulci-mores, and the Cumberland Dulcimer Club will assist students who want to play the string instruments. Other popular hands-on experiences will include painting, drawing, weaving, spinning, rug hooking, bobbin lace making, caning, and paper folding,” says Eckert.

Now that you know what’s in store at the Youth Expo, mark your calendar and set aside this date to celebrate the many skills of our youth in Cumberland County. Remember, there is no admission charge and no fees for any of the materials—they are provided by several groups and organizations. Since the Youth Expo is not a selling venue, there are no artworks or crafts for sale. There will also be no food vendors at the expo.

CACE is a not-for-profit 501©(3) volunteer organization which stresses its mission “to identify, support, and encourage the varied artistic and creative individuals and groups within Cumberland County, TN.” The 2008 Youth Expo committee includes its coordinator, Sharron Eckert, with leadership team members Sandra Sam Reilly, Glenna King, Leigh Smith, and Julie Smith. Eckert may be reached at (931) 277-5425, or visit CACE’s Web site

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