The Mercer County Teen Arts Festival scheduled for May 12, 2017, is a comprehensive arts education program held annually on the beautiful campus of Mercer County Community College. The event is open to all Mercer County public, private, parochial and home school students in middle and high school, ages 13 to 19.
The focus of the festival is not on competition but on participation in performance seminars, critiquing sessions, master classes and workshops in media and visual art, dance, drama, vocal and instrumental music, film and creative writing.
Goals of the program are to help students develop perceptual, intellectual and technical skills; gain cultural awareness and understanding; develop personal aesthetic values and learn self-discipline, critical thinking and problem solving through analyzing, interpreting and making judgments.
Photographs of student artwork displayed at the past festivals are featured in the online gallery, below. You can also browse some Mercer County Teen Art Anthologies, highlighting some of the terrific poetry and prose submitted by local teenagers who attended the festival.
History of Teen Arts
The first State Teen Arts Festival was held at McCarter Theatre in 1969. It was a collaborative planning effort by New Jersey arts educators, the State Department of Education, the New Jersey Sate Council on the Arts, the New Jersey State Museum and McCarter Theater.
Friends Of Teen Arts (FOTA) was responsible for developing the New Jersey State Teen Arts educational and artistic philosophy and program development. Teen Arts Festivals are a forum where students who have created outstanding works in other arts initiatives throughout the year can premiere their works to an audience of peers. Outstanding performing and exhibiting teen artists from county-level Teen Arts Festivals are selected to move on to the three-day New Jersey Teen Arts Festival held at Ocean County Community College.