Body Electric Arts Festival Communicates Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Art projects on display April 12 to 14 at Cross County Mall, Mattoon

April 8, 2013 9:25 a.m.

More than 100 art projects created by high school students in seven counties will be on display from April 12 to 14 for the I Sing the Body Electric Arts & Health Festival at the Cross County Mall, Mattoon.

The Arts & Health Festival, held every two years, celebrates area youth who have created innovative and effective prevention messages through the arts. Projects include paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography, poetry, videos, and music, while the topics include substance abuse, teen sexuality and body image. They are created by students in Clark, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Moultrie, Shelby, and Effingham counties and will be available for viewing during the mall’s regular hours in the former Sam Goody store. The projects promote messages of healthy lifestyle choices based on the 2012 results of the Illinois Youth Survey which was taken by nearly 60 percent of high school students in seven counties.

The community is also invited to a special performance by the teen band, BreakAway, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., on Friday, April 12, at the Cross County Mall. The Mattoon band recently recorded Body Electric public services announcements which will air on television and radio. I Sing the Body Electric is a program for teens that uses the arts to communicate healthy lifestyle choices to their peers through a three-stage process. First, a biennial survey is conducted to determine subjects of concern for area youth. Then high school students choose a health issue, research the best way to convey their prevention messages, and then create a work of art that is then taken to area schools throughout East Central Illinois.

The Body Electric coalition includes Eastern Illinois University, Lake Land College, Paris Community Hospital, Regional Office of Education, and Sarah Bush Lincoln. For more information about I Sing the Body Electric, visit www.isbe.org or call 888-550-7464.

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