brings the Middle Ages to life in Kentucky
Co. students coordinate event
to raise money for arts
Helen E. McKinney
NEW CASTLE, Ky. (April 2005) Henry Countians
are in for a treat when the Middle Ages descend upon the community in
April. A minstrel atmosphere will pervade the Henry County Fairgrounds
as knights and ladies, magicians and madrigal performers entertain the
The idea for a Renaissance Faire came about when Henry County High School
and Middle School students were looking for a fund raising idea last
year. Eighth-grade students saw the need for a kiln and wanted to bring
one to Henry County, said Henry County Middle School assistant principle
Lorri Stivers. The students held a fall celebration called On Fire For
the Arts and raised $4,000 for this project, said Stivers.
The eighth-grade students wanted to leave a legacy to the middle
school, said Stivers. Within the last two months, both middle
school and high school students have helped plan this event. Proceeds
from the Renaissance Faire will go to the High School Arts Club.
The Renaissance Faire will be held from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday,
April 16, at the Henry County Fairgrounds. Activities include equestrian
riders and related events, madrigal choirs, roaming performers from
the Drama Club, food catered by Our Best Restaurant, and desserts from
the Henry County Homemakers Club, with special student performances
held at the end of the day. Admission is $1 for students and $3 for
Stivers is hoping to establish a tradition for the Arts &
Humanities components for the school system. A Student Art Gallery
will be set up in the 4-H Field house. Middle school students have been
assembling period items to sell, such as wooden swords.
As part of their lesson plans, students have also researched their surnames
and coat of arms and will display student flags and banners with their
heraldry on them. Stivers said the students hope the event will bring
attention to Henry County.
Bonnie Martin, an Arts and Humanities teacher at Henry County Middle
School, said high school art teacher Mike McCardwell had approached
her with the idea. McCardwell saw the event as a good fund raiser and
as a way for the middle school to become involved in a high school activity.
Elementary schools may also become involved.
Martin called it a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the
students of Henry County. The event will fulfill core curriculum requirements
in a hands-on method. It may even help with KATS (Knowledge Automatic
Testing System) Testing in the spring, said Martin.
Her students have researched the arts, games and toys, and clothing
of the Middle Ages. These preliminary studies have brought about a greater
awareness of the arts and humanities field for the students. Ive
seen a difference already, said Martin.
Students have learned the similarities and differences within the Middle
Ages and their own cultures. Louisvilles Frazier Historical Arms
Museum will be sending two re-enactors in period clothing to the Renaissance
Michelle Gelback, marketing associate for the Frazier Museum, said Ellen
Dressman and Nathan Logsdon will provide a knowledge and enthusiasm
for the Middle Ages. The re-enactors may bring items from their own
personal collections to display.
The Frazier Museum was asked to participate because it was a great opportunity
for their community service outreach program, said Gelback. The museum
is looking for more ways to educate the public about its displays and
services through its Presence of the Past program.
Other special guests include Lexington-based Shire of Dragonsmark and
Louisville-based Barony of the Flame. Both nonprofit groups are local
branches of a larger organization called the SCA (Society for Creative
We look at the original Middle Ages and learn, and put to use
aspects that make up the Current Middle Ages, said Gwyn Wright,
member of the Shire of Dragonsmark. Dedicated to researching and recreating
the arts and skills of 17-century Europe, the Shire of Dragonsmark has
more than 30,000 members worldwide.
The Barony of the Flame is a sister chapter based in Louisville and
the surrounding area, said Wright. Members were asked to participate
in this fundraiser for the Henry County schools and will do so on a
Our studies cover the years from about 600-1600 AD, said
Wright, in addition to covering Europe and countries that had contact
with Europe at that time period. The SCA holds events where we
can get together and share what weve learned and have some fun,
These demos are set up by the SCA at schools, libraries, churches and
other public venues. Demos are our way to serve the community
and maybe get a new member or two, said Wright. We embrace
all that was noble and fantastic about the Middle Ages, study how things
were done, and then try them out.
This event will broaden the horizon of many Henry County school children,
giving them a glimpse of a life they have only previously read about
in history books, but can now experience firsthand, she said.
For more information contact Lorri Stivers
or Bonnie Martin at (502) 845-8660.
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