Arts Guild Resumes In-Person Performances

After over a year of virtual learning and COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings, the Sidwell community has begun to host in-person Arts Guilds, which include various mediums of self expression open to all. The 2021-2022 school year featured multiple all-school Arts Guild shows on Equity, Justice, and Community (EJC) Days, as well as open mic Fridays.

This year saw an increase in underclassmen performers, such as freshman Owen Wilson-Black with his multiple acoustic renditions and freshman Daniel Lea, who performed a cover of the song “If I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars during the all-school Arts Guild on April 19, 2022.

Arts Guild also included many non-vocal performances, such as senior pianist Neeky Vedadi and freshman Deanna Paukstitus’s rendition of “My Heart Will Go On” on her otamatone.

I actually never feel more myself than at Arts Guild.

— Lulu Sullivan '22

For many performers, Arts Guild is a uniquely meaningful experience. Junior Lane Worthing, who recently performed the song “Blouse” by Clairo with junior Anna Brody, sees Arts Guild as “a really fun school institution with a community of people who are really talented.”

Freshman Mira Flood also brought a unique tune to an all-school Arts Guild show with her cover of “Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog.”

The COVID-19 pandemic heavily affected Arts Guild attendance and membership, as the previous school year forced performances to be hosted on Zoom. With the many technical difficulties that come with at-home musical performances, senior Lulu Sullivan, a former Arts Guild club head, said that “the pandemic was really hard to keep the club going through.”

After a successful year of performances, the club has begun to transition to new club heads. Sullivan expressed that she “hopes that Arts Guild continues to exist and thrive” and explained that she is “truly grateful for [her] experience with the club the last four years.”

Sullivan said that the club “has been a really meaningful place for [her] throughout high school,” adding that “the upperclassmen were so welcoming that [she] quickly broke out of [her] shell.”

She hopes to find a place like Arts Guild to perform during college, adding, “I actually never feel more myself than at Arts Guild.”

Sullivan also encouraged students in future years to continue showing up to Arts Guild, as participation and support helps the club thrive.

The club, which will be led next year by Brody, Wilson-Black and freshman Luke Borkowski, looks forward to hosting similar shows.

When asked about her vision for the club next year, Brody mentioned how she wanted to increase participation in Arts Guild. “I think a lot of people are also nervous to perform, but Arts Guild is like the best place to try performing something — it doesn’t matter if you mess up, it’s just a supportive environment for anything you want to try,” she wrote.