Students from Searsport District Middle School and a few select Searsport District High School students were treated to a day-long program of arts demonstrations and workshops during what was aptly dubbed the “Middle School Arts Festival,” Thursday, Dec. 16.

The event, which featured a dozen demonstrations of visual and performing arts, trades and crafts, was funded by a Nellie Mae Education Foundation grant. Searsport was one of thirteen schools in New England to receive the grant this year, which is good for $75,000 per year for up to three years.

Among the performing arts demonstrations were a lively Acadian music duo composed of members of Boréal Tordu and swing dancers from the Belfast Dance Studio.

On the art-as-trade side, an SDHS alumnus returned to give a demonstration in scientific glass blowing. Steve Bates, who now lives in California, lent his glass-forming chops to the long-term benefit of the school, making several custom pieces for the school’s science department.

Art teacher Ronald Bisbee threw clay pots for a packed room of onlookers, and Lorna Crichton of Waterfall Arts made a presentation in the school library of some of the Belfast-based nonprofit’s past projects, which focus on the intersection of art and nature.

After the event, Bisbee described it as “awesome!”

“In school, kids have issues with attention span,” he said. “There was not one incident of anything [Thursday]. They were just so into it.”

Bisbee said there would likely be another event in the spring, “bigger and better.”