One charter bus, one 15-passenger van, and one minivan took 58 high school students and 10 faculty members on an adventure to Washington, DC, for the first ever BJA Fine Arts Tour. The brainchild of Fine Arts Department Head Mr. Eric Woods, the trip was established to build unity in the Fine Arts department. Students enrolled in art, band, choir, orchestra, and speech classes were invited to attend.
A jam-packed itinerary was planned and executed by Mrs. Gail Nicholas. In four days the group visited the DC Memorials, the Pentagon, the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, several museums, the Kennedy Center, the White House, and Mount Vernon. Highlights included meeting with Senator Tim Scott and Representative Trey Gowdy. An evening tour of the Capitol led by Representative Jeff Duncan landed the group in the seats of the US House of Representatives. Another highlight of that tour was singing “Amazing Grace” in the Rotunda as well as praying with Rep. Duncan in the Congressional Chapel. Students were encouraged by the Christian government leaders they met.
Students were shown the incredible art of the nation’s capital. Faculty member Mr. Bill Pinkston took time to explore the National Gallery of Art with a group. His lecture on specific pieces of art drew attention from other tourists in the museum. Another group took time to view the Star-Spangled Banner display in the American History Museum. The entire group was fascinated with the incredible art found in the Library of Congress.
BJA graduates were also a part of the trip. Major Quay Barnett (Class of 1996) led the group through his workplace, the Pentagon. Jennifer Groover (Class of 1997) met the students in the tunnel of the Capitol to view the Congressional Art Contest winners. Her boss, Representative Robert Aderholt, joined the group for a few minutes of greetings and questions.
Before departing for home, the group spent a morning at Mount Vernon. The beauty of the Potomac and the history of the home itself were the perfect ending of a fabulous four days.