Almost Heaven BBQ Bash partners with Upshur County BOE

BUCKHANNON — Upshur County Board of Education (BOE) Interim Superintendent Dr. Debra Harrison and Interim Assistant Superintendent Melinda Stewart met with Almost Heaven BBQ Bash board members and Fred W. Eberle Technical Center (FETC) faculty on Wednesday, September 28 to announce a new partnership.

Almost Heaven BBQ Bash Board President Jody Light shared, “We are going to be adding an art car element to our 2023 BBQ Bash” to which she continued, “Any mode of transportation (car, truck, bike, motorcycle, golf cart, 4-wheeler, tractor, etc.) that has been modified in appearance to create a personal artistic expression.” Light shared that students will be creating an art car for the 2023 BBQ Bash and that this is the first of its kind in West Virginia and is excited to have the collaboration with the Upshur County BOE and with the FETC.

Next, Dr. Harrison the Interim Superintendent of Upshur County BOE was invited to speak. Dr. Harrison said, “We are so excited that this is going to afford our students to really move forward with their creativity and an opportunity for Pre-K through high school to bring the community together.”

Then, Rebecca Bowers-Call the director at FETC spoke and introduced staff that would be helping but said that the project would be student driven. “We are very excited to take on something new and incorporate some different skills for our students.”

Dr. Harrison invited Light to elaborate on why there was a car, a bicycle and a box during the presentation of the discussion. Light said, “It is a little interesting as it says art car event so you think of cars and buses. But we’re looking to include the whole school system so bicycles would be decorated by Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School students and cardboard boxes would be decorated by elementary school students so they might cut a hole in the top of the box and then put straps over their shoulders and it is not something expensive.” Light shared if you have an old bicycle you would want to donate for the project to get in touch with her, Dr. Harrison or FETC. Light concluded that “the project is only limited by your imagination.”

Interim Assistant Superintendent Melinda Stewart commented, “We are looking at lifelong learners and having projects that impact students in the future. One of the things we are charged to do is career exploration. All of the pieces of this process involve different careers whether it is engineering, design, building all of these pieces come together. We also focus on problem-solving, getting along with one another, team building and collaborating together which is a really important process for our students.”

Light also noted that they are looking for a minivan for the project to be donated because it would offer more artistic space. In addition, she shared that least 3 major Art Car artists from Houston, TX have already confirmed their participation in the 2023 event, including Jada August with “Dragonfly Whimzee”, Kimi Bainter with “Baby Yodahead” and Paul McRae with his “Ribbons” car travelling down Main Street in a special Friday evening parade.” Furthermore, she noted that sponsors are also needed.

Light shared that “the idea had been thrown around years ago but with the BBQ Bash returning to Buckhannon in 2023, it just seemed perfect to have a big idea like this take place. We’re thrilled to partner with the Upshur County Board of Education to introduce this mobile art form to all K-12 students in Upshur County schools to design and build their own special art creation.  Every art class in Upshur County will have an opportunity to be involved in this exciting new arts venture.”


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