AP NEWS

Very Special Arts Festival gives Cumberland students a chance to shine

May 3, 2019

The theme for this year’s 38th annual Very Special Arts Festival is all about technology and how it can help improve the lives of Cumberland County residents.

The festival, hosted by WRAL reporter Gilbert Baez, is sponsored by Cumberland County Schools and allows students to strut their stuff.

About 2,000 people packed the festival Friday as students with special needs were given the chance to experience the performing and visual arts.

One of the highlights of the festival was when all the students, including those who don’t get to perform, were allowed to march cross the stage for the parade of schools.

Parents who attend the event say that moment on stage in front of a big crowd is extra special for their children.

“We feel accepted and normal,” said Tamela Zuchaine, whose child is participating in the event. “It’s very exciting to come to these.”

She said her son was “over the moon” about the festival because he “loves the music, he loves the people, and we love to socialize.”

In addition to the on-stage performances, there were a number of hands-on activities for the students to participate in, all in the name of having fun.