On the verge of cancellation a plan was hatched to save ArtBeat 2020

By Mona Summers, CHCA Fine Arts Director 

SYMMES TOWNSHIP, OH (June 11, 2020) – When it was clear CHCA’s 22nd Annual ArtBeat arts festival would have to be cancelled, it was so disappointing!

Art Beat 2020 Poster (Provided) 

ArtBeat is a day-long celebration of the visual and performing arts that brings the entire CHCA community together – from the youngest preschoolers through Grade 12! The committee had already been working on the event for many months. To learn that all the work would be for nothing was difficult, but not as difficult as knowing the students would not be able to share their beautiful artwork and performances with the community. It was then that a plan for Virtual ArtBeat began so that at least part of ArtBeat could be shared with the community.

After working for months on all that goes into ArtBeat, which typically draws over 2,200 people, the committee had to pivot quickly in order to plan and implement a Virtual ArtBeat to draw hundreds in, well, virtually! 

CHCA Fine Arts Director, Mona Summers, immediately reached out to the visual art teachers to share with them her vision of Virtual ArtBeat and they were excited and ready to do the work it would take to make this possible. Of course, the reality of the work required was much more difficult than they imagined, but they were still excited to have the opportunity to share their students’ artwork with the community. Summers then reached out to the ArtBeat auditioned performers to ask them if they would like to be a part of Virtual ArtBeat, which required them to send in videos of their performances. Many of the ensemble auditions were not able to participate in light of sheltering in place at home per Governor’s orders. However, there were some duets who got very creative in order to share their videos. A few videos from auditions that parents took from the sidelines were able to be shared, as well as videos from dance competitions where dancers competed with the same pieces they performed at auditions. Summers then pulled together a schedule for the Virtual ArtBeat event and the behind-the-scenes work to put it all online commenced.


As in the typical live and in person ArtBeat, there are so many notable Virtual ArtBeat highlights. 1,435 pieces of artwork and 68 performance videos were included. In addition, the committee held a Juried Art Competition (results displayed below) as part of the virtual event. Virtual ArtBeat lasted fifteen days, beginning Friday, May 1, 2020 and ending Friday, May 15, 2020. Each day at 5:30 p.m., new artwork and performances were released to virtual audiences. In its duration, Virtual ArtBeat had over 3,674 

webpage views and was the 2nd most popular webpage on www.chca-oh.org, only after the homepage. Visitors enjoyed the visual and performance art an average of 4 minutes, with one page averaging 5:25 minutes per visit! Curious to see what you missed?  Virtual ArtBeat is still available online.


The support and feedback from the community was phenomenal. Many people commented that the webpages hosting content were visually appealing and well laid out so that it was easy to follow and find things. But mostly, it was the wonderful feedback received from students, parents, and faculty who said they were thrilled Virtual ArtBeat was being shared since ArtBeat had to be cancelled. Students and parents alike were very thankful to be able to participate in Virtual ArtBeat and that it was accessible to the entire community.

“In the end, it was so worth the effort,” said Summers. “I would do it all again in a heartbeat to be able to share the gifts and talents of our students!”

The following students received prizes in the Juried Art Competition:

Best in Show – Sarah Pan

AP Portfolio – 1st Place: Anna Treadway, Honorable Mention: Alexis Otto

Drawing – 1st Place: Sarah Pan, 2nd Place: Anna Treadway, 3rd Place: Chloe Huang, Honorable Mention: Sarah Pan

Layout and Design – 1st Place: Catherine Frazer, 2nd Place: Joey Shafer, 3rd Place: Samuel Davis, Honorable Mention: Hailey Wichard

Painting – 1st Place: Jacqueline Clayton, 2nd Place: Marissa Mao, 3rd Place: Hailey Williams, 4th Place: Jake Younkin, 5th Place: Aidan Hook, Honorable Mention: Jonah Bolander

Instructor’s Choice – Chloe Huang

Click here for more on Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy