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Annual art festival highlights Austin's young artists

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This weekend, students from across Austin will showcase their works of art at Creative Action's annual Youth Art Festival. The field ranges from plays, movies, photography, and paintings.

Students from nine Austin area high schools and middle schools will participate in this seventh annual event. It's also a way for the community to see what life is like for these teens, through their eyes.

The play "#blamegame" will be performed by Creative Action's teen theater ensemble, "Changing Lives". It follows a group of teenagers, touching on big topics like bullying and sexual harassment. “He tells him to be a man, be assertive, be demanding , which you should never be in a relationship, and he talks about getting a little flirty and a little handsy with Carter and Carter does that, which makes sexual harassment inside the play,” says Colton Gillum, one of the actors. The surprising part is that it was all written by students. “We think about all the stuff that's going on. All of the problems that we face  as people and as teens and you just write a play about it,” says William Magnuson, an 8th grader.

Creative Action was founded by four University of Texas graduate students in 1997, and serves more  than 18,000 youth annually in seven Austin area school districts.

Zina Camblin is the Changing Lives director. She tells us the program allows teens to be themselves. “I find that a lot of kids who have trouble in math or certain topics in school, who may sort of get lost in the shuffle.  When they're doing a theatre class, when they're editing film, they come out of the shell,” says Camblin.

The festival also allows grown-ups to look inside a teenager's life, “I feel like a lot of times you know with like adultism, as adults, we have that, what is that music those kids listen to now a days and these kids are just on Facebook all the time, and Twitter or whatever, but it’s good to come out and see kids are doing really incredible work,” says Camblin.

Jackson Brooks is in 8th grade. He and his friends will be screening a movie. “I love acting. It’s I think my favorite way of expressing myself and how I feel to others,” says Brooks.

The event is Saturday from noon to 5:00 p.m. at Lamar Middle School. It's free and open to the public. Everyone is invited to take workshops in mural making, dance and improvisational comedy.

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