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The beautiful spring weather was a wonderful enhancement to the 2016 SCSC Young Writers & Artists Conference held March 8-9 at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato. More than 1,200 students and chaperones attended over the two days. With nearly 60 small group sessions to choose from, students had the opportunity to explore many topics in writing and fine arts. 

“There is something for everyone,” said program coordinator Mary Hillmann. “Students get a chance to try something new or visit with experts in a field they are interested in.”

Author and motivational speaker, Ryan Jacobson, was the opening keynote speaker. He explained how writing a good story can be like a three-ring circus with many parts for an author to juggle. He also presented to small groups throughout the day on writing and publishing books.

A book fair featuring presenter works was available each day. Authors were on hand during lunch and between sessions to autograph items. 

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriating from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Additional grant funds were also provided by the Mankato Area Foundation and the Prairie Ecology Bus Center.

Students at 2016 YWAC sessionStudents at 2016 YWAC canvas painting sessionStudents at 2016 YWAC drawing session
Students at 2016 YWAC graphic sessionStudents at 2016 YWAC sessionStudents at 2016 YWAC sessionStudents at 2016 YWAC session with author Kathy SullivanStudents at 2016 YWAC session draw Picasso roostersStudents at 2016 YWAC keynote sessionStudents at 2016 YWAC watercolor poetry sessionStudents at 2016 YWAC "Draw from Your Wild Side" sessionStudents at 2016 YWAC session with Abraham Lincoln
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The beautiful spring weather only added to the excitement at the 2015 SCSC Young Writers & Artists Conference held March 10-11 at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato. With 60 small group sessions to choose from, students had the opportunity to explore many topics in writing and fine arts.

New York Times bestselling author, Michael Perry, was the opening keynote speaker. He explained to the budding authors how writing has allowed him to live a life filled with adventure. 
Student actors strike a pose during 2015 YWACStudents practice folding paper with Professor Origami at 2015 YWACThe BLC gym is filled with students and chaperones for the 2015 YWAC keynote presentationStudents gather around 2015 YWAC presenter as she demonstrates how to create a dream catcher.2015 YWAC presenter illustrates for on screen students as they follow along.Students use chalk to color in black and white photos at 2015 YWAC.Student adds color to black and white photo during 2015 YWAC sessionsStudents paint on canvas during 2015 YWAC session.Students create art with bubbles in 2015 YWAC session.Students decorate Native American Ojibwe bags during 2015 YWAC session.2015 YWAC instructor assists student with his 3D art project.Student raises hand to answer question during an interactive writing session at 2015 YWAC.

Constructing a piece of 3D modern art, sports writing and learning folk dances were one student’s line up of sessions at the SCSC Young Writers & Artists Conference held March 11-12 at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato. Every students’ day was different with nearly 60 small group sessions to choose from. Each student selected three sessions to attend in addition to the keynote.
  
The Divers, a local group made up of Peter Bloedel, Loren Halvorson, Eric Halvorson, and Andy Overn, had students in grades 3-9 bouncing in their seats with their mix of original music, comedy and spontaneous nonsense. Who knew a snow shovel could be such a fabulous instrument? The group talked about musical composition and demonstrated that even a llama can be the basis for a hit song.

Writing about dragons, drawing caricatures and learning folk dances were one student’s line up of sessions at the SCSC Young Writers & Artists Conference held March 12-13 at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato. Every students’ day was different as there were 57 small group sessions to choose from.          
Katie McKy, presenter, author and former teacher, had students in grades 3-6 “Witnessing, Wondering and Writing” in her keynote presentation. McKy is the author of “Pumpkin Town,” which has sold more than 800,000 copies, “Wolf Camp” and “It All Began with a Bean.” Meanwhile, Rebecca Fjelland Davis took students in grades 7-9 “From Here to There by Way of the Zoo.” Davis is the author of “Chasing AllieCat,“ "Jake Riley, Irreparably Damaged,” nonfiction books for younger readers, and currently teaches creative writing at South Central College.