Student artistry shines through senior independent creative projects


Demi Ellenbogen
features editor

Senior members of the Humanities and Arts Program were assigned the Senior Independent Project (SIP), an opportunity to research in-depth any topic they find important and present it in either a 18-20 page research paper or a creative project.

For students who opt to do the creative project, they are still required to write an eight-10 page essay. The SIP emphasizes the process of engaging in personal research, exploring creative aspects of an artistic production and on overall presentation.

Students are given freedom in choosing a topic for their SIP, but the project must represent a substantial extension of their expertise and knowledge of that topic. The project also must focus on a humanities or arts topic that can be thoroughly completed by the end of the first semester.

Senior Elise Mitchell chose to do a creative project. Mitchell plans to write a full-length screenplay adaptation of the book trilogy The Foxhole Court. The research portion of the project is a focus on film adaptation. “I am really excited to research how mood is communicated through books and how to then communicate that mood visually through film,” Mitchell said.

Senior Margaret Christovich is coding a website that will visually display her research topic, the risks of digital privacy. The SIP allows Christovich to combine her interest in technology with her interest in arts and humanities. “I think the creative project is a great option for students like me wanting to incorporate outside interests into their Senior Independent Project,” Christovich said.

Senior Esha Mittal is choreographing and performing Bollywood dances for her project, which falls into the fine arts category. The topic of her project is Bollywood, the film industry and the music. “When [Michelle Hanson] told us to pick a topic we are interested in, I was so excited to have the opportunity to do Bollywood, as I could go on and on about it and I love Bollywood dancing,” Mittal said.

Students are drawn to the creative project for a myriad of reasons. Senior James Barberis is using the SIP as an opportunity to make a documentary about the school newspaper. “I chose to do the creative project for sentimental reasons, as I believe it will supply a sense of pride and also be a lot of fun,” Barberis said.

Barberis’ project was inspired by popular T.V. shows The Office and American Vandal. He is going to be filming his newspaper class for the next month, walking through the process and giving the school newspaper a face. “My research project will follow the class as a whole, but also put a focus on those with the intention of studying journalism after high school and how their high school journalism experiences impact this,” Barberis said.

The Humanities and Arts Signature Program is a four-year program designed for students who are passionate about some aspect of the humanities and/or arts. The humanities allow students to understand their culture and the culture of others, and helps them learn how to think, not what to think. It encompasses literature, history and other social studies, languages and culture, philosophy and religion, law, film and morality. The fine arts, such as dance, music and visual arts, actively involve learners as creators and organizers.