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Friday, December 7, 2012

NEWS: Kearns High School Students Create Utah’s Ornaments For National Christmas Tree

**The body of this e-mail is also in the attachment**

For immediate release               Alyssa Hickman Grove, 801.236.7548
6 December 2012                      Constituent Relations & Media, Utah Arts & Museums

Geoffrey Fattah, 801.245.7205
Communications Director, Utah Dept. of Heritage and Arts

Kearns High School Students Create Utah’s Ornaments
For National Christmas Tree

Ornaments from all states displayed at National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Arts & Museums has announced that Noemi Hernandez Balcazar and her students at Kearns High School have designed and created the ornaments for Utah’s tree for the 2012 National Christmas Tree display in President’s Park in Washington, D.C. Balcazar and her students will join local artists and youth from each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia who were selected to design and create 24 ornaments encased in plastic globes for their respective state or territory tree.

Balcazar is a visual artist and teacher at Kearns High School. Her students created small sculptures of a composite clay material depicting a variety of Utah icons — a dinosaur, a red rock arch, a sego lily, for example — which were then inserted into the plastic globes for hanging.

The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, held annually on the Ellipse to kick off the holiday season, will be held Thursday, December 6, 2012. The ceremony is presented by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation. Public television stations begin airing the tree lighting ceremony on Friday, December 7 and will continue the broadcasts throughout the holiday season. In Utah, the program will begin airing on Sunday, December 9 at 6:00 p.m. on KUED Channel 7.

“We appreciate the efforts of these Kearns High students,” said Margaret Hunt, Director of Utah Arts & Museums. “It will be an honor for their ornaments to represent our state in Washington, D.C.”

“We are very pleased that Kearns High School will represent Utah in this year’s National Christmas Tree display,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “This time-honored tradition is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.”

Four weeks of holiday events in President’s Park begin with the 90th National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The National Christmas Tree Lighting began on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators on the Ellipse in President’s Park. Since 1923, each succeeding president has carried on the tradition. For more details, please visit www.thenationaltree.org.

Photos:            Ornaments ready to send to Washington, D.C.
                        Kearns High art students show off their ornaments.
                        A Kearns High art student displays her sego lily ornament.

About The National Park Service
The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System and its 395 National Park sites for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The National Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world. For more information, visit www.nps.gov.

About The National Park Foundation
You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites — all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow.

About Utah Arts & Museums
Utah Arts & Museums is a division of the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts with a goal to promote innovation in and the growth of Utah’s arts and culture community. The division provides funding, education, and technical services to individuals and organizations statewide so that all Utahns, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or economic status, can access, understand, and receive the benefits of arts and culture. Additional information on the programs and services can be found at artsandmuseums.utah.gov or by calling 801.236.7555.

Alyssa Hickman Grove
Constituent Relations & Media
617 E. South Temple, SLC, UT 84102
Phone: 801.236.7548

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