Nickelodeon star performs at Central High

The Fresno BeeFebruary 26, 2014 

Students at a Fresno high school enjoyed a different type of lunch break on Wednesday.

Central High School was among one of 25 across the nation chosen by High School Nation, an organization that brings an arts and music festival to a campus.

School officials said the festival gave students the chance to explore a future in the arts.

"They're showing the students the different things you can do in terms of art -- different careers you can have, or different paths you can take," said Martha Valdez, Central High East's activities director.

The two-hour event featured live concerts, including performances by former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell and Trevor Jackson, one of the stars in the Disney Channel movie "Let It Shine."

Nearly 3,000 students, from both Central's East and West campuses, visited various booths, including a Guitar Center-sponsored music area and an art area hosted by the art supplies business Tulip. Students were able to play different musical instruments and learn how to make art.

"It's really fun," senior Juliana Rush said. "It's just a day for us to have fun and enjoy."

Besides the festival, High School Nation raffled prizes worth about $10,000, including a Gibson guitar, said Sarah Tozlian, the activities director for the West campus.

Senior Courtney Allwood said she enjoyed the chance to socialize with friends while learning about the arts.

"It gives you a chance to hang out and we're getting exposed to what else is out there," Allwood said. "It opens you up to new opportunities."

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6659, or @DianaT_Aguilera on Twitter.

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