San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

New arts center for Lincoln School in Moravia

From the print edition

It’s the opening performance for the Lincoln School’s sixth-grade presentation, “The Bears,” and six students in oversized teddy bear costumes run about the stage, belting out lines to an audience of peers. 

They have good reason for their excitement. The stage they are performing on opened this semester as part of the new Lincoln Auditorium and Center for the Fine and Performing Arts. Also, the students are completely in charge of the production.

For a month, students in Mr. Bowers’ class have been writing, designing, directing, rehearsing and balancing the lights and sound for their 20-minute play. The excitement that surrounds the new center and the performances it houses have some former students jealous. “This theater kicks butt,” says Alexandra Feliciano, 19, who graduated last year. “We used to practice in the back of the cafeteria.” 

Home for summer break from college in Orlando, Florida, in the United States where she studies theater, Feliciano is helping with some of the school’s productions. 

“Everyone now is taking art so much more seriously here,” she says. “And did you see the art rooms? It’s the kind of stuff you find in a university.”

The center not only contains a new theater and art rooms, but also band and choir rooms, soundproof practice rooms and a dance studio. Its construction is the third and final phase of the Lincoln School’s renovated campus in Moravia.

Downstairs in the art rooms, Valeria Pinto, 15, is participating in a critique with other ninth-grade students. Addressing a wire sculpture of a frog giving the pura vida thumbs up, she says, “It’s like an interpretation of a human as a frog.”

Pinto says she has noticed that many students who never cared about art and music are suddenly paying more attention in creative classes. That’s part of the goal for Lincoln School Cultural Director Sandra Mora, who was instrumental in the development of the center. Mora also is looking forward to sharing the center with general public, which can use it for fundraisers, performances and cultural events, she says.

Lincoln School General Director Jack Bimrose likes the multifaceted education that the center can bolster. “Not only are we educating the head, we are educating the heart and soul,” he says. 

“The arts speak to a different part of our human experience and we want to prepare the whole child.”

The Tico Times was founded in 1956 by students of the Lincoln School. Teaching assistant and veteran U.S. newswoman Elisabeth (Betty) Dyer oversaw the creation of a student-run, weekly paper for the English-speaking public, which evolved into The Tico Times of today.

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