ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- ArtsFest in the West returned for its 10th year at Western Albemarle High School on Friday night.

It’s a fundraiser for art programs in the Albemarle County Public Schools division's western feeder pattern.

It started in response to lost art funding during the Great Recession and has raised tens of thousands of dollars since.

Sophomore Matt Neu is in the school musical, an A Capella group, band and ceramics. She says she likes being a part of a larger community and was excited to continue the tradition of ArtsFest.

"It's a big responsibility, but it’s very exciting to be able to contribute like people before we have, and be able to make a difference," she said.

Laura Chatterson, ceramics teacher and head of the art department at WAHS, says the fundraiser pushes the important mission of the department.

"This is a safe place for our students to learn to be expressive in a productive and healthy way. Giving them this outlet, I think it helps them channel their emotions,” she said.

The event features student performances, family activities, and an auction.

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