Internationally acclaimed magician and motivational speaker, Stephen Bargatze, was in Batesville recently entertaining and inspiring over 1,000 students and 150 adults. Bargatze was in town as part of a Hillenbrand Inc. event, and several Arts in Education programs tagged on to his visit. His first performance was an Arts in Education Evening Series especially designed for adults who work with young people at the Big 4 Café on Monday evening, October 26. Attendees represented all of the BCSC schools, St. Louis School, Safe Passage, the Batesville Memorial Public Library and the RAA.
Bargatze performed on October 27 and 28 at SLS, BMS, & BIS for students in grades 4-8. The first 40 minutes of each performance entranced the audience with his comedy and magic tricks. Money, coins, balls and playing cards appeared and disappeared, rearranged and multiplied. Having gotten everyone’s full attention and respect, Stephen then shared a more serious message about making good choices regarding alcohol, drugs, bullying and teasing. His seamless weaving of his own story of a difficult childhood, how students can make good choices today and the pure entertainment of his magic skills was pretty amazing. Still don’t know where that bowling ball came from!
Bargatze also spoke with Batesville High School athletes and their coaches at an afterschool performance designed just for them. He promoted sportsmanship, leadership and making good choices. “Don’t throw away everything you’ve worked so hard for with one foolish decision.” Again, he inspired and amazed those in attendance with his ability to share silliness, skill and a serious message.