#GivingTuesday

billreagivingtues“It has been such a blessing in my life.”  “It was one of the proudest moments of my life.” “Definitely a defining moment in my life.”

When we asked graduates to tell us what Community School of the Arts’ Side By Side Apprentice Program meant to them, they sent back pages and pages of testimony.  And while each story is different, all of these young men and women agree:

This program changed their lives.

For the past 20 years, Side By Side has paired underserved teens from Knox County with professional artists in their studios for apprenticeships that can last for years.  The effects of these special mentorships go far beyond the school year.  They last a lifetime.

Through Side By Side, at-risk children bloom into poised, confident, and accomplished adults. It’s why this program— for three years running—has been named one of the top 35 arts and humanities youth programs in the nation by both the National Endowment for the Arts and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

Please take the time while it’s on your mind to help secure the future of the next generation by sponsoring a child’s arts education now.  Any amount will make a difference.  And many thanks for your friendship and support at this special time of year.

Click here to read Sharlita’s story.

Read more about Sharlita and other graduates of the Side-by-Side program here.

In Her Own Words

For the 20th anniversary of the Side By Side Visual Arts Apprentice program, we asked graduates to tell us what the program meant to them. They sent back pages and pages of testimony.  And while each story is different, all of these young men and women agree: this program changes lives.  Sharlita is one of those stories.


sharlitastorypicsIN HER OWN WORDS

Community School of the Arts is an organization that cares.  Not just about my development as an artist but my development as a person.  The School gave me a network of people that cared about what was going on outside of my projects.  My teachers were never shy about asking how my life was going and how they could offer support.

Community School of the Arts helped me realize my love for design and influenced my decision to major in architecture.  My

fondest memory was working with Clark Stewart as my Side By Side mentor: I felt so honored to be working with a real artist!  It made you feel important that he would take the time out to work with you and only you.  Another great memory was the moment when I first saw my art on the wall in Bennett Galleries!  The whole event was so classy and professional.  It’s just a great feeling to be a part of something so special when you are so young; it boosts your self-esteem and confidence like nothing else.
Community School of the Arts and Side By Side were definitely defining moments in my life.  Now I mentor a 10-year-old girl in New York who dreams of being an architect.  We often go out and sketch together around the city. I want to teach her the things that I learned; you give, and you get so much more back.  That’s the great lesson of Side By Side.  I look forward to being able someday to give the Community School of the Arts just a portion of what they’ve given to me.

Sharlita Green, Class of 2009; Hampton University, Architecture, 2013; Junior Architect, Mergal Architecture, New York, 2016

Read more about Sharlita and other graduates of the Side-by-Side program here.

Read all about us!

The Community School of the Arts is the featured nonprofit in the July/August issue of Cityview Magazine!  Writer Mark Spurlock did a wonderful job capturing the essence of our program, and photographer (and Cityview publisher) Nathan Sparks spent an entire day at Richard Jolley and Tommie Rush’s studio to bring the energy of Side/By/Side to life for Cityview readers. Click here to read this issue’s Cityview: Nonprofit Spotlight.

Side-By-Side Program May Be Headed for the White House

isaiah

Senior Isaiah Mobley with Richard Jolley; this is Isaiah’s fourth year working with Jolley.

The Community School of the Arts Side-By-Side Visual Arts Apprentice Program has once again been chosen for recognition as a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Finalist by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and its partner agencies— the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“We reviewed 301 nominations from 44 states and the District of Columbia,” wrote the four partner-group leaders to CSA Executive Director Jennifer Willard. “Your program’s selection as one of 50 finalists distinguishes it as one of the top arts- and humanities-based programs in the country.”

A national jury of arts and humanities field experts is reviewing Side-By-Side’s application for one of the awards, which will be announced by the end of June. If Side-By-Side is selected, Willard will receive a $10,000 grant and an invitation to attend the White House awards ceremony hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama. The Community School of the Arts would also participate in the ninth annual NAHYP Awardee Conference, August 3-5, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

“We are so grateful for this recognition,” says Willard.  “As I look around the country at the other great programs among the finalists, and I look what our visual-artist mentors and our CSA students are accomplishing together, I truly believe that this is our year to go to Washington.”

The Side-By-Side Visual Arts Apprentice Program, now in its 20th year, pairs CSA students with professional artists in their studios for a period of four to six months each year, giving students the opportunity to witness, participate in, and experience first-hand every aspect of the creative process under the tutelage of master professionals. In many cases, these pairings result in long-term working partnerships over the course of several years.

At the end of the school year — this year from May 30 to June 3 — all apprenticeships culminate in a full-scale art exhibition, where student and professional works are displayed side-by-side at Bennett Galleries and Company. The exhibit culminates with a silent auction and reception on June 3 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Bennett Galleries.

The CSA is marking Side-By-Side’s 20th anniversary by launching a campaign to raise 20 scholarships ($1,500 apiece) for future students to be able to take advantage of the program. “We kick off our Twenty-for-20 Campaign at a soiree on August 25,” says Willard. “I hope–I expect–to be able to report back on what I learned at the awardee conference in DC. And then we can make our plans to take this extraordinary program to the next level.”

The students selected for Side-By-Side must be in grades 5‑12 and have a minimum of two years’ classroom instruction in the visual arts at the School before being considered.

Students are chosen for particular apprenticeships based on the degree of difficulty of each medium and the amount of time required in the studio; the age, experience, and interests of the student; and the personality, family situation, and special educational or behavioral needs of the student.

Once accepted, the student is allowed to remain in the apprentice program each year prior to graduation; in most cases, this results in long-term intensive apprenticeships with one artist.

For more information, go to http://www.csaknox.org/sidebyside

Define your art. Define yourself. Define your future.

Welcome to the Community School of the Arts! We’re thrilled to introduce our new brand, as designed by the talented and generous bunch over at the Best Behavior Creative Club, and to roll out our new motto: Define your art. Define yourself. Define your future.

Recently, an 8-year-old student said to me, “I live in a bad neighborhood and I go to a bad school.” That is her definition of herself: the streets on which she lives. At the Community School of the Arts, we want her to be more than her environment or family situation.  We want her to be able to say, “I am an artist, I am a singer, I play the piano, I am dancer, I am a mathematician.” Studies show that at-risk children are three times as likely to graduate from college if they receive systematic arts training on a weekly basis. We are here to give children that leg up by providing quality education in all the arts for free. We recognize that by doing so, we let a child not only define herself but define her future as well.

We hope you’ll jump on the bandwagon, and take the time to peruse what we have to offer. And watch this space for updates!

Best wishes,

Jennifer Willard,
Executive Director

 

We’re TOP 50!

We’re top 50!

The Community School of the Arts’ Side-By-Side Visual Arts Apprentice Program is one of 50 finalists for the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, a signature initiative of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Service to showcase cultural excellence and enhance the availability of out-of-school arts and humanities programs to children and young people. The final 12 winners will be announced at the end of June, and each will receive a check for $10,000 at a White House ceremony in October.

Wish us luck!

CSA Alumni Charles Myers returns!

CSA alum Charles Myers returns to teach Culinary Arts Workshop

CSA alum Charles Myers took four eager students under his tutelage in the First Presbyterian Church kitchen tonight for lessons in peeling, roasting and baking. The results were absolutely delicious!

Charles Myers shows Felicia Harris, left, and Kierra Webb, right, how to use an ice cream scoop to distribute even amounts of cupcake batter.

 

Arts Showcase Breakfast 2/28/15!

Be our guest at the Community School of the Arts Showcase Breakfast

You’re invited to enjoy a sumptuous breakfast, learn about our award-winning programs, and marvel at our featured performers!

Friday, February 28, at 7 a.m.
Breakfast buffet opens at 7:30 a.m.
Program Program concludes promptly at 8:30 a.m.

Fellowship Hall First Presbyterian Church 620 State Street Knoxville, Tennessee 37902

Please R.S.V.P by calling 865-523-5684 or e-mailing csaknox@gmail.com by Tuesday, February 25, 2014