Quoting a familiar phrase from our most recent musical “lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my, ”I’d like to coin a similar phrase “drama, ballet, and art, oh my.” This phrase begins to describe one of the components of the Averitt Center for the Arts that some folks may not know about.
In addition to the shows in our beloved Emma Kelly Theater, and the series of professional artists’ work displayed in our Main Gallery, we also have a fully-functional education department. Folks in our region can enroll in workshops, weekly courses, and sampler classes year-round during the typical school year.
“How does this work?” you may ask.
During the school year, we offer a variety of educational opportunities for which people can sign up. These are held in one of our four buildings in downtown Statesboro.
We offer art classes in our Roxie Remley Center for Fine Arts for ages 5 through adults. Led by teaching principal Kimberly Riner, these classes include pottery, drawing, painting, and visual journaling. Our most popular courses are those for children and youth. They can learn how to hand-build in clay, throw bowls and cups on the wheel, and how to draw and paint on canvas. Special classes for home-schooled children and youth are also available.
In the adult realm, we also have hand-building in clay, wheel throwing, drawing classes, and one of our newest, watercolor painting. If weekly classes are too much, we offer once-a-month workshops in pottery, drawing, painting, visual journals and altered books, and a popular monthly Paint-N-Party. For those who want to get in touch with their creative self, we even have a creativity workshop planned.
We offer drama classes for ages five through adults in both our Mical Whitaker Black Box Theater and in our Averitt Center for the Arts’ main building. Headed up by teaching principal Robert Cottle, the theater classes for children and youth have the largest attendance. Appearing on stage can be scary for some, so, preparing and practicing being on stage through weekly lessons can help with that process. Weekly classes have an end-of-the-session performance during class time for invited guests. In addition to the shows given through our weekly classes, we also provide open auditions for special youth-oriented shows periodically throughout the year.
Above and beyond these two opportunities for performing, the Averitt Center also produces several community theater productions each year. These are also casted through open auditions. These community theater productions are typically targeted at adults; however, some of these shows do have roles for children and youth.
Our ballet classes for ages 3 through adults are held in either our Performing Arts Center located on West Main Street or in our Cotton Rose School of Dance location on North Main Street. Teaching principal Rebekah Harville Carlisle organizes and teaches many of our dance classes. Dipping down to even a younger age set, courses start at age 3 in this area. This class is called pre-ballet and includes tap training as well. After pre-ballet, the dancers move up to regular ballet classes and can also continue tap lessons as well. Accomplished and older dancers can also add dancing en pointe to their weekly dance classes. Many students also enjoy taking our lyrical, jazz, musical theater, and hip hop classes. Started Last year, we began offering a class called The Little Light for children with special needs. Our students enjoy performing twice a year in the Emma Kelly Theater. If that wasn’t enough, we also offer a weekly ballet class for adults.
Music courses and private music lessons are also offered at the Averitt Center for the Arts’ main building. The main feature of our music area is the Statesboro Chamber Orchestra conducted by our teaching principal Dr. Jonathan Aceto. In addition to the orchestra, we have a variety of private lessons given weekly in a variety of areas. Aspiring and accomplished musicians can choose from piano, violin, voice, guitar, banjo, and mandolin. Periodically, we give private lesson recitals for our students so they can showcase what they have learned in private lessons. These take place once or twice a year depending on the teaching schedule.
Through our art department, we also offered a daily class after school for elementary school-aged students and a daily morning class for preschool aged children. The daily class after school is taught by Georgina Osuna Diaz. This class is slated for children in elementary school. The curriculum is art-based, and the class is entitled Art Adventures @ the Averitt. Those enrolled participate and create something in visual art each day accompanied by a gentle study of art history. The daily morning class is led by Michelle Brooks NeSmith. The curriculum for this daily class is also art-based. However, it is centered around both visual arts and performing arts. The course is named Little Artists and the little artists sing, dance, and create art in a creative learning environment.
For even more information about these things mentioned, call the Averitt Center for the Arts at 912-212-ARTS (2787) or go online at www.averittcenterforthearts.org.