TVAA launches Tennessee Valley School of Arts

By  | October 14, 2022 | Filed under: News

TUSCUMBIA-The Tennessee Valley Art Association already runs the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art and the Ritz Theatre, both located in the Shoals. Now, the organization launches a new effort: the Tennessee Valley School of Arts. A developing list of current classes, along with registration links, is available at tennesseevalleyarts.org/school.

The school, hosted at the museum and on the Ritz campus, will offer a variety of classes and workshops related to visual, performing, and literary arts. The first classes, which start this month, are geared toward students in 7th through 12 grades. Classes for adults and for younger children will follow soon.

The first offerings include four-week mini-sessions in Acting and Voice for high school students. There will also be after-school classes for Introductory Drawing and Photography for 7th-12th grades.

The Tennessee Valley Art Association has a long history of offering classes, but the new school provides a framework to host and expand the educational program, according to Christi Britten, TVAA’s executive director.

“In the past, our Ritz School for the Performing Arts offered a curriculum that lasted the whole school year. With families participating in more and more activities lately, it became difficult for students to commit to nine months of weekly classes,” says Britten.

Discussions about revamping the Ritz School led to the creation of the Tennessee Valley School of Arts, which will feature shorter courses on a variety of arts disciplines.

“The goal for the school is that there will eventually be something for everyone–any age, any interest in the arts, any level of time commitment,” says Britten. “We plan to have everything from 6-week classes to weekend workshops to summer camps.”

This growth is made possible by the Alabama State Council on the Arts, which awarded the TVAA a $7,100 grant to support the new school. The grant will help fund instructor fees and administrative and supply costs, so that registration fees can stay as low as possible for participants.

“Most courses in the coming year will cost $50. Some workshops that have guest instructors or higher supply costs will be more, but we want these classes to be accessible to people in the community,” says Britten.

To learn more about the Tennessee Valley School of Arts or to register for a course,  visit tennesseevalleyarts.org/school or call 256-383-0533.

Classes beginning in October:

Introductory Drawing (7th-12th grades) with instructor Jonathan Cain

October 17-20, 4-5 pm at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art

Fee: $50 (materials included)

Beginning/Intermediate Acting Mini-Session (9th-12th grades) with instructor Suzanne Reese-Mills

October 25-November 15, Tuesdays at 5:30 pm at the Ritz Studio

Fee: $35

Beginning/Intermediate Voice Mini-Session (9th-12th grades) with instructor Suzanne Reese-Mills

October 25-November 15, Tuesdays at 6:30 pm at the Ritz Studio

Fee: $35

Photography: Composition and Exposure (7th-12th grades) with instructor Christi Britten

October 25-28, 4-5 pm at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art

Fee: $50

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