Community School of the Arts at Austin Peay State University
Clarksville, TN – The Community School of the Arts at Austin Peay State University spans all age groups and skill levels, and the offerings continue to grow.
“We’re offering classes for everyone, from little kids to adults, beginner to intermediate to advanced. Our goal, our mission is really being put into practice,” said Dr. Janice Crews, director of APSU Center for Excellence of the Creative Arts (CECA), which runs the school.
“It’s really neat to see everybody following the same creative process or doing the same techniques even though somebody is 13 and somebody is 65,” Crews stated.
Now is your chance to sign up for the next set of art, music, dance, theater and writing classes that begins September 10th. Registration is underway at www.apsu.edu/ceca/csa
Crews has two goals for the school: Elevate understanding of the arts and offer a low-pressure environment to learn.
“That’s why I think the Community School is so important,” she said. “We need that introductory part, so people can really appreciate what they’re seeing. Also, what we do is not performance-driven or product-driven. It’s more about the learning process.”
The 12-week dance classes, for example, don’t have public performances at the end.
“That’s not the goal of those classes,” Crews said. “The goal is to learn and to appreciate and to experience, not to drive toward a performance.”
“I just got an email from somebody who said, ‘I’m about to get out of the military, and I’m just looking to take some classes, something fun to keep me occupied,’” Crews said. “He’s going to take acting and improvisation.
“That’s what we like to see is people stepping out of their comfort zone and trying something new, that keeps your brain engaged and keeps your creativity going.”
“He had a student in there who is on the autism spectrum who has really flourished in that class,” Crews said. “The parent has said over and over how amazing it is that she can draw and do all these things that she just picked up on. It’s tapping that side of her that they didn’t know was there.”
Enrollment, Offerings Grow
Crews is trying to reach as many people as possible by having daytime classes to serve homeschoolers and night classes for public school students and adults. Classes are clustered, allowing siblings to attend different classes at the same times.
New this school year: Choir classes open to the public and more classes for homeschoolers.
More than 300 people participated in about 50 Community School of the Arts (CSA) classes during the last 12 months, Crews said. Some classes are cozy, such as writing classes with three students, and other classes are busier, as with the choir and its 15-20 students.
Want To Learn More?
The Community School of the Arts at Austin Peay State University is offering more than 20 classes this fall for all ages and skill levels. To learn more, visit www.apsu.edu/ceca/csa, call 931.221.7876 or email .
To learn more about CECA and its mission, visit www.apsu.edu/ceca