PATRICIA C. SYAK | Symphony notes Art school to train youths
Rooms, which once heard the sounds of ticket sellers, conference calls and meetings, will soon buzz with the creative excitement of Youngstown city school children.
Students in the city schools will begin lifelong journeys of developing their capabilities through the arts when the Youngstown Symphony Society converts spaces once occupied by the symphony management and box office.
The Youngstown City Council voted recently to approve a $250,000 Community Development grant to the society to remodel spaces on the second and third floor at Symphony Center to be used as a community art school.
Additional funding for the art school to be known as the Adler Art Academy will be provided by the Abe and Leona M. Adler Charitable Trust and the Youngstown Symphony Society through their capital campaign efforts.
What's planned: The Adler Art Academy will serve as headquarters for the expanded SMARTS (Students Motivated by the Arts) program. Under the aegis of Youngstown State University School of Fine and Performing Arts, SMARTS is currently grounded at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary and Hayes Middle schools.
With the opening of the Adler Art Academy, planned for January 2002, the SMARTS program will expand to after-school, weekend and summer activities offering more intensified performing and visual art activities not available during the regular school hours.
The university and symphony partnership promises to benefit the children of Youngstown by using the power of the arts as a tool motivating young people toward a habit of learning.
Because of the location of Symphony Center, adjacent to the bus system hub, and because of the reputations of the university and symphony and the success of the SMARTS program to date, the funds provided by the city council and the Adler Charitable Trust will cement the success of the expanded program.
The Adler Art Academy will house a variety of classrooms for the instruction and advancement of art education, as well as studios for dance, both classical and modern, and visual and fine arts including painting, sculpture and photography.
Other plans: It will have practice and ensemble rooms suited for instrumental and vocal lessons and adequate space and dressing rooms for drama instruction.
Exterior roof space will be captured and enclosed to provide an atrium with natural lighting for art classes and an exhibition gallery for student art work.
Imagine the joy a student currently taking violin lessons in a school cafeteria will experience when he can practice in spaces planned expressly for his needs. Or, because of the involvement of the Symphony Society in the program, visitations to the art academy classrooms by Youngstown Symphony Orchestra guest artists will be scheduled.
Other art organizations may use the art academy spaces for rehearsals or administrative activities. Expansion of the art academy will be accommodated by the construction of a second floor to the Symphony Center East Wing. All areas under consideration for remodeling will be handicap accessible.
Included in the renovation plans for the art academy is the installation of windows in the Symphony Center Federal Plaza West fa & ccedil;ade.
The new fa & ccedil;ade will provide natural lighting to art academy classrooms while restoring the building to its original design and enhancing the visibility of the Center and downtown city streetscape.
When the construction of the 600-seat concert hall is completed as part of the Symphony Center West Wing, SMARTS students attending classes at the art academy will present musical and dance recitals and drama performances on the stage.