YOUNGSTOWN Officials gather for opening of academy for SMARTS

The new location will allow SMARTS to expand to after-school, weekend and summer programming.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State University and Youngstown Symphony Society officials gathered this morning for the opening ceremony of the Adler Art Academy.
The academy, in the upper floors of a former storefront on Federal Plaza West, will house YSU's Students Motivated by the Arts program, known as SMARTS, and the offices of the Youngstown Area Arts Council.
Renovations on the space will begin next month and should be completed by January.
Funding: Initial funding for the project came from a $200,000 gift from the Abe and Leona M. Adler Charitable Trust and $250,000 from Youngstown's community development grants. Additional funding was provided through the symphony's $8.6 million capital fund-raising campaign.
"The new SMARTS center will serve our children today, so that YSU can serve them tomorrow as university students," said Dr. George McCloud, dean of YSU's College of Fine and Performing Arts.
SMARTS, a partnership of YSU and the city schools, uses the arts to motivate students to learn and gives teachers new tools to inspire their students. The new SMARTS center will house classrooms for visual arts, music, dance and theater and allow the program to expand to after-school, weekend and summer hours.
"YSU's involvement with the schools of our region and its young people is a very high priority," YSU President David Sweet said. "The SMARTS programs is one of our premier efforts in that regard."

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