2017 Arts & Academic Classes/Camps

Fall Semester Homeschool Classes (Aug. - Dec.)

Unique arts and humanities classes to enrich your homeschooler’s education. Offered to ages 5-18 and held at our partner location, The Stage Door, in East Plano. A lunch and study area is avaliable to students who have breaks between classes. Please review our Class Schedule to plan your day.

2017 Fall Class Schedule

PARENTS: After registering, please print, complete and sign the following documents for you and your child(ren). Paperwork MUST be turned in before a student may attend classes. Students without required paperwork on the first day of class will not be able to participate. Thank you!

3-D Sculpture Using Paper

This course will introduce students to three-dimensional design skills necessary to apply basic design elements and principles. Using paper as the design media, students will practice some of the many different techniques that are possible in manipulating various papers as a sculpture media.
Learn more >

A Cappella Group

Guided by a vocalist, students will aim to improve their group and individual vocal skills and learn a cappella songs in different musical styles, including a few from different countries around the world and possibly an original composition. This class will culminate in a live performance at the end of the semester.
Learn more >

African and Latin Dance

Find your inner rhythm and expand your dance skills in this fun, energetic class! Through African Rhythms and Afro-Beats, students will learn how to connect with music and interpret it through movement. Through the spicy dances of Latin America, students will delve into the origins of merengue, cumbia and salsa.
Learn more >

Auditions 101

Many have thought about auditioning for a play or musical, but ended up not going because they didn’t know how to prepare or what to expect. Some have been to auditions, but would like to practice and improve their techniques and skills. This class is an opportunity for both the novice and experienced actor to explore the audition process in a safe and fun atmosphere while learning tools to help make auditioning both enjoyable and successful.
Learn more >

Beginning Wood Carving

Beginning wood carving will provide students with the opportunity to carve a relief or a sculpture-in-the-round using basic carving chisels and mallet. Students will also be instructed in how to sharpen and maintain tools and use some power tools as well. Each student will be provided with set of basic carving chisels.
Learn more >

Classic Plays as Literature

In this class, students will all together read aloud famous, classic plays (the ones everyone should read once in a lifetime) and then see it on film or at a live performance, when possible. Through lively discussion and analysis, students will explore why these plays have stood the test of time and continue to be read and performed today.
Learn more >

Comics as Literature - Level I

Geared towards students wishing to improve their skills in structured reading, this fun and engaging course will explore concepts of theme, character, plot, tone, and more to help develop essential reading skills that can be applied to any literary study.
Learn more >

Comics as Literature - Level II

Geared towards students wishing to improve their skills in structured reading, this fun and engaging course will explore concepts of theme, character, plot, tone, and more to help develop essential reading skills that can be applied to any literary study.
Learn more >

Costume Design - Level I

Learn the design process used by the pros to build character costumes for stage. From script and character analysis to getting your ideas on paper with pencil, ink and watercolor to constructing a costume, students will learn what goes into creating a character costume. Students will have the opportunity to display their renderings and model their designs in a Costume Parade.
Learn more >

Costume Design - Level II

Learn the design process used by the pros to build character costumes for stage. From script and character analysis to getting your ideas on paper with pencil, ink and watercolor to constructing a costume, students will learn what goes into creating a character costume. Students will have the opportunity to display their renderings and model their designs in a Costume Parade.
Learn more >

Creative Movement - For Beginners

This class introduces the basic concepts of dance such as body awareness, level, size, pathway, speed, rhythm, energy, relationships, form, and choreography. Students will explore various elements of dance that are universal, including basic dance steps as well as some exposure to a few world dance styles.
Learn more >

Creative Movement - Level II

This class will explore the basic concepts of dance (body awareness, level, size, pathway, speed, rhythm, energy, relationships, form) in order to provide students with tools for improvisation and choreography to express ideas through movement. Students will be exposed to various elements of dance that are universal, including basic dance steps, and experience a few world dance styles.
Learn more >

Digital Filmmaking for Young Artists

Lights! Camera! Action! Designed to introduce the tools and techniques of digital video production, this hands-on class will inspire students on how to take their ideas from script to screen.
Learn more >

Drawing I

Drawing I guides students to investigate drawing media and techniques including descriptive and expressive possibilities. Students will explore a variety of media, such as pencil, chalk, and charcoal, as well as techniques such as still life observation, one and two-point perspective, and grid drawing.
Learn more >

Drawing II

Drawing II includes continuing investigation of drawing media and techniques as a descriptive and expressive tool. This course will incorporate additional media, such as colored pencils, and more challenging subject possibilities.
Learn more >

Drawing III

Drawing III includes continuing the investigation of drawing media and techniques as a descriptive and expressive tool. Students will explore additional media, subjects, and methodologies. Participants will be encouraged to prepare their work for public exhibition.
Learn more >

English Language Literature: Major Works

Set on a college level reading schedule, students will explore the central novels of the English literary canon, learning to think about and discuss the texts critically both from a historical perspective and in the context of our modern tastes.
Learn more >

Essay Writing - Beginning

Geared toward beginning writers, this class is designed to help students move from writing simple sentences and paragraphs to crafting more complex sentences and multi-paragraph essays.
Learn more >

Essay Writing - Intermediate

Designed to help students improve writing skills in preparation for college-level requirements, this class focuses on personal essays and expository writing.
Learn more >

Give & Take: A Dramatic Comedy in Two Acts (Production) - Level I

Give and Take is an exciting collection of stories from around the world dealing with generosity and greed and offers a unique challenge to student actors and director. Each tale is simply and beautifully dramatized using different theatrical techniques.
Learn more >

Give and Take: A Dramatic Comedy in Two Acts (Production) - Level II

Give and Take is an exciting collection of stories from around the world dealing with generosity and greed and offers a unique challenge to student actors and director. Each tale is simply and beautifully dramatized using different theatrical techniques.
Learn more >

Imagining the Future: Sci-Fi & Society

Students will learn to apply various literary and cultural analysis techniques as they look back at the stories, books, shows, and movies where so many of the ideas that have shaped our modern world first spilled out of the imagination and on to the page and screen.
Learn more >

Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.
Learn more >

Stage Makeup and Combat - Level I

The perfect introduction to stage makeup and stage combat. Classes will alternate weekly between these two exciting theatrical arts. Scenes incorporating makeup and combat techniques will be developed at the end of the semester.
Learn more >

Stage Makeup and Combat - Level II

The perfect introduction to stage makeup and stage combat. Classes will alternate weekly between these two exciting theatrical arts. Scenes incorporating makeup and combat techniques will be developed at the end of the semester.
Learn more >

Virtue of the Week

Each week, students will discover and explore universal virtues in a “get-up-on-your-feet, hands-on” approach that incorporates storytelling, arts and crafts, music and movement, drama, improv, games and more. Engaging activities and lots of movement make learning in this class fun and memorable. 
Learn more >

Writing Basics

This class is designed to introduce younger students to the basic rules of English grammar and usage.
Learn more >

About Us

Arts & Minds is an arts and education 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to empower individuals to use their knowledge and talents for enriching themselves and their community.

We envision communities where the arts and education are the building blocks to creating a better world.

Arts & Minds was created to provide an inclusive, welcoming environment for diverse students to engage in the arts and humanities and to help individuals discover their unique capacities and talents, gain knowledge, develop skills for self-expression, build character and contribute positively to their community.

Our goal is for every student to realize their potential for making a meaningful impact on the local and global community through the arts and education.

We seek out dynamic, talented instructors to offer classes, workshops and seasonal camps to young people through homeschool and after-school programs.

Our Staff

Valarie Atwood - Executive Director/Instructor

Valarie Atwood serves as Executive/Artistic Director for Arts & Minds and has been an educator for over 25 years. Her love for arts and education integration and the theatre inspired her to establish Arts & Minds. Previously, she founded Homeschoolers East Co-op where she fulfilled a variety of administrative roles on the Steering Committee for 10 years while teaching various subjects to a wide span of age groups. Before homeschooling, she developed the Virtue Of the Week (VOW) program and was a founding member of KIDPROV®, an arts-in-education improvisational comedy troupe, working with over 300,000 students and teachers throughout the U.S.

Valarie integrates her extensive knowledge and unique application of improv, creativity, problem solving and team building skills into each class she teaches whenever possible. Some organizations she has worked with include Destination Imagination, Gifted & Talented trainings, Big Thought, Artsmart, the Dallas Theatre Center Teen/Children's Theatre, Dallas Children's Theatre, Brookhaven College, Northlake College, the YMCA and Girl's Inc. Valarie attended Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis, MO where she majored in theatre and is a graduate of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts of Houston, TX.

 

Jen Palmieri - Administrative Director

Jen Palmieri has homeschooled her two children, now teens, from the start. Jen seeks to provide a well-rounded, transcript-worthy high school experience for her children while they take classes alongside their friends. As a Co-Founder of Homeschoolers East co-op, she and her family enjoyed 10 years of classes and memorable experiences. She served on HSE's Steering Committee as Treasurer for 6 years, Class Coordinator for 2, and taught and assisted in a variety of academic classes including, philosophy, crafts, 3 years dedication to WordMasters Challenge competitions and fulfilling the role as Stage Manager, Costumer and Crew Manager for many of HSE’s performances and productions.

Jen graduated with a BA in Business Management from Baruch College in NYC. She spent several years managing people in the customer service industry and moved to Dallas in 1994 when she transferred her position with Prudential Securities, Inc. Jen’s interest in her own children’s education and happiness along with her genuine love for all children and a pursuit of excellence in academics make her a valued asset to Arts & Minds.

 

Abbie Reedy - Marketing Director/Instructor

Abbie Reedy is a freelance writer and editor whose decades-long affair with the English language has resulted in an intimate understanding of English grammar and usage and an aggressive eagerness to assist others in crafting, improving, and perfecting their own writing.

She studied first Journalism, then English Literature at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where she received a BA in Postcolonial Literature in 2005. After college, she taught a year of English Literature and Writing at a Chinese university, then spent six years in Haifa, Israel, serving as a Research and Drafting Assistant in the Department of the Secretariat of the Universal House of Justice, the international governing body of the worldwide Bahá’í community.

She has since undertaken a number of writing and editing projects, including blog articles, website content, and the editing of a 100-page academic paper for publication as an ebook, and spent about a year working full-time as the Content Specialist for a boutique content marketing agency.

She is currently editing a Young Adult novel, providing guidance on college admissions essays for international students, writing digital copy for various clients, and working on her own fiction.

 

Robertus  van der Wege - Instructor

Robertus van der Wege is a Certified Fencing Instructor in foil, saber, and epee and was the founder and head coach of Minnesota Excalibur Fencing Club. He has worked as a fencing armorer at the Olympic Games and been the U. S. Team coach at the Hemisphere Cadet Championships. He has trained six National Fencing Champions, six North American Circuit Champions, and one member of the U. S. National Fencing Team.

Robertus is a career artist, arts administrator and art educator. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Asian and Pacific Art History from the University of Hawaii and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from Northern Illinois University. He possesses a Certificate in Art Administration from the Harvard Business School as well as multiple welding certifications.

Additionally, Robertus has served two-terms as president of the Hawaii Museums Association, has over 12 years of college art and fencing teaching experience, and is currently a board member of the Texas Sculpture Association. His work has been exhibited in the United States, South Africa, Mozambique, Libya, and Canada. Please visit Wege Art & Design for more information.

 

Tim Perry - Instructor

Tim Perry is an award winning film and video professional, with 35 years experience in the media production field, both in Los Angeles and DFW. He has worked with and for such notable companies as NBC, Universal Studios, Disney Studios and Time Warner Cable Media. He is a skilled producer, director, cinematographer and editor.

Tim has taught video production, at the Gallup Area Arts Council’s Performing Arts Academy, to Navaho, Hopi and Zuni youth in Gallup, New Mexico. He is currently a member of the Dallas Producers Association and also recently served as the Technical Director of the Frame4Frame 2016 Film Festival in Arlington. His company, Perry Productions produces feature length documentary films, short films, commercials, music and corporate videos. Tim has participated locally in multiple 24-hour and 48-hour video races.

 

Brianna Williams - Instructor

Brianna Williams is a dancer in the DFW area who travels to different dance festivals across the country to perform and take workshops with instructors from around the world. She has been dancing since the age of 4, took ballet, jazz, and hip hop at Janie Christi School of Dance and Rowlett Dance Academy and performed in the Moscow Ballet's production of the Russian Nutcracker at the age of 10. Brianna was part of the dance program at Lakeview Centennial High School, was in drill team and took classes in modern, contemporary, pom, military, and Bollywood dancing.

In 2012, Brianna started learning Latin social dances which include Salsa, Bachata, Cumbia, Merengue, and Cha Cha Cha when she lived in Austin, Texas. In the years following, Brianna has learned Kizomba/Tarraxhina, Semba, Brazillian Zouk, Afro-Rhythms, Afro-Beats, Kuduro, Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, and Tango. Brianna is currently part of Rhythm & Beatz Dance Company based in Los Angeles under the direction of Lola Monet aka Lola Queen Beatz.

She is in the process of completing her Associates Degree at Eastfield Community College and intends to transfer to the University of Texas for both Dance and Sociology. Brianna continues social dancing and performing her solo at various venues across Dallas. She is excited to be working with the team at Arts & Minds and is determined to make sure students receive a quality and safe dance experience.

 

Amanda Sevak - Instructor

Amanda Sevak earned her Bachelor of Science in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and has over 20 years of experience working and volunteering in education and the performing arts. She has worked in nonprofit administration for Rotary International and the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University and served as an AmeriCorps volunteer bringing arts enrichment to an inner city school in Chicago. Her international teaching experience, which includes India and China, stretches from pre-school to adults and encompasses subjects such as music, dance, drama, special education, and English.

Amanda's voice can be found on two musical albums: one with her college a cappella group, Significant Others, and, most recently, on an original children’s album, A Day in the Park, that she co-wrote and produced with her band, humdiddle.

Additionally, her background in dance is extensive, including over 20 years of dance training and 5 years of teaching various dance classes and creative movement. She has studied tap, jazz, modern, ballet and world dance styles (such as Bollywood, Bhangra, and African) and has significant performance and choreography experience. She believes everyone can dance and enjoys helping others discover the joy of expression and unity through movement.

The mother of identical twin girls, she is learning to play the ukulele and loves to sit by the water writing in her journal – the paper kind.

Amanda taught A Cappella Group in the Spring 2017 semester and is thrilled to be a part of Arts & Minds. She looks forward to inspiring students as well as being inspired by them.

 

Jen Wagnon - Instructor

Jennifer Wagnon started homeschooling her oldest daughter in 1999. Her two daughters have since gone on to be full-time college students, and Jennifer is now homeschooling her son for high school. As a military family the Wagnons moved many times while homeschooling, living in a total of 7 states and one other country.

Jennifer strives to take best advantage of every place they live, absorbing local history and culture while balancing those experiences with solid traditional school work. Jennifer studied literature at the University of Oklahoma and has taught a variety of literature and poetry classes in co-ops from North Carolina to Hawaii and in between. She has served as a Poetry Out Loud local homeschool coordinator for 4 different competitions.

Now that she is part of a retired military family that has settled down, she looks forward to seeing students grow their confidence in public speaking through poetry.

 

Our Gallery

2017 Fall Semester Class Details

3-D Sculpture Using Paper
Wed, 8/30 - 11/29
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$320.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Robertus  van der Wege

Register Now

This course will introduce students to three-dimensional design skills necessary to apply basic design elements and principles. Using paper as the design media, students will practice some of the many different techniques that are possible in manipulating various papers as a sculpture media. Design elements and methodology are identified and employed in exercises that establish a basis for aesthetic sensitivity and critical analysis. Students will develop the creative process and examine the fine art and packaging design potentials of paper.

Note: Class fee includes cost of professional art tools/supplies kit, which will be provided at the first class. The tool/supply kits provided for students are especially assembled by Arts & Minds and reflect a 33% discount over the normal retail price of those tools and supplies.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Some artistic skills are preferable, but not required.


A Cappella Group
Wed, 8/30 - 11/29
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$245.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Amanda Sevak

Register Now

Back by popular demand! Love to sing or beat box? “A cappella” means music made without instrumental accompaniment. While a cappella originally was a way to sing in chapels without organs, this style has become popular around the world because of its unique way to use the human voice to creatively cover songs in a variety of genres. The class will include music reading basics but learning songs by ear will be more of a focus. Guided by an experienced vocalist, students will aim to improve their group and individual vocal skills and learn a cappella songs in different musical styles, including a few from around the world and possibly an original composition. This class will culminate in a live performance at the end of the semester.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Basic music knowledge and ability to stay on pitch helpful, but not required. Must be willing to sing or make noises from your mouth in public. Attendance at one extra rehearsal before the final performance may be required with date TBD. Please bring pencil and notebook and a black 1’ 3 ring binder to class as well as water. Helpful to be able to receive emails or texts with audio files for practice.


African and Latin Dance
Mon/Wed, 8/28 - 12/4
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Ages 12 - 18
$150.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Brianna Williams

Register Now

Find your inner rhythm and expand your dance skills in this fun, energetic class! Through African Rhythms and Afro-Beats, students will learn how to connect with music and interpret it through movement. Through the spicy dances of Latin America, students will delve into the origins of merengue, cumbia and salsa. Culture and ideology, which were the inspiration for many dance styles, will be explored. This class will cover proper stretching, musicality, dance technique and partner dancing that can apply to multiple dance styles. Students will have an opportunity to showcase what they have learned to family and friends at the end of the semester.

Student Skills Needed/Required: No dance experience necessary. Students should wear clothing that is easy to move in and bring or wear socks, dance sneakers or jazz shoes. Some dancing will be done barefoot.


Auditions 101
Fri, 9/1 - 12/1
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Ages 8 - 18
$150.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

Register Now

Many have thought about auditioning for a play or musical, but ended up not going because they didn’t know how to prepare or what to expect. Some have been to auditions, but would like to practice and improve their techniques and skills.

Auditions are part of the actor’s life. Even the most experienced of actors admit to feeling nervous before auditions. In the beginning, it’s easy to see them as overwhelming and frightening.

This class is an opportunity for both the novice and experienced actor to explore the audition process in a safe and fun atmosphere while learning tools to help make auditioning both enjoyable and successful. Students will learn the dos and don’ts as well as how to prepare for the two kinds of auditions: prepared pieces and cold readings. Mock auditions will be held in class for practice. An audition is similar to a job interview and learning how to audition will help students develop the confidence needed to give their best performance when it really counts!

Student Skills Needed/Required: No prior acting or singing experience necessary. Students should have the desire to explore the audition process and gain self-confidence. Students will be required to memorize short audition pieces using various techniques and sing a few bars of music of their choosing.


Beginning Wood Carving
Mon, 8/28 - 12/4
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$330.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Robertus  van der Wege

Register Now

Beginning Wood Carving will provide students with the opportunity to carve a relief or a sculpture-in-the-round using basic carving chisels and mallet. Special attention will be placed on the sharpening and maintenance of tools. In addition to learning the proper use of carving tools, student will be instructed in how to use a limited number of alternative hand tools. Additional carving tools and some power tools will be made available. Emphasis will be placed on learning tool safety, how to create a design that fits the nature of the wood being carved, how to read the grain of the wood, and how to best finish their projects.

Note: Class fee includes cost of a set of basic carving chisels, which will be provided at the first class.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Students will provide their own safety glasses, which will be worn at all times, and a pair of leather gloves with modestly padded palms (fingerless driving gloves or weight training gloves are recommended). Students will also be required to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. At the end of each class, participants will be expected to clean their work area and redress the edges of the carving tools they have used. As projects are finishing, participants may need to purchase various grits of sandpaper.


Classic Plays as Literature
Mon/Wed, 8/28 - 12/4
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Ages 14 - 18
$225.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

Register Now

From the works of Shakespeare to Moliere to Stoppard and more, plays are literature. Learning how to read a play is not complex. When you read a novel you do not merely read the words; you "see" what the words describe, and when the novelist puts down conversation, you silently "hear" what you read. When reading a play, the results need be no different.

In this class, students will all together read aloud famous, classic plays (the ones everyone should read once in a lifetime) and then see it on film or at a live performance, when possible. Through lively discussion and analysis, students will explore why these plays have stood the test of time and continue to be read and performed today. In addition, students will discover what we can learn about ourselves and others by reading them.

“Theatrical dialogue is a highly concentrated and powerful form of verbal expression. Each word carries far more dramatic impact than in most other literature. Even a single utterance can pack a tremendous emotional wallop." James Thomas, Professor of Theatre.

"All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts;" William Shakespeare.“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” Tom Stoppard, playwright.

NOTE: Some plays may contain mature themes and language. Class most suited for high school-aged students. Films will be G or PG-13. Attendance to live productions, when available, is optional. Cost for tickets to live productions are an additional cost and not included in class cost.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Willing to read aloud in class, interest in group discussion and ability to write short essays using writing prompts.


Comics as Literature - Level I
Tue, 8/28 - 12/4
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Ages 8 - 12
$125.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Abbie Reedy

Register Now

Comic book, graphic novel and Manga fans will become familiar with the building blocks of literature by studying its core elements as they appear in these fictional works. Geared towards students wishing to improve their skills in structured reading, this fun and engaging course will explore concepts of theme, character, plot, tone, and more to help develop essential reading skills that can be applied to any literary study.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Basic reading skills, desire to learn and improve reading skills, interest in comics. Copies of comics will be provided.


Comics as Literature - Level II
Mon, 8/28 - 12/4
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$125.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Abbie Reedy

Register Now

Comic book, graphic novel and Manga fans will become familiar with the building blocks of literature by studying its core elements as they appear in these fictional works. Geared towards students wishing to improve their skills in structured reading, this fun and engaging course will explore concepts of theme, character, plot, tone, and more to help develop essential reading skills that can be applied to any literary study.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Basic reading skills, desire to learn and improve reading skills, interest in comics. Copies of comics will be provided.


Costume Design - Level I
Tue, 8/29 - 11/28
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Ages 8 - 12
$195.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

Register Now

Designing theatrical costumes is an art! Learn the design process used by the pros to build character costumes for stage. From script and character analysis to getting your ideas on paper with pencil, ink and watercolor to constructing a costume using second-hand, inexpensive materials requiring very basic to no sewing techniques, students will learn what goes into creating a costume that portrays the playwright’s intention and the designer’s imagination. Students will have the opportunity to model their designs in a Costume Parade at the end of class as well as display their watercolor renderings and share their ideas behind their design choices with family and friends. A unique class for those interested in a more behind-the-scenes theatre arts experience with a little showing off for fun!

Student Skills Needed/Required: No experience necessary. Basic figure sketches will jump-start timid artists into their design. Students need to be willing to “model” their costume designs in the Costume Parade for family and friends.


Costume Design - Level II
Fri, 9/1 - 12/8
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$195.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

Register Now

Designing theatrical costumes is an art! Learn the design process used by the pros to build character costumes for stage. From script and character analysis to getting your ideas on paper with pencil, ink and watercolor to constructing a costume using second-hand, inexpensive materials requiring very basic to no sewing techniques, students will learn what goes into creating a costume that portrays the playwright’s intention and the designer’s imagination. Students will have the opportunity to model their designs in a Costume Parade at the end of class as well as display their watercolor renderings and share their ideas behind their design choices with family and friends. A unique class for those interested in a more behind-the-scenes theatre arts experience with a little showing off for fun!

Student Skills Needed/Required: No experience necessary. Basic figure sketches will jump-start timid artists into their design. Students need to be willing to “model” their costume designs in the Costume Parade for family and friends.


Creative Movement - For Beginners
Thu, 8/31 - 11/30
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Ages 5 - 8
$165.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Amanda Sevak

Register Now

This class introduces the basic concepts of dance such as body awareness, level, size, pathway, speed, rhythm, energy, relationships, form, and simple choreography. Students will explore various elements of dance that are universal, including basic dance steps as well as some exposure to a few world dance styles. Students will practice listening skills in addition to controlling their body and communicating ideas through movement. Students will share what they learned in the student showcase at the end of the semester. Classes incorporate movement games to encourage creative thinking and nurture a confidence for moving through space and interacting with others.

Student Skills Needed/Required: No dance experience necessary. Ability and willingness to move all (or part) of your body. Dress in comfortable clothing in order to move freely. Bare feet, ballet or jazz shoes are all fine, but no socks. Please send water with your child.


Creative Movement - Level II
Wed, 8/30 - 11/29
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$195.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Amanda Sevak

Register Now

This class will explore the basic concepts of dance (body awareness, level, size, pathway, speed, rhythm, energy, relationships, form) in order to provide students with tools for improvisation and choreography to express ideas through movement. Students will be exposed to various elements of dance that are universal, including basic dance steps, and experience a few world dance styles. Students will share what they learned at the end of semester student showcase. This class will encourage creative and spatial thinking and will nurture a confidence for moving through space and interacting with others.

Student Skills Needed/Required: No dance experience necessary. Dress in comfortable clothing in order to move freely. Bare feet, ballet or jazz shoes are all fine, but no socks. Please bring a water bottle, pencil and notebook to class.


Digital Filmmaking for Young Artists
Wed, 8/30 - 11/29
12:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$305.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Tim Perry

Register Now

Lights! Camera! Action! Designed to introduce the tools and techniques of digital video production, this hands-on class will inspire students on how to take their ideas from script to screen. The class will cover basic techniques of writing a script, operating a camera, sound recording, lighting a scene and editing the footage. Students will also learn about sound effects, motion graphics, animation, visual effects and more! Each student will receive a textbook on video production and will have the opportunity to screen their work at the end of the semester.

Student Skills Needed/Required: No previous experience necessary. Optional: Students may bring a camera and tripod or phone with camera to class, if available. Those who have previously produced a video are asked to bring their videos to share at the first class.


Drawing I
Mon, 8/28 - 12/4
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$360.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Robertus  van der Wege

Register Now

Drawing I guides students to investigate drawing media and techniques including descriptive and expressive possibilities. Students will explore a variety of media, such as pencil, chalk, and charcoal, as well as techniques such as still life observation, one and two-point perspective, and grid drawing. Drawing subjects will encourage the student’s ability to observe and examine perceptual and descriptive possibilities with consideration of drawing as a developmental process, as well as an end in itself.

Note: Class fee includes cost of professional art supplies kit, which will be provided at the first class. The tool/supply kits provided for students are especially assembled by Arts & Minds and reflect a 32% discount over the normal retail price of those tools and supplies.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Some drawing skills are preferable, but not required.


Drawing II
Mon, 8/28 - 12/4
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$340.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Robertus  van der Wege

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Drawing II includes continuing investigation of drawing media and techniques as a descriptive and expressive tool. This course will incorporate additional media, such as colored pencils, and more challenging subject possibilities. Exercises will encourage broader observational skills and critical thinking through the use of more challenging lighting. Participants will also be further encouraged to be original in their selection of subject matter and explore methods for enhanced craftsmanship and presentational techniques.

Note: Class fee includes cost of professional art supplies kit, which will be provided at the first class. The tool/supply kits provided for students are especially assembled by Arts & Minds and reflect a 29% discount over the normal retail price of those tools and supplies.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Prerequisite: Beginning Drawing


Drawing III
Mon, 8/28 - 12/4
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$290.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Robertus  van der Wege

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Drawing III continues the investigation of drawing media and techniques as a descriptive and expressive tool. Students will be encouraged to explore additional media, subjects, and methodologies such as montage, architectural rendering, and nature illustration, as a means of establishing originality and a personal drawing style. Participants will be encouraged to prepare their work for public exhibition.

Note: Class fee includes cost of professional art supplies kit, which will be provided at the first class. The tool/supply kits provided for students are especially assembled by Arts & Minds and reflect a 38% discount over the normal retail price of those tools and supplies.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Prerequisite: Drawing III


English Language Literature: Major Works
Wed, 8/30 - 11/29
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$150.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Abbie Reedy

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Set on a college level reading schedule, students will explore the central novels of the English literary canon, learning to think about and discuss the texts critically both from a historical perspective and in the context of our modern tastes. Students will be expected to complete reading assignments at home (approx 200 pages/ week) and be prepared to discuss assigned works in class.

Student Skills Needed/Required: For this class, students should possess strong reading skills, an interest in stories, and a desire to increase their capacity for critical thinking. Copies of books will be provided.


Essay Writing - Beginning
Mon/Wed, 8/28 - 12/4
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$255.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Abbie Reedy

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Geared toward beginning writers, this class is designed to help students move from writing simple sentences and paragraphs to crafting more complex sentences and multi-paragraph essays. Students will complete 3-4 writing assignments, which they will revise several times under the guidance of an experienced instructor, enabling them to learn the principles of writing and rules of grammar through practice.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Students should be familiar with basic sentence structure and the related rules of grammar, though these will be reviewed throughout the course.


Essay Writing - Intermediate
Mon/Wed, 8/28 - 12/4
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Ages 15 - 18
$255.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Abbie Reedy

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Designed to help students improve writing skills in preparation for college-level requirements, this class focuses on personal essays and expository writing. In addition to consolidating their skills in the mechanics of grammar and English usage, students will become familiar with the guidelines laid out in the Modern Language Association (MLA) Handbook, the recognized authority on research and essay writing, including the principles and practices of evaluating and citing sources. Students will come out of the course with a well-stocked writer’s toolbox that they can carry with them throughout their lives.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Students should be familliar with common rules of grammar and usage and have at least minimal experience with multi-paragraph writing assignments.


Give & Take: A Dramatic Comedy in Two Acts (Production) - Level I
Tue/Thu, 8/29 - 12/2
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Ages 8 - 12
$275.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

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Give and Take is an exciting collection of stories from around the world dealing with generosity and greed and offers a unique challenge to student actors and director. Each tale is simply and beautifully dramatized using different theatrical techniques. The hilarious Bantu tale, Anasi Finds a Fool, uses story-theatre, while Peter and the Hat, a traditional tale from Puerto Rico, is presented in mime, and Japan's hauntingly beautiful The Crane Wife, employs masked actors. These are only a few of the inspiring stories presented in Give and Take. Performed with minimal scenery, costume pieces and props, this play inspires the audience's imagination and takes them on a multi-cultural exploration!

In this class, students will develop performance skills, learn how to become responsive to their fellow actors, discover the basic rules of storytelling through a variety dramatic styles and expand their own creative and artistic possibilities while exploring cultural tales from around the world.Students will have the opportunity to perform two matinees and one evening performance open to the public. (subject to change)

Student Skills Needed/Required: Acting experience helpful, but not required. Students should have desire to perform on stage, ability to memorize lines, interest in learning and developing acting abilities/skills. All students will be cast. Auditions will be held in order to assign parts. Some actors will be double-cast. Commitment to classes, scene partners, rehearsals, tech week and performances required. Additional rehearsals may be scheduled based on need. Students will need to supply some basic common costume pieces, when possible.

Tech/Dress Rehearsals: ALL ACTORS - Wed. Nov. 29 (12:30-3:30), SOME ACTORS - Thurs. Nov. 30 (12:30-3:30)Performance dates (subject to change): Fri. Dec. 1 (1:30pm), Fri. Dec. 1 (7:00pm), Sat. Dec. 2 (1:30pm)


Give and Take: A Dramatic Comedy in Two Acts (Production) - Level II
Mon/Wed, 8/28 - 11/29
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Ages 12 - 18
$275.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

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Give and Take is an exciting collection of stories from around the world dealing with generosity and greed and offers a unique challenge to student actors and director. Each tale is simply and beautifully dramatized using different theatrical techniques. The hilarious Bantu tale, Anasi Finds a Fool, uses story-theatre, while Peter and the Hat, a traditional tale from Puerto Rico, is presented in mime, and Japan's hauntingly beautiful The Crane Wife, employs masked actors. These are only a few of the inspiring stories presented in Give and Take. Performed with minimal scenery, costume pieces and props, this play inspires the audience's imagination and takes them on a multi-cultural exploration!

In this class, students will develop performance skills, learn how to become responsive to their fellow actors, discover the basic rules of storytelling through a variety dramatic styles and expand their own creative and artistic possibilities while exploring cultural tales from around the world.Students will have the opportunity to perform two matinees and one evening performance open to the public. (subject to change)

Student Skills Needed/Required: Acting experience helpful, but not required. Students should have desire to perform on stage, ability to memorize lines, interest in learning and developing acting abilities/skills. All students will be cast. Auditions will be held in order to assign parts. Some actors will be double-cast. Commitment to classes, scene partners, rehearsals, tech week and performances required. Additional rehearsals may be scheduled based on need. Students will need to supply some basic common costume pieces, when possible.

Tech/Dress Rehearsals: ALL ACTORS - Wed. Nov. 29 (12:30-3:30), SOME ACTORS - Thurs. Nov. 30 (12:30-3:30)Performance dates (subject to change): Fri. Dec. 1 (1:30pm), Fri. Dec. 1 (7:00pm), Sat. Dec. 2 (1:30pm)


Imagining the Future: Sci-Fi & Society
Wed, 8/30 - 11/29
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Ages 12 - 18
$125.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Abbie Reedy

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Students will learn to apply various literary and cultural analysis techniques as they look back at the stories, books, shows, and movies where so many of the ideas that have shaped our modern world first spilled out of the imagination and on to the page and screen. A fun trek through Science Fiction old and new, this course will look at the influence the genre has had on the progress of technology, society, and government. This course provides a great opportunity for young people to develop reading skills while exploring both the social and technical sciences.

Student Skills Needed/Required: An enthusiasm for reading, watching, and discussing Science Fiction.


Poetry Out Loud
Mon, 8/28 - 12/4
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Ages 14 - 18
$225.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Jen Wagnon

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Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Students will study forms of poetry, learn about the life of poets and learn to write poetry. They will learn to perform poetry as an art form. Emphasis, projection and other ways to interpret and insert emotion into poetry read aloud will be explored.

Students will prepare to compete in the Poetry Out Loud competition, a spoken word poetry competition with a national scholarship prize. Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that starts at the classroom level. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals.

Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship. The state winner's school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The first runner-up in each state receives $100, with $200 for his or her school. A total of $50,000 in awards and school stipends is awarded annually at the National Finals.

Student Skills Needed/Required: This is a high school level level competition for students grades 9-12. Students shall participate in performance events, although the competition is not a required part of the class. Those participating in the competition will have additional practice meet-ups between the end of the semester and the Texas competition held in February (Date/Location TBA).


Stage Makeup and Combat - Level I
Thu, 8/31 - 11/30
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Ages 8 - 12
$200.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

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The perfect introduction to stage makeup and stage combat. Classes will alternate weekly between these two exciting theatrical arts. Starting with the basics, including makeup safety, hygiene, application, shading, and study of face shapes and bone structure, students will progress into age makeup followed by techniques for creating special effects like wounds, scars and burns and finally their own fantasy creations. Students will receive a Mehron “Mini-Pro” Stage Makeup Kit of their own and assemble a makeup morgue full of photos for character reference. Additionally, this class will explore the basics of unarmed stage combat and learn how to perform some of the more simple “tricks of the trade”, including the slap, punch, strangle, hairpull, bite and kick. The importance of safety involved will also be discussed. Scenes incorporating makeup and combat techniques will be developed at the end of the semester.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Must not be allergic or have sensitivities to makeup and skin care products. Students will be required to supply their own mirror, hair care products and washcloths. Students should wear clothing appropriate for movement and contact with makeup.


Stage Makeup and Combat - Level II
Fri, 9/1 - 12/1
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Ages 12 - 18
$200.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Valarie Atwood

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The perfect introduction to stage makeup and stage combat. Classes will alternate weekly between these two exciting theatrical arts. Starting with the basics, including makeup safety, hygiene, application, shading, and study of face shapes and bone structure, students will progress into age makeup followed by techniques for creating special effects like wounds, scars and burns and finally their own fantasy creations. Students will receive a Mehron “Mini-Pro” Stage Makeup Kit of their own and assemble a makeup morgue full of photos for character reference. Additionally, this class will explore the basics of unarmed stage combat and learn how to perform some of the more simple “tricks of the trade”, including the slap, punch, strangle, hairpull, bite and kick. The importance of safety involved will also be discussed. Scenes incorporating makeup and combat techniques will be developed at the end of the semester.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Must not be allergic or have sensitivities to makeup and skin care products. Students will be required to supply their own mirror, hair care products and washcloths. Students should wear clothing appropriate for movement and contact with makeup.


Virtue of the Week
Thu, 8/31 - 11/30
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Ages 5 - 8
$225.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Amanda Sevak

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Each week, students will discover and explore universal virtues in a “get-up-on-your-feet, hands-on” approach that incorporates storytelling, arts and crafts, music and movement, drama, improv, games and more. Engaging activities and lots of movement make learning in this class fun and memorable.  Students will create their very own virtues treasure box full of virtue gifts and will take home a weekly calendar of activities to share and practice their virtue of the week at home with their family and friends.  Through storytelling, the language of the virtue is introduced. Through art, the virtue is reflected. Through song, it is brought to life. Through drama, teachable moments are created. Through practice, virtues are nurtured.

Student Skills Needed/Required: Readiness to participate in a group classroom setting without a parent.


Writing Basics
Tue/Thu, 8/29 - 11/30
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Ages 8 - 12
$220.00 (Supplies cost included)
Instructor: Abbie Reedy

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This class is designed to introduce younger students to the basic rules of English grammar and usage. Structured largely around interactive games and activities, the class will familiarize students with ideas of sentence structure, parts of speech, and other essential concepts, which they will then be asked to apply in carrying out short assignments to be reviewed in class.

Student Skills Needed/Required: To benefit from this class, students will need to have an age-appropriate command of spoken English as well as basic reading and writing skills.