07/01/08 — ArtSmarts changing location

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ArtSmarts changing location

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on July 1, 2008 1:46 PM

Goldsboro's art academy, ArtSmarts, won't be holding its after-school classes at the First Baptist Church come August.

The location was decided upon after the church agreed to let the program use the facility free of rent. But City Manager Joe Huffman said that the city was having problems with the arrangements with the church. So, City Council members met in a closed session Monday afternoon to discuss property acquisition to find a place for the program to be held.

"We looked at several places downtown and around for rent and lease," Huffman said.

But after some discussion, Herman Park Center was found to be the best place for the program, he said.

"We didn't know if we could make it work until this (Monday) morning," Huffman said.

Then, council members went into open session to make the decision on the location change, a vote that was unanimous.

Huffman said that the council was all for the move, and ready to get the program started.

"Everyone said they wanted to move forward," he said.

Herman Park Center has a few other perks.

"We noted that Herman Park Center is close to the park playground and the library," Huffman said. "We also don't have to worry about tearing everything down and resetting the room after leaving. This will be much more convenient."

Huffman added that the Parks and Recreation programs won't be affected. They may just be moved to a different room.

"It won't affect any of the other programs there," he said.

The arts program plans to provide introductory experiences in music and art to students in grades three through five who are city residents.

Martha Bryan, a retired school teacher who taught in the Wayne County public school system for 32 years, will head up the program and is ready to bring the arts back into the lives of Goldsboro's children.

"When things are cut in public schools, the arts always go first. Our public schools have art programs, and we don't want to compete with that," Mrs. Bryan has said. "We want to add onto it."

"Statistics show that allowing children to experience the arts increases their learning capabilities," she has said.

Learning and participating in the arts improves academic performance in reading, language and math and raises standardized test scores, she added.

The arts can also provide self-confidence building skills to children who may not be as good at standard areas of academics.

"Those children who aren't so good with books can excel in the arts," Mrs. Bryan has said. "Everyone has their thing."

The daily schedule for the program will include both homework and arts class time as well as a snack. Tentatively, the program will begin at 3 p.m. and end at 6 p.m. each weekday.

The program requires no experience or previous formal teaching, just an eagerness to learn.

Classes will follow the Wayne County Schools closing policy for all holidays and inclement weather. Attendance will also be monitored as full participation will be required of each student.

For more information, contact Mrs. Bryan at 580-4278 or via e-mail at arts_academy@ci.goldsboro.nc.us.