Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Community School opens the door to the arts

The Community School of the Arts' director sums up the way the school operates:
"We are not an isolated fortress of the arts," Andrea Stevenson says.

She speaks in a video the Community School has just put online, offering a profile of its students, programs and goals. "It's about changing the lives of students," a voice-over says at one point.

In the 11-minute video, students show off their skills and discuss what the arts have given them -- from a young fiddler who has done better than his mother expected to a budding painter who already has sold a few canvases. Teachers describe how students blossom.

"One day they come in with a glow on their face, and you know they're going to show you something special," music teacher Laurel Talley says.

If the camera spent more time aimed at the kids and less collecting comments from the usual suspects among Charlotte arts and nonprofit leaders, the video would probably be even more compelling. But if you aren't familiar with the Community School -- which has been teaching kids for 43 years, but isn't necessarily high-profile -- this might open your eyes.