The Midlands Arts Conservatory

Providing a Free, Public Education that Combines Arts and Academics

By: Shannon Boatwright

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Just one year ago, in January of 2016, I wrote this blog entry sharing news of a mission to bring an arts conservatory to Columbia, SC. With great zeal, I shared my support for this mission and why the arts are such a huge part of creating a quality, top notch education for the young minds of today.

“Amazing things happen and great knowledge is attained when the arts help to bring core school subjects to life. The joy of the arts is that they can be integrated into every subject. In a perfect educational world, every school would have a fine arts program and arts integration would be a part of every school’s curriculum. Students and teachers would only benefit; there are no negative aspects whatsoever, only the deepening of understanding. To those who recognize the benefits of, engage in and truly support the arts, bravo to you! And thank you.”
– Shannon Elizabeth Boatwright

I am thrilled to help announce that people have rallied behind the mission of the Midlands Arts Conservatory (MAC) and an outpouring of support is helping to make it a reality! Please help me continue to support the mission and share the progress of MAC. There are informational meetings being held this coming weekend that parents and families can attend to get all their questions answered. If you know of any student in the area with a passion for the arts, absolutely do not hesitate to share this info with them! For more details, please read the information below and share it in every way that you can. Let’s help make the arts shine so that young minds can be enriched, deeper understanding can be attained and creativity can thrive!

Arts Charter School to Open in Columbia:
Midlands Arts Conservatory

A committee of arts professionals, educators, parents and community members is moving forward with plans to open an arts charter school in Columbia. The Midlands Arts Conservatory (MAC) will have a focus on the visual arts, theater, dance and music.

mac-logo-squareThe school will hold two informational meetings for parents and the community: on Saturday, January 7th at the North Main branch of the Richland Public Library at 4:00pm, and on Sunday, January 8th in the second floor theatre at the main branch of the Richland Public Library at 3:00.

MAC will provide a free, public education that effectively combines arts and academics. The school plans to open in the Fall of 2017 with 6th and 7th grades, and will add a grade level each year, reaching 12th grade in 2022. The Midlands Arts Conservatory will be free for any South Carolina resident student in the appropriate grade level who has an interest in the arts and is willing to meet the high academic expectations of the school.

The school will be staffed with highly qualified arts and academic instructors in an environment that provides training, exposure and practical application in the arts and the integration of arts into the academics of the school. The student-teacher ratio in classes will be no higher than 20 to 1 and lower in specialized arts areas. MAC will have small group and individualized instruction in the arts with a wide spectrum of academic support available.

The MAC Planning Committee members understand the importance of a high-quality arts education for young people. They want to ensure that every child in the Midlands has the opportunity to experience the power of creative self-expression.

For more information, contact J Britt at (803)-630-1622 or (803)-630-1MAC; visit http://midlandsartsconservatory.org; or follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MidlandsArtsCon.

M.A.C. Join the Movement that is…The Midlands Arts Conservatory

By: Shannon Boatwright 

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When I hear the words ARTS CONSERVATORY, my interest is peaked, my attention grabbed, and my artistic heart and mind are intrigued. So you can imagine my response when my fellow artist and teacher friend, Amy Hyman Reynolds, mentioned the mission for an Arts Conservatory here in the Midlands – a public charter school with a fine arts focus for 5th graders on up through high school.

What!? What?! Every part of me halted with instant enthusiasm and excitement at the mere thought. As a lover, supporter and teacher of the Fine Arts, my heart swells at the mention of the mission to bring an Arts-focused school to my community. I know I may sound a bit dramatic to some, but if you have even an inkling of the outstanding benefits that the Fine Arts provide to young minds, I believe you would quickly understand my passion.

Other areas in South Carolina, like Greenville and Charleston, have come to realize the benefits of launching Arts-focused schools. These charter schools are creating successful, well-rounded adults that contribute to our communities in so many outstanding ways.

Columbia, South Carolina needs this! We have such a wealth of talent in our local communities.

 

“The arts can help students become tenacious, team oriented, problem solvers who are confident and able to think creatively.” – Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education

 

The young, brilliant minds of our community ache for the opportunity to integrate the Arts into the core subjects and hone their talents. Having an Arts-focused charter school in the Midlands would provide an incredible learning opportunity for students. It really is hard for me to find the words to truly express the magnitude of benefits. The movement that is M.A.C. – The Midlands Arts Conservatory – is a dream come true for an area that is bursting at the seams with talent.

I implore you, I sincerely ask you, I dare you to take the time to learn more about the proposed mission to bring M.A.C. to our lovely community. Allow yourself to soak up all the information about this movement so that you can become a part of it! Please get involved, help spread the word, submit a letter of interest, come to the meetings, acknowledge the great benefits of the Arts, and show your support! The deadline is near to prove that M.A.C. is a most worthy cause that will do nothing but benefit others.

Visit their website to learn more: http://www.midlandsartsconservatory.com/

 

“Amazing things happen and great knowledge is attained when the arts help to bring core school subjects to life. The joy of the arts is that they can be integrated into every subject. In a perfect educational world, every school would have a fine arts program and arts integration would be a part of every school’s curriculum. Students and teachers would only benefit; there are no negative aspects whatsoever, only the deepening of understanding. To those who recognize the benefits of, engage in and truly support the arts, bravo to you! And thank you.” – Shannon Elizabeth Boatwright

 

As most of my readers know, I am no stranger to supporting the Arts. Some of my past blog entries are prime examples:

Enrich your mind and enlighten yourself. Take the time to read my blog posts. Spend time Googling the studies that explain the many ways students benefit from fines arts education and arts integration. And by all means, devour the Midlands Arts Conservatory website.

The next information sessions are on January 24th and January 30th. (You can find more details on their website.) Learn about their mission and think on what it could do to fill a void in our community. The community leaders and professionals that are spearheading this movement are an impressive group of some of the finest teachers and supporters of the Arts. I am proud to join the movement and show my support. I hope that you will too!

 

This blog post reflects the views of its author, Shannon Boatwright, and is not an endorsement for the school by Lexington Medical Center.