WEST COLUMBIA, SC -- Saluda River Academy for the Arts has been awarded an $11,291 Arts in Basic Curriculum grant from the SC Arts Commission.
The grant will support several initiatives for the 2019-20 school year at the Lexington Two arts magnet school, including funding four artists-in-residence who share talents in art, dance, theater and music.
Several neighboring companies, organizations and individuals are helping Saluda River meet its obligation of matching the Arts Commission grant with local dollars, including Title One Funds, Theatre/Dance performance donations, SRAA’s PTO, parents, fundraisers, and others.
Offering arts opportunities to students is invaluable.
“I have been a teacher at Saluda River Academy for the Arts for eight years, and have observed students excel through the arts,” said Krystal Toole, a Saluda River first-grade teacher and parent. “Our school serves a variety of students from different ethnic groups and demographics. No matter the students’ or teachers’ background, we all speak the same language through the arts.”
Saluda River Academy for the Arts students showcase their arts work at many local events, including grade-level PTO productions, Busbee Creative Arts Academy’s Dessert Cabaret, Brookland-Cayce High School’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat production in November, Lexington 2’s Theatre Morning Out Camp hosted at SRAA, Cayce Parade of Lights, SC Theatre Association’s Youth Theatre Festival, and more.
Local residents also are invited to enjoy dance, music and theatre performed not only by students from Saluda River but also Busbee Creative Arts Academy, Brookland-Cayce High School, and Airport High School at the ninth annual Lexington 2 Dance/Theatre Showcase in April on the Brookland-Cayce High School stage.
“We have so many amazing opportunities for our students to learn and perform,” Toole added. “We have wonderful artists that take the time out of their busy schedules to come to school for a week in the fall to teach our students their craft. Also, every single student in the school gets the opportunity to perform at a PTO performance throughout the school year. Our students get taught integrated lessons with the classroom teacher and one of the arts teachers once a week. This helps the arts teachers and classroom teachers to work closely together to teach grade level content through the arts. My students remember and enjoy learning the content through the arts; we sing, perform, dance, and create daily.”
Saluda River serves as a partial magnet for district students exhibiting a strong arts interest. The school has a comprehensive arts-focused program that is embedded into the curriculum. Students take four standards-based arts areas once a rotation: visual arts, music, theatre, and dance. Saluda River is a Kennedy Award-winning school for its Distinguished Arts Program, a National Title One School award winner and a recently named Palmetto Silver school. The vision of Saluda River is to grow and advance every student through the arts in preparation for the global community.