CSA embraces its role as one of the largest providers of arts instruction in the Southeast and as the only organization in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region of its kind. Although cultural organizations and for-profit music shops teach individual classes or camps that may be similar to the School’s programs, none combine music and art instruction in one purely educational nonprofit organization, and none offer widespread financial aid and outreach to make programs accessible to low-income children. Nationwide, the School is a leader in financial accessibility, awarding substantially more financial aid than peer organizations of a similar size. No other arts organization in the region combines the School’s commitment to teaching excellence, extensive financial accessibility programs, and mission to bring free art and music classes to underserved children where they live.
Since 1969, CSA has been committed to making quality arts education accessible to everyone. According to Americans for the Arts, arts education makes a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child; it has been proven to help level the “learning field” across socio-economic boundaries and have a measurable impact on at-risk youth in deterring delinquent behavior and truancy problems. Quality arts education helps students strengthen problem-solving skills, increase academic performance, and develop a positive work ethic and pride in a job well done.
Recognizing the tangible benefits of an arts education, CSA is proud to offer three outreach programs and an extensive financial aid program, reaching over 1,000 of Charlotte’s budding young artists. Through Orchestra in Schools (OIS), over 60 students each year in three low-income elementary schools receive free violin instruction twice a week, and through the OIS Reunion Class, OIS graduates participate in a free chamber ensemble with a number receiving free private music lessons. Through ArtsReach, over 400 students each year receive free music and visual arts classes in community centers and schools around Mecklenburg County. Through PNC Get Ready with Words, CSA partners with Discovery Place and the Library to promote early childhood literacy in the Montclaire South and Grier Heights neighborhoods. Finally, through our extensive Financial Aid program, over 60 students annually pay reduced tuition to participate in our private lessons and group classes.
Click on the links to the right to learn more about how CSA makes arts education accessible through each of these programs.
If you would like to support Community School of the Arts in our outreach efforts, make a gift today.