Credit: Ben Gray
The school district has spent an additional $ 1.1 million to hire 12 new employees at the school, including teachers with experience in the arts industry.
Currently, about 350 students attend art schools from all over Gwinnett County. Approximately half are freshmen and sophomores in the Selective Conservatory Program, which requires auditions, portfolios, and interviews by judges. The rest are “fellows”, Gwinnett students who want the opportunity to take more art classes.
Conservatory students take Core Academic classes at Central Gwinnet High or online and use all electives to study selected arts up to 20 hours a week. Concentration includes visual arts, dance, music technology, theater and voice.
The goal of the conservatory program is to prepare students for a continuing education and career in the arts, said Principal Shane Ol. Some are more likely to be performers, others teach and write music, work on sound systems, and design theater sets.
According to Duboise, the art school supports the arts community in Guinette County, with approximately 11,000 workers engaged in art-related work, above the national average.
He said plans are underway to intern at the nearby Aurora Theater in Lawrenceville, train at the Atlanta Music Media Institute, work on the church’s acoustic system, and make a set for the Georgia Film Academy. Told.
He added that students benefit from arts education, whether or not they pursue a career in the field. Studies have consistently shown that students participating in the arts have a high graduation rate and a low discipline rate.
Credit: Ben Gray
“It only helps students learn about themselves, about the community, and about skill sets that they don’t have otherwise,” Du Bose said.
The city of Lawrenceville, which owns the Aurora Theater facility, has donated $ 5 million to build an art school. This is the first time that the city of Gwinnett has donated construction funds to the school system.
Lawrenceville leaders have long emphasized art in their efforts to revitalize downtown, said Mayor Chuck Warbington. The city has just opened the Lawrence Building Arts Center. There, art school students can play and exhibit their work, he said. He said the city is also affiliated with schools to create murals and other art in parks and public spaces.
“It’s a win-win for both entities, and we’ll see it in the short term after it opens,” Warbington said.
The new art school building is 31,000 square feet and houses all art classes in Central Gwinnett.
In designing the facility and program, authorities looked at similar schools in Augusta, Cobb, Decalve, Fulton County, and famous distant examples such as Booker T. Washington Performing Arts High School in Dallas and Chi Arts in Chicago. rice field. Chicago.
One day recently, a student at the Conservatory of the Art School prepared for the final of the semester. In a large carpeted room, theater students practiced solitude and moved it on a costume rack. In another room, about 25 students were painting watercolors for an art show in a small group. In the newly refurbished studio, dance students grabbed ballet in ballet shoes and posed on pointe.
According to Mr. Ol, about 300 8th graders have recently applied for 100 music schools next year. He wants to help schools strengthen the art programs of elementary and junior high schools that lead to it.
“We want to make sure that the kids in the central cluster don’t miss the opportunity to experience what’s here in their hometown,” Orr said. “We don’t want this to be just for kids who have taken private lessons from an early age.”
Credit: Ben Gray