YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Students Motivated by the Arts is embracing its mission of providing quality arts education to students as it celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Smarts’ increased presence in schools and youth organizations has helped students readjust to in-person learning, says Becky Keck, president.
The school was established in 1997 and transitioned to a stand-alone nonprofit in 2014. It serves more than 3,000 students per year through four programs: arts integration, beats & empowers, arts in non-art spaces and early Smarts.
Free classes in visual art, music, dance, theater and creative writing also are offered to PK-12 students at its downtown Youngstown headquarters. This spring it will offer 31 classes over nine weeks with space for 335 students, Keck says.
In total, Smarts will serve 4,500 students this year.
“This growth allows us to better support our partners to achieve their new normal, whatever that might look like, while serving more students and teachers by reaching deeper into the community,” Keck says.
The school had more than 30 community partners in 2022.
Smarts, along with its students, families, partners and sponsors, had two successful fundraisers in 2022.
The school partnered with the Youngstown Rotary Club and Youngstown City School District to establish an arts festival for students that engages them in learning, creating and educating the public about the importance of pollinators.