MILLERSBURG — The Holmes County Center for the Arts has released its class schedule for this fall.
The fall session, which begins Aug. 27, includes dance classes for kids, tumbling, theater, strings classes, and visual arts. Classes for adults include choir and ballroom dancing.
Executive Director Holley Johnson said the types of classes that are offered each session vary based on the season.
"What we found in the last three years in the fall, because the weather is so beautiful here in the fall, we offer what we know does well," Johnson said. "We try to offer workshops in the fall."
Workshops starting this fall include a theater workshop for kids on Oct. 13 and Nov. 10 from 2-4 p.m., and the center will be celebrating National Novel Writing Month on Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to noon for free.
Johnson, herself a former professional dancer, also teaches upper level ballet courses at the arts center. She gave credit to her staff, many of whom have professional experience.
"Our teachers have college degrees in their area of teaching or professional experience," Johnson said, adding that is unique for arts instruction in the area.
The arts center offers dance classes year round, as well as music, strings classes and choir, which are essentially year round as well, Johnson said.
"Those kids are really committed," she said about her dance students.
The dance program enlists about 100 students, while they expect about 200 students for the fall session, including kids and adults.
Most classes are offered starting at age 3 then go through adults, Johnson said. She added that prices are kept low, even considering all the training and experience her staff has.
The center recently finished productions of "The Music Man" and "Our Town" and will perform "The Nutcracker" this December. A choral production of Handel’s "Messiah" is also in the works.
"We try to give as many performing opportunities as possible," Johnson said. "I think it’s important for our students to perform what you could do in high school, which was lacking in this area."
The Holmes County Center for the Arts has been open for about three and a half years. The idea grew out of a need Johnson saw in the community.
"I was teaching dance in Holmes County as a fitness club in Berlin," Johnson said. "We were just really growing out of that space and looking for new opportunities. When we started talking about an art center, it just made the most sense.
"It wasn’t something that we were dreaming or planning this big thing," she continued. "One of the things we really wanted to do is offer scholarships, which we’ve been able to do successfully."
Currently, the arts center is working on a capital campaign to break ground on a completely new building.
"We’re just a few weeks away from being able to launch that," Johnson said. "We would like to break ground in a year. Our goal is to have the money in a year."
Their fundraising is off to a good start, with $600,000 that has been allocated by the state legislature. The land itself was donated to the center by a Berlin resident.
"We’ll be talking to the community to help us fill in the gaps to building a good arts center," Johnson said.
For more information, the center can be reached at 330-473-2879, or by email at email@example.com
Kristin Hohman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter @Kay_elizabeth07