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Why Virtual SMARTS?

SMARTS has been growing and expanding our expertise by learning best practices and effective teaching strategies for virtual learning.  We have found that online classes are often discussed in ways that underestimate their potential. However, we have been amazed, inspired, empowered, and at times...challenged...on what our notions of what virtual learning could be.  While we believe in-person arts teaching and learning is always better, we have found that all arts disciplines and all types of students - even students with special needs - can learn and demonstrate remarkable creativity in an online class. In some ways, there are even advantages.

SMARTS aims to set a new standard for learning in a traditional classroom setting by focusing on creating the next generation of artists and creative innovators. We now also aim to set a new standard for the effectiveness and wonder of learning in a virtual setting. We are excited for you to discover and create with us this year!

Same Community

SMARTS teachers are passionate about the art they specialize in and have empathy for the challenges student artists face as they discover their own personal identity. While online classes do affect interactions, they do not eliminate the human element of a teacher and students working on projects together with compassion and creativity.

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New Perspective

SMARTS online learning benefits arts disciplines by enabling students to view the same working surface or screen as the teacher. In some ways, students get more one-on-one attention than they would in a traditional classroom setting. Suddenly, you can see up close how your teacher paints with his brush, or you can create music in the same program simultaneously with your classmates.

High Engagment

SMARTS students are just as engaged in arts learning online as in-person. We have created curriculum specifically for online learning. Providing virtual instruction means teachers can utilize different techniques they would not normally in a traditional setting to encourage and inspire students.

Access and Equity

SMARTS students are able to access our classes from the comfort and convenience of where they live. Students who could not otherwise get to SMARTS after school now have the opportunity to access quality arts education anywhere. This benefits  families with busy or non-traditional schedules.

SMARTS Public Class Offerings

All SMARTS upcoming classes will be virtual until further notice. The safety and well-being of our students, families, teachers, staff, and community is important to us. SMARTS classes will be held live online via Zoom, and SMARTS teachers will instruct from safe studio spaces created at SMARTS in the Ohio One building. We are following protocol from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Governor Mike DeWine, and the Youngstown City Health District. We are working remotely and limiting interactions with the public. SMARTS is not open without an appointment. We have been working hard developing and piloting virtual classes in all five arts disciplines and learning what works best. Now you can receive a SMARTS education from anywhere in the world.

Explore SMARTS Classes

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All SMARTS and Virtual SMARTS classes are free, open to the public, and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Virtual SMARTS Puppet Theater, Grades 3-6 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Virtual SMARTS Puppet Theater, Grades 3-6 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

with Amanda Beagle

Turn your Zoom screen into a stage for puppets you made yourself! Design their Zoom world with a virtual background and write a story for them to perform.

Supplies: popsicle sticks, old socks, brown or white paper lunch bags, glue, markers or crayons, construction paper or white paper, scissors

Optional: felt, googly eyes, feathers, pom poms, pipe cleaner or any other arts supplies at home

Capacity: 12 students

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Virtual SMARTS Cloudy with a Chance of Theater, Grades K-2

Virtual SMARTS Cloudy with a Chance of Theater, Grades K-2 @ 2:05-3:05 pm

with Stephanie Chavara

Based on the children’s book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, discover how weather changes in our atmosphere affect us on earth and put your acting skills to the test! By becoming clouds and role-playing as meteorologists, students will deepen their understanding of the cause-and-effect patterns happening right over our heads.

Capacity: 15 students

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SMARTS Theatrical Ecosystems, Grades 4-7

SMARTS Theatrical Ecosystems, Grades 4-7 @ 1:00-2:00 pm

with Stephanie Chavara

Lights, camera, action! Learn how to create a story for an audience using characters from science class! Explore the roles that the nitrogen cycle, biodiversity, and ecosystems play in our world as we learn about the many unique roles theater artists play in a stage production.

Capacity: 10 students

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SMARTS Songwriting for Broadway Musicals, Grades 6-12

SMARTS Songwriting for Broadway Musicals

with Haley Beverburg

You’ve been hired to write the music for a new Broadway show. Read the script and work together as a class to create songs for key parts of the musical. (We are now inviting students of any instrument to participate, not only piano).

Capacity: 4 students each

Grades 6-12 @ 1:30-3:00 pm

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Virtual SMARTS Family Drawing Fun, Grades K-12

Virtual SMARTS Family Drawing Fun, Grades K-12 @ 2:00-3:00 pm

with Marites Eldred

It’s picture-perfect! Play drawing games together with a family member where you’ll make silly portraits finish each other’s artwork.

Supplies: pencil and paper or sketchbook

Capacity: 15 families

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Virtual SMARTS Storybook Drawing, Grades 3-6

Virtual SMARTS Storybook Drawing, Grades 3-6 @ 11:45 am – 12:45 pm

with Marites Eldred

Learn to draw characters, objects, and scenery stylistically for a picture book of your imagination!

Supplies: pencil and paper or sketchbook

Capacity: 15 students

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SMARTS Social Justice Poetic Theater, Grades 8-12

SMARTS Social Justice Poetic Theater, Grades 8-12 @ 11:20 am – 12:20 pm

with Addie Lamonge

Discover the power of words in this workshop where you will learn to read as an actor, emphasizing the most powerful words in a poem that inspires change in the world.

Capacity: 7 students

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SMARTS Dance Choreography of Photosynthesis, Grades 5-8

SMARTS Dance Choreography of Photosynthesis, Grades 5-8 @ 2:15-3:05 pm

with Dagmar Stahl

Create a narrative with dance to illustrate how plants turn light into food! Learn how dance choreography uses storytelling through movement to educate and inspire others on a range of scientific topics.

Capacity: 10 students

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SMARTS Word Dance, Grades 1-4

SMARTS Word Dance, Grades 1-4 @ 11:45 am – 12:35 pm

with Dagmar Stahl

Discover the meanings of new words in storybooks and play dance games to use them in your own stories!

Capacity: 10 students

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Virtual SMARTS Soundtracks, Grades 5-9

Virtual SMARTS Soundtracks, Grades 5-9 @ 12:00-1:00 pm

with Simon Kenneally

Every song is written from someone’s perspective. Learn how to write songs from multiple vantage points using I/you/he/she/it to create yours or someone else’s soundtrack theme song!

Capacity: 15 students

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Become a SMARTS Student Today!

To take SMARTS free classes and to receive communication about SMARTS class offerings, complete a new student application.

In-person

Instruction in a traditional classroom setting at our beautiful, historic downtown Youngstown facility.

Virtual

Instruction live online via Zoom using a link provided at enrollment from a private Virtual SMARTS class page.

Hybrid

Any combination of in-person, Zoom, or video instruction.

Video

Video-only instruction that students complete at home at their own pace.

About Us

SMARTS, Students Motivated by the Arts, is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art school.

Address: 25 East Boardman Street, First Floor, Youngstown, Ohio 44503

Phone: 330-574-2787

Email: info@smarts.tunahelper.net

Our Classes

SMARTS classes have been free and open to the public since 1997. To become a SMARTS student and receive regular communication about our class offerings, complete a new student application. Classes are filled on a first-come, first serve basis.

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