By Katherine Moore
“We saw an opportunity and we took it,” said Co-Director Adam Cole. “Even though the greater Grant Park area is full of artists and musicians, no one had established a place where students could study the arts in the neighborhood. With the expansion of the area coming as a result of the BeltLine, we knew we could either be ﬁrst or wish we had tried harder.”
And so a partnership was born between two veteran musicians and longtime Grant Park residents Adam Cole and Katherine Moore. Cole, a 12-year veteran of the Fulton County and Atlanta Public School systems and an author with Royal Fireworks Press was looking for a way to expand his existing music school, the Adam Cole School of Music. Moore, a longtime employee of The Music Class, wanted to return to her roots as a vocal pedagogue.
Ms. Moore also had a vision for homeschool oﬀerings in the neighborhood. “I was taking my daughter all the way to Tucker for hybrid homeschool classes,” she recounted. “I couldn’t understand why, with all the homeschoolers we have in our neighborhood, there weren’t more opportunities here. Then I thought, why can’t we do that?”
Cole and Moore spent the fall and winter of 2017 establishing a partnership with Park Avenue Baptist Church. The church, looking for a way to increase its community outreach, was more than happy to let them renovate the existing space formerly occupied by the Girl Scouts. And so, with the help of their families, the Co-Directors began cleaning and painting.
Since then they have oﬀered many opportunities in their new space on the third ﬂoor of Park Avenue Baptist. Feature events have included summer camps, master classes, open houses, and even a family jam with special guests from local bands. Enrollment is up, and with their continued outreach, they are quickly becoming known as the community’s arts hub.
“Get arts-centered; that’s our motto,” says Moore. “It represents everything we are and want to do.” Cole clariﬁes, “We’re not interested in weeding out the kids in the neighborhood who are going to be the next great musicians. We want to teach everyone to think like musicians, because musicians think like scientists, like mathematicians, like successful business people!”
It’s this integrated approach to the arts, bringing out the person through arts education, that diﬀerentiates the Grant Park Academy of the Arts from other schools in nearby neighborhoods. Rather than ask what their students can do for the arts, Cole and Moore ask what the arts can do for their students. Their answer? Increased capacity to think clearly, to engage, to take risks, and succeed.
Their music instruction, for both kids and adults, currently covers piano, voice, guitar, woodwinds, and violin, with other instruments to come. Their homeschool oﬀerings include Spanish, yoga, both STEM and STEAM, magic, and a social awareness/community service class called Camp Freedom. They are looking for more ideas. “We want to know what the community needs,” says Moore, “So we can bring it.”
Grant Park Academy of the Arts is located at 486 Park Avenue on the third ﬂoor of Park Avenue Baptist Church. Lessons and homeschool classes can be scheduled at their website at www.grantparkarts.com or by contacting the directors at email@example.com. Lessons are oﬀered Monday through Friday from 2:00pm to 7:00pm, and homeschool oﬀerings typically take place during the late morning hours during the week. After school classes may also be on the horizon.
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