SPS, SLT to Open Academy of Fine & Performing Arts

Springfield Public Schools and Springfield Little Theatre are holding a special ribbon cutting event Thursday night to celebrate the newest addition to the educational options for Springfield students: the Academy of Fine and Performing Arts.

The ribbon cutting event will take place Thursday, August 20, at 5:45 p.m. on the front lawn of the Judith Enyeart Reynolds School of the Performing Arts, 237 South Florence Avenue.

Anyone who wishes to attend will need to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

The Academy, a partnership of SPS and SLT, will teach 50 5th grade students to “explore the world around them through a creative lens.” The curriculum for the students will integrate arts with grade level requirements and add exposure to a variety of fine and performing arts disciplines.

“Our program’s inception is coming at an integral moment in education. During these unprecedented times, we are called to think ‘outside the box,'” teacher Jayme Carabello said in a statement. “That is the very thing that AFPA is designed to do. We will approach everything through a creative lens and look at how the arts create possibilities when others may see limitations.”

Carabello’s teaching partner, Liza Gray, is excited for the new opportunities.

“I entered the teaching profession 21 years ago to bring the arts into schools. The AFPA is a dream and blessing come true,” Gray said.

The school will utilize all the features of the school SLT calls “The Judy.” The building houses the small blackbox Studio Theatre, a multi-purpose auditorium, film lab, tap studio, music studio, ballet studio, and art room.

SPS will be leasing two dedicated classroom spaces and an administrative office from SLT.

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