History of BW Community Arts School

With the start of the 2019 calendar year, the 43-year-old Community Music School at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music received a new name: the Community Arts School. The decision was informed by compelling market research that aligns with the University’s desire to expand and diversify its arts education programming for the larger community. This extraordinary venture is family-friendly and ready to offer arts and multidisciplinary opportunities for students of any age and at any level of study.

BW’s former Community Music School was established in 1976 to offer Dalcroze classes and music lessons for younger children. In recent years, the school’s leaders have sought to broaden its reach.

In January 2019, Olmsted Performing Arts (OPA) ceased operating. The University stepped in to welcome families who were once engaged at an arts organization that was closing its doors. Thus, as of January 1, 2019, the Community Arts School not only was created, but also embraced new faculty and new clients, and expanded into a new off-campus satellite location.

The Community Arts School’s management team, led by Director Adam Sheldon, is comprised of faculty and administrators from Baldwin Wallace. Their collective expertise and experience in arts education promise to provide an extraordinary program that serves community members of all ages. Expanded programs include dance, visual arts, and a children’s theatre program. This growth allows for the Community Arts School to serve over 4,000 households in the Northeast Ohio area.

The Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music has a long history of bringing school age and adult learners to campus during the summer for focused music study through workshops, camps, and training institutes. These programs will continue under the aegis of the Community Arts School. Adults can enroll in professional development sessions that cover topics from repairing instruments to website design to Orff-Schulwerk certification. Recently, CAS incorporated the renowned LoVetri Institute for Somatic Voicework, a body-based method of vocal pedagogy, into its portfolio of summer offerings. It provides information about vocal teaching and research for teachers and speech pathologists, and attracts more than 100 educators and professionals from around the country and the globe.