Suffolk Arts Program continues

Published 8:21 pm Friday, November 13, 2020

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As schools remain virtual and families struggle to find balance as people are back working in offices, the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts will continue its Suffolk Arts Enrichment Program as a creative outlet for students in third through 10th grade.

In partnership with the Suffolk Boys & Girls Club, the program delivers affordable, focused study, and enriching arts opportunities for students, and will continue to meet weekly through Dec. 18.

“The Boys & Girls Club is grateful for the partnership with SAEP because it allows us to connect the community and with the ones who need us most,” said Keith Robinson, director of the Suffolk Boys & Girls Club. “I think it’s also great they get to learn all forms of art.”

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The Suffolk Arts Enrichment Program offers weekly sessions from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday through the week of Dec. 14. Thanks to the partnership with the Suffolk Boys & Girls Club, the cost is $10 per student a week with a $20 yearly Boys & Girls Club membership or $90 per week without a membership. The program is partially funded by a grant from the Obici Healthcare Foundation.

In the mornings, enrolled students bring their personal curriculums, school supplies, computer and lunch to Suffolk Center. The Suffolk Center provides a Wi-Fi connection and qualified room facilitators to help students navigate their virtual learning and stay focused.

In the afternoons, students have the opportunity to engage in three different arts courses such as visual arts, dance, music, culinary arts, theater, and S.T.E.A.M. Professional instructors in well-appointed art classrooms, dance rehearsal studios and on the historic Charlie Byrd Stage located in the Birdsong Theater teach immersive arts classes.

“I am so thankful for the SCCA for providing this opportunity for some of our families during at-home learning,” said Kirsten Schultz, education advocate with ForKids. “I’m thankful to be involved in their afternoon after-virtual-learning program that provides a variety of arts activities for the students.”

Over the initial weeks of the Suffolk Arts Enrichment Program, students have flourished at the Suffolk Center. Students like the focused time to complete their schoolwork and the interactive time with peers participating in a wide variety of daily arts programs. Students shared:

  • “I was nervous at first because it’s such a huge place, but I now love all the classes.”
  • “This program is LIT!”
  • “As an athlete, I’ve found a new respect for ballet and I’m starting to like it.”

Parents are thrilled with the peace of mind that their children are safe and engaged. Parents shared:

  • “You’re going to make me cry. This is exactly what I needed. This is a blessing.”
  • “During the virtual learning segment, my son was texting me numerous times to come get him, but by the time I was going to pick him up, he started the Cultural Arts program and asked me to leave him here the rest of the day.”
  • “They really love the art enrichments program, especially dance and culinary.”

Space is limited. To reserve a spot for your child, please register online at or call 757-923-0003 and speak with Gavin Harper or Chatia Chalmers. The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is conveniently located in Downtown Suffolk at 110 W. Finney Ave.