New arts classes available at SCCA

Published 10:17 pm Monday, February 8, 2021

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A new opportunity is available for students learning at home but wanting to learn the arts hands-on.

The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is partnering with Renaissance School of the Arts to provide 30 classes for students ages 4 to 18 years old.

The classes started on Feb. 4 and are set to run through May 13, meeting every Thursday at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. Classes run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and cover many interest groups.

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“We believe that exploring the arts helps students in all aspects of learning,” said Melissa Rich, director of marketing and communications at the Renaissance School of the Arts.

This program is for students who are either homeschooled or doing virtual learning. Even though classes have already started, registration remains open for those who want to come. With COVID-19, some people are still hesitant to be back in person, but Rich is optimistic that once the weather is warmer and more vaccines are out, more people will feel comfortable and the opportunity will still be available.

The Renaissance School of the Arts has provided homeschool classes since 2004 in the Hampton Roads area, including North Suffolk and Isle of Wight. This is the first of what they hope will be many semesters of bringing this program to the downtown Suffolk area.

“We are pleased to welcome Renaissance School of the Arts to the Suffolk Center and look forward to a long partnership serving the homeschool community in the heart of downtown Suffolk,” said Susan Lawrence, executive director at the Suffolk Center.

Renaissance School of the Arts wanted to provide the opportunity for in-person classes. The courses include music, dance, theater, writing, engineering, gardening, painting, mixed media arts, photography, leather craft, jewelry-making, fitness, creative world building, anime and manga, driver’s education, Dungeons and Dragons, martial arts and chess, as well as private lessons and tutoring in many related subjects.

With all the classrooms and space in the Suffolk Center, along with the historic Charlie Byrd stage in the Birdsong Theater, it provides plenty of room to have classes with safe numbers and proper spacing. There are still opportunities to take the classes virtually or in a hybrid format too.

“We would love to have new people check us out and see what we have to offer,” said Rich. “We have classes for all ages to come find things they are interested in. It’s also a great place to try new stuff out and see what inspires them.”

To learn more about Renaissance School of the Arts membership or see available classes, visit With any questions, contact