The free, out-of-school youth development program has served 2,972 high school students since 2012, achieving a 99 percent average graduation rate
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 24, 2020) – The Arts & Science Council’s (ASC) youth development program Studio 345 will move to Arts+ on Wednesday, July 1,2020. Under Arts+’s administration, Studio 345 will continue to engage Charlotte-Mecklenburg high school students through arts education and programs.
ASC launched Studio 345 in 2012 as a free, out-of-school time program that uses the arts to inspire students to stay in school, graduate and pursue goals beyond high school. In its first year, the program attracted 133 students to its classrooms in Spirit Square (345 N. College St., Charlotte); there are now almost 3,000 alumni.
“ASC has partnered with Mecklenburg County on this valuable program since its inception and we appreciate the continued strong support for Studio 345 from the County Manager and the Board of County Commissioners,” said ASC President Jeep Bryant. “The spin-off of Studio 345 is one of several steps we are taking to streamline ASC’s operations. We are reducing expenses and sharpening our focus on our role as a grant maker, investing in creative individuals and cultural organizations. Studio 345 will have a vibrant new home at Arts+ and is poised for continued growth and impact.”
Arts education is central to Arts+’s mission and it has decades of experience working with students across Charlotte-Mecklenburg using the arts as a powerful tool for learning, personal and leadership development. Its demonstrated history of acquiring and thoughtfully integrating other community programs under its umbrella will benefit the transition of Studio 345 from ASC to Arts+.
“Arts+ is thrilled for the opportunity to have Studio 345 as one of our signature programs. It is a natural fit for our 50-year old organization whose sole mission is to provide outstanding and accessible arts education. We look forward to a continued relationship with Mecklenburg County in bringing this extraordinary opportunity to Charlotte’s high school students,” says Devlin McNeil, Arts+ executive director.
Studio 345 is a replication site for the National Center for Arts and Technology (NCAT) in Pittsburgh, Pa. Since 1972, NCAT founder Bill Strickland and the non-profit Manchester Bidwell Corporation have used the arts, education and community to empower and transform the lives of students.
ASC launched Studio 345 with the goal of improving the lives of students at risk of not graduating and providing them inspiration to achieve beyond high school. Since its inception, Studio 345 has provided students with invaluable experiences and enabled them to become creative risk-takers and craftspeople in the fields of digital photography, digital media arts and multimedia design.
Over the past eight years, Studio 345 saw an increase in graduation rates. In its first year, 95 percent of high school students attending Studio 345 graduated from high school; the following years, the percentage of seniors attending Studio 345 that graduated from high school increased to 100 percent.
“Studio 345 will remain open to all Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students in grades 9 to 12,” said McNeil. “As we chart out and plan for the programming for the upcoming school year – be it virtual, in-person, or a hybrid of both, students can expect to continue to participate in the highest quality art education experiences. Arts+ promises the invaluable experiences that everyone has come to expect from Studio 345.”
ASC is the chief advocate, resource hub and steward for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region’s cultural community. Its core functions include advocacy, cultural education programs, cultural planning, fundraising, grant making, public art and workshops and trainings for the cultural community. ASC works to ensure Culture For All by combining resources from local and state government with those of the private sector to maximize community impact throughout the cultural sector.
ASC’s mission is to ensure access to an excellent, relevant, and sustainable cultural community for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. Stay up to date on ASC news and happenings at ArtsAndScience.org and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Arts+ is creating a brighter future through outstanding arts training. Formerly known as Community School of the Arts, Arts+ envisions the transformative impact of arts education illuminating every corner of the Charlotte region, making outstanding arts education available to students of all ages, skill levels and socioeconomic backgrounds. From private lessons to summer camps to community outreach programs, Arts+ strives to help each student unlock their full potential through the power of arts education for the past 50 years. For more information, visit https://www.artsplus.org.
Images of Studio 345 and logos of ASC and Arts+ are available here and upon request.
Arts & Science Council
Krista Terrell, APR
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Rachel Sutherland Communications