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Nurturing the Spirit of Creativity and Talent at St. Augustine Community School of Performing Arts

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

This nonprofit school was founded to help underserved and disadvantaged children learn music, dance and art. "To find and nurture the spirit of creativity and talent that lies within every person" is their mission. That's a pretty lofty goal, but St. Augustine Community School of Performing Arts (SACSPA) has been perfecting their strategy for nine years.

Founder and Executive Director Annette Danielson firmly believes that "musical education is a great source of motivation and inspiration while making new brain connections." The core program of SACSPA is their private or group instrument or vocal lessons, each lasting 30 minutes to one hour. Lessons are given for piano, strings, percussion, vocal, and hip hop.

Aside from instrument lessons, the school offers vocal, theater, dance and art programs. Danielson tells us, "Skilled experienced professional staff and interns have great joy and passion for sharing their talents."

Funding and donations of musical instruments, administrative time, teaching lesson sponsors and other needs is always welcome and appreciated. Donors are needed to assist the school attain their longterm goal of a permanent educational facility in the area.

SACSPA provides a number of performance events throughout the year. The main events are Coquina Crossing Community Chorale Spring and Christmas concerts, SACSPA Student Spring Recitals, Dancing Stars of St. Johns County, a SACSPA Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Students also perform at local nursing homes, festivals and special events.

Summertime brings a series of one-week camps with "fun and entertaining Friday shows," says Danielson. Interested in getting your child enrolled this summer? Enrollment is limited.

Serving over 800 local members, outreach is a key component of SACSPA. Students perform out in the community, but the school also helps give the gift of music to deserving kids of the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida.

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