About Us

Old Crozet School Arts Concept Narrative

The proposal below is the 2009 Concept Narrative submitted to Albemarle County for Old Crozet School Arts.  In September of 2009, OCSA opened its doors for classes in three refurbished studios in the rear of the Old Crozet School.  In February of 2012 OCSA became a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit and changed its operational name to Crozet Arts.  Crozet Arts is overseen by a Board of Directors who are committed to growing the arts in our community.  We offer classes and workshops for all ages and abilities in a variety of disciplines, with highly qualified and experienced teachers.  Please browse our website to learn more about us.

The concept of Old Crozet School Arts, a non-profit school for arts instruction, grew out of the Old Crozet School Re-use Workshop, conducted in June 2008. The results of the Workshop indicated the community’s decisive preference to revitalize the old school as a cultural and community center (see “The Old Crozet School Re-use Study” by PMA Planners & Architects, July 2008, Pages 1 and 9 [see Table 1]). While Albemarle County continues its discussion regarding a permanent use for the old school building, OCSA seeks to occupy a portion of the building for the purpose of offering classes in dance, music, theatre, visual arts, and other art forms, thus establishing the beginnings of what could evolve into a vibrant cultural center in the western Albemarle community.

OCSA’s plan for its portion of the old school turns classrooms into studios, each of which will be coordinated by a teacher or group of teachers centered around teaching in one of the arts. OCSA will be overseen by an Artistic Director (Sharon D. Tolczyk), an Administrative Director (Mollie Washburne), and governed by a Board of Directors.

OCSA will offer a schedule of classes that includes instruction for students of all ages. Classes will be scheduled throughout the day in order to accommodate various populations, including preschoolers, homeschoolers, adults, elementary/middle/high school students, and senior citizens.

OCSA aims to create a unique opportunity for arts instruction in Albemarle County. By offering classes across the arts, students participating in OCSA will encounter others who share their interest in the arts, but who may be involved in a completely different art form. Surprisingly, this is a rare occurrence since most instruction in the arts takes place one art at a time. That is, students may study dance at a dance school, theatre at a theatre school, music at a music studio (or from a private teacher), or art at an art studio. The intermingling under one roof of artists and students from various arts disciplines will promote growth, awareness, and integration of the arts which, in turn, will lay vital groundwork for the development of a cultural center at the Old Crozet School.

The Old Crozet School is an ideal home for OCSA. Its spacious layout, with numerous classrooms free of supporting poles and with abundant light, makes it ideally suited to arts instruction. Its proximity to schools makes it easily accessible after school; Henley and WAHS buses even drive past the Old Crozet School. Furthermore, its location in Crozet means a reduction in traffic and gas consumption since students will not need to travel to Charlottesville for arts instruction. Our proposal is a “green” alternative.

OCSA is deeply committed to creating new and unique opportunities for arts instruction in Albemarle County. We believe firmly that, besides being enjoyable and rewarding, study in the arts enhances learning and thinking. “For students living in a rapidly changing world, the arts teach vital modes of seeing, imagining, inventing, and thinking […] how to see new patterns, how to learn from mistakes, and how to envision solutions” (Ellen Winner, “Art for Our Sake,” Boston Globe, September 2, 2007 [please see attached article]). At the same time, we seek to bring life to the now-vacant old school building by nurturing its natural calling as a home for the arts.

Our venture, from the beginning, has been a collaborative effort to support the community’s need to find an occupant for the Old Crozet School. We hope that by responding to the community’s expressed desire that the school become a cultural/community center, we will be granted the opportunity to continue our collaboration with the our fellow Albemarle County citizens, and thereby make a vibrant contribution to our community.

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