Change in stance: Dance studio becomes a nonprofit, adds staff

August 2012 Posted in Other
The American Academy of
Performing Arts Co.

222 High St., Silverton
503-873-0464; 503-998-9947

After seven years in business, Silverton’s  American Academy of Performing Arts Co. (AAPAC) is making some big changes during a turbulent economy by changing to a nonprofit business.

Marta Hazekamp-Stovin, who is the owner and director of the American Academy, said there were several deciding factors that went into the decision to becoming a nonprofit, with the economy being number one.

“With public schools cutting budgets for art, music, theatre and physical education, it became more evident that the gap needed to be filled at a community level,” Hazekamp-Stovin said in the announcement of the change.

The American Academy of Performing Arts Co. offers various styles of dance, drama, theatre and music classes for all ages. By going nonprofit, individuals and business owners can donate to the school and write off the donations on their taxes, making it a win-win situation.

“Community support and sponsors will be paramount in the success of this school in addition to enriching children’s dance, drama and music studies,” Hazekamp-Stovin said. “Student scholarships will be named after individuals or their business. The scholarships would go to students of the highest financial need.”  AAPAC has  offered a limited number of scholarships through sales of performance tickets. Hazekamp-Stovin predicts the change in status will allow them to offer far more.

Ticket sales historically have paid for the costumes, sets, props, marketing, facility rental, with a percentage going to student scholarships. New facility rental prices were too high for AAPAC to continue in that model; it was a huge factor in the decision to become non-profit.

“Going non-profit would also allow the school to apply for grants for specific projects and needs, providing the students supplies and opportunities to perform shows that they probably wouldn’t otherwise receive,” Hazekamp-Stovin said. “Some shows, such as Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella require royalties in the thousands. This production would need a grant to go forward in the spring.”

Hazekamp-Stovin said AAPAC has become known locally for its productions. There are two large shows each year, with several smaller performances throughout the year.

The mission is to develop artistic diversity within all of the students. Students are taught creative problem solving, mentoring, self-discipline, diligence, proper stage etiquette, commitment and teamwork. Classes are also designed to  develop respect, accountability, self confidence and professionalism.

Because instructing and mentoring is an important part of the school, AAPAC has hired a ballet instructor and dance department director who is a retired professional ballerina. Christine Carlisle joined AAPAC one year ago; she has had five students who went on to dance professionally and one who graduated from Julliard. An Oregon native; Carlisle was a principal dancer for Oregon Festival Ballet and Eugene Ballet Co. 25 years ago. She left Oregon for New York and was invited to join the Boston Ballet Co.

Both Hazekamp-Stovin and Carlisle are  members of the internationally recognized syllabuses Royal Academy of Dance and The American Academy of Ballet, providing the Performance Awards program to their ballet students.

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