Art school celebrates second year

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Chestnut Creek School of the Arts has grown substantially since 2009.

By April Wright, Reporter


Chestnut Creek School of the Arts is celebrating a second year in downtown Galax with an increase in visitors, volunteers, awards and sales.
At its annual meeting on Dec. 1, the CCSA Board of Directors reviewed its accomplishments over the past year.
CCSA opened April 16, 2009, in downtown Galax, bringing in $13,391 in tuition, said the school’s director, Chris Shackelford. The following year, it took in $25,589.
This fiscal year, which ends next July, has brought in $39,000 so far.
Sales have gone from $1,783 in 2009 to $5,805 in 2010 to $2,205 so far this year, reflecting revenue from July through November.
Since Sept. 10, 2010, CCSA has welcomed more than 7,000 visitors. This is an average of 700 visitors per month.
Each day, volunteers greet visitors at the door, provide tours or give assistance to instructors.
Guest services alone provided 6,000 volunteer hours since April 2010. This is the equivalent of 200 hours per month, for full-time and part-time staff members.
The art school has conducted 10 classes on demand this calendar year, allowing students to request particular courses.
Also in 2011, the school has hosted 528 students, up from 356 in 2010. Although more than 90 of these students have been from Virginia, all have been from outside of the Galax area; 23 have been from North Carolina; and five from other states.
This year, the art school earned the Community Leadership Development Award from Blue Ridge Crest; Dominion ArtStars “Rising Start” Award, $1,000; a programming gift of $5,000 from U.S. Sen. Mark Warner’s private foundation; and CCSA was presenter at Creative Economy Conference in September.
CCSA has received visits from Sen. Warner, George Allen and former Gov. Tim Kaine.
Shackelford said the art school is now working on its next anniversary celebration in April 2012.