With it’s facilities closed to the public due to health and safety mandates, the Darien Arts Center is now offering all music lessons, visual arts and dance classes live and online while Darien schools remain closed.
— an announcement from Darien Arts Center
DAC directors and students have quickly adapted to this new way of teaching and learning, and the DAC is providing new opportunities for students of all ages.
Dance students have started attending the more than 40 dance classes offered by the DAC via Zoom.
“It is a new way for the students to learn, but our dancers are adapting quickly,” said DAC Dance Director Bonnie Gombos. “We greatly appreciate the support and involvement of all who have made our online classes come together and the patience and flexibility of students and parents as DAC faculty and staff adapt to today’s challenging realities.
“Online classes will continue until we are back in the studio, which can’t happen soon enough. Our teachers dearly miss all of our students and can’t wait to resume classes in person. But until then, the dance will go on!”
DAC Music Director Juanita Bosee was initially reluctant to the concept of remote learning.
“The coronavirus forced me to do something I was uncomfortable with, but I am so happy I tried it. The kids are engaged and I’ve seen progress in all 30 of the students that I taught this past week,” Bosee said. “With more free time on their hands, kids are practicing more and they are learning that playing a musical instrument is a gift they will have for the rest of their lives.
“Parents of students are extremely grateful for the effort put into helping their kids continue learning. Both students and parents are happy that there is some normalcy and structure in their lives. I am proud of the students’ and my own resilience and that of my fellow colleagues in all the disciplines taught at the DAC.”
In addition to regularly scheduled classes, DAC Visual Arts Director Emily Altman, has added several upcoming virtual drawing and painting workshops for all ages that take place via Zoom,
“We’ve been encouraged by positive feedback from students and parents, and are happily providing ways for the community to stay creative as we move forward,” she said.
The Afternoon Doodles Workshops, brand new for grades 3 and up, are taking place on Wednesdays, April 8, 15 and 22, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Artist and instructor Nancy McTague-Stock will lead classes using household items to create fun projects that include drawing, collage and more. Fee for each workshop is $10.
New live virtual workshops for adults include Coffee and Draw with artist and DAC instructor Joel Flora, who will lead a series of drawing exercises while participants sketch objects of choice in their own homes. This workshop takes place on April 9 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
From the Kitchen with Nancy McTague-Stock takes place on Tuesday, April 21 from 10to 11 a.m. McTague-Stock will lead participants on how to draw a still life, using anything from the kitchen, whether it is a bowl of fruit or flowers, or whatever is on hand. Fee for each adult workshop is $10.
Look for updates on upcoming online classes and register at darienarts.org. For questions, call the DAC at (203) 655-8683.
The Darien Arts Center is located at 2 Renshaw Road, behind Darien Town Hall. Lead sponsors of the DAC are Baywater Properties, DR Bank and Stamford Ford Lincoln.