With over 200 classes per week, in addition to its professional theater productions, the Beck Center for the Arts is a hub of creative activity in Lakewood—whose reach extends beyond the community to impact learners of all ages and abilities from throughout Northeast Ohio.
"It’s not unusual for a senior citizen to enroll in a beginner tap dance class because they have always wanted to learn!" says Ed Gallagher, MT-BC, the Beck Center’s director of education. Classes and lessons at the organization run the gamut of creative and performing arts and include dance, music, theater and visual arts. In addition, award-winning educational programming rounds out the broad range of Beck Center offerings.
Such programs include the "Creative Arts Therapies" program, which serves individuals across the region with art therapy opportunities. Using art, movement and music as a therapeutic tool, individuals address academic, motor, emotional, and social skills while developing talents in the fine arts.
All ages and abilities are welcomed and the staff gladly assists new students and their families in the process of identifying the class or program that fit their needs or interests. Some students get a young start at the Beck Center, with programs for children six months old and up, including music, rhythm and movement lessons.
One student, Emily, was first enrolled in a Beck Center class by her parents after acting in a first-grade skit. "Through the arts, kids discover who they really are as individuals while learning to be tolerant of differences," Emily's mother said. "Beck Center provides a safe, controlled environment for children to experience that. I couldn't be more proud of the young adult my daughter is becoming."
As any arts educator will say, the arts provide a freedom of individual expression that is all too often absent in traditional classrooms. The Beck Center aims to offer outreach education programs to the under-served in the community to help fill that void. "Support from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture helps the Beck Center to give about 17,000 students exposure to the arts each year," said Lucinda Einhouse, the Beck Center's president and CEO.
For more information about the Beck Center for the Arts more than 200 class offerings, visit their website. Registration is now open for Summer 2013 classes and camps.