News Article

Letter from the President: Program for the Arts

February 2020,
 
Dear SCCS families,  
 
As spring approaches, now is a good time to encourage you to enjoy some of the arts opportunities provided by the Stark County Catholic Schools Program for the Arts. 
 
Planning for our annual Art & Design Symposium at the Canton Museum of Art, on Sunday, March 8, is well underway. This great event brings all of our schools together to showcase the outstanding work of our students in science, technology, engineering, and the arts. Plus, you’ll enjoy sneak peeks of our spring musical, Mary Poppins.
 
Central Catholic and St. Thomas have come together to stage Mary Poppins, The Broadway Musical, at the Canton Palace Theatre. Again, this year, our high schools will sponsor a private musical performance for students from each of our elementary schools on April 3. Tickets for the show are on sale at both high schools and at the Canton Palace Theatre Box Office. Mary Poppins will be directed by Criseyda Dowd.
 
Criseyda Dowd was appointed Director of the Arts earlier this year. Dowd is a Central Catholic graduate who earned a Bachelor of Music with honors in musical theatre from Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory. She also studied at the Oxford School of Drama in England. While there, she performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Kenneth Branagh’s Renaissance Theatre Company, earning the honor of top actress. Next, she moved to London, where she studied voice with internationally renowned singing coach Ian Adam while continuing her performing career. She was the leading actress in the Shakespearean Repertory Company. Following London, she lived in Chicago, where she taught acting and created the program, “Shakespeare: An Actor’s Approach.” Dowd has worked on stage, in commercial television, and in film alongside Emmy, BAFTA, and Academy Award nominees and winners in acting and directing. She and her family returned to Canton several years ago, where she has been a private acting and voice coach. 
In November, under the direction of Mrs. Dowd, STA staged a fall play for the first time in years, performing “Arsenic and Old Lace” to sold-out crowds nearly every night. Mrs. Dowd’s enthusiasm and experience have revitalized our high school arts program.
 
As we prepare for a new season, please take the time to learn more about the arts opportunities in our schools. Central Catholic and St. Thomas offer nearly 30 arts classes between them, including a College Credit Plus Art History Course. Both schools are able to offer serious art students the ability to create art school ready portfolios. 
 
Our elementary arts programs are stronger than ever. Many of our elementary schools offer their own musicals.  The SCCS Band Program and Show Choir have their largest enrollment to date. This summer, Stark County Catholic Elementary Schools will expand their theatre camp, adding a theatre immersion component. We will also offer a unique theatre experience that will allow students to travel to Cleveland to see “Frozen the Musical” and enjoy a private backstage tour.  
 
Please take the time to explore all of the arts programs found in Stark County Catholic Schools as there are more opportunities than ever before.
 
Sincerely, 

Dan Gravo,
President of Stark County Catholic Schools

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