Raleigh Charter High School – A Hidden Gem in Downtown Raleigh

Summer camps are on the horizon for Arts Together, now that spring has finally arrived! Summer is a particularly special time, because not only do we offer camps in our flagship building on St. Mary’s Street, we also partner with Raleigh Charter High School (RCHS) to hold our Summer Sparks Junior and Senior camps in their impressive facility. This satellite location allows us to provide even more multi-arts fun for 6-to-12-year-olds!

 Raleigh Charter High School

Raleigh Charter High School

Only a five minute drive from Arts Together, RCHS facilities include a black box theater, art room, music room, science lab, computer lab, picnic area, and multiple open green spaces/play areas. These additional places allow us to provide unique camp programming for our Summer Sparks that otherwise we wouldn’t be able to offer! Plus, RCHS is near Fred Fletcher Park, giving campers the opportunity to explore even more.

A former camper, who’s now 13 and has aged out of Summer Sparks, recalls the RCHS outdoor area. “There is a great eating area outside with picnic tables perfect for snack, lunch, outdoor crafts, and whatever game or activity campers dream up. I think RCHS is an awesome place for summer camps. I can’t wait to maybe go back as a Counselor-In-Training.”

Parents frequently rave about the convenience of RCHS. "Drop-off and pick up couldn't be easier at RCHS,” a mother shared. “No busy roads to walk across, and you don't even have to get out of your car! I can get both of my kids to Arts Together camps on time, even when one is at RCHS and one is at Arts Together, because the RCHS drop-off is so easy.”

This summer, we’re particularly excited to offer several brand new Junior and Senior camps. Junior Sparks (ages 6-8) can take Tap to the Beat, a tap dance camp with nationally renowned instructor Katie Padgett Brown, and Senior Sparks (ages 9-12) can express their creativity in Mini Maker by building their own imaginative, tiny worlds from everyday objects. One 10-year-old expressed her excitement about returning to camp. "All the teachers are great! I liked creating sculptures, painting, doing collages, and especially fabric design and sewing last summer," she exclaimed. "I love the Summer Sparks camps and can't wait to go back this summer!"

2014-07-01 13.58.06.jpg

Campers often experience personal growth during their week of Summer Sparks. “I’ll never forget the day my daughter came home from Arts Together’s Summer Sparks camp and had tried eating several herbs they’d planted,” a parent explained. “I have NO IDEA how Ms. Sheri got a kid who turns her nose up at anything green to talk on and on about how much she loves basil.”

If you're on the fence about our Summer Sparks camps, don't wait to register any longer. These unique camps always fill quickly! Take a look at our full list of offerings for Junior Sparks and
Senior Sparks.

Kari Martin Hollinger, Communications & Development Associate

Let's Make a Circle

This is often heard at Arts Together. It’s the way our preschool classes begin. It’s how most of our dance classes start—with passing the energy. Art classes come together around a table to create a project. Drama classes often conclude with affirmations in the form of a circle. Our staff meetings gather the same way – a circle of voices and viewpoints. Everyone is heard and valued. It’s how groups work best because it encourages collaboration, connection and community.

It’s a circle. Not a line with a start and a finish. Not a triangle with a top and a bottom. Not a square with neatly defined edges. The symbol of a circle has “magical value as a protective agent” – it is inclusive and caring. Circular shapes connote movement, as in dance – they are dynamic, creative and active. They symbolize birth, growth, wholeness and the infinite nature of energy. Some of the first marks we make as children are “scribbles,” those rounded forms that signify the beginning of the creative process.

And now, with circles, we are excited to launch Arts Together’s new brand! We involved many circles of people as we created our new brand. We began with a diagnostic survey of many of our constituents: current and former parents, staff, students, board members, community leaders and supporters. A Brand Identity Task Force was appointed that represented this larger group. We are so grateful to everyone who took the time to offer thoughts and feedback. We are fortunate to have been led by an expert strategic design team at Forma.

We learned a lot over the course of this brand development process and much of what we already knew was confirmed. In spite of the very broad offerings (what we offer), Arts Together’s spirit and attitude (how and why we deliver those offerings) remains remarkably consistent and aligned, across all programs, all classes, and all ages. There is a shared understanding among our stakeholders: Arts Together is a magical place. We cultivate creativity and celebrate individuality.

The challenge faced by the Brand Identity Task Force was a difficult one: how can we best communicate our culture and our shared values through a new brand? The result is simple and yet a real symbol of who we are: the main symbol includes connecting circles as the “bowl” of the lower case letter “a.” To give us flexibility, there is also a system of symbols where the “bowl” of the “a” changes depending on the program—a child’s handprint represents our Preschool Division while a silhouette of a dancer represents our Rainbow Dance Company.

This system allows flexibility to promote a single idea, program or division, while visually and consistently connecting all components of Arts Together. This flexibility will also allow new ideas and programs to be introduced in the future. We believe our new look captures the spirit of Arts Together; who we are and who we can be.

By nature a new identity/logo is empty when introduced – and therefore meaningless. It’s basically empty until we begin to fill it with meaning over time. We are already beginning to do that and I’d like to share a story with you: When our designer was looking for an image to embody the Rainbow Dance Company, we turned to recent photographs of our dance company. The image chosen to represent Rainbow was of Carter Crew in a piece for her Senior performance. It just so happens that Carter is our founder Lemma Mackie’s granddaughter. Another generation moves Arts Together forward. Another story is filled with meaning.

Full circle—the connection we all share through this magical place. Thank you for being part of our community at Arts Together!

Meg Revelle, Executive Director