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Toledo School For The Arts

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Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Giving Through The Years
12 years ago, our daughter discovered Toledo School for the Arts in a local magazine article. A charter school with a vision to include arts in education. We kept an open mind, and the journey began. It takes a lot to make a school successful. Part of that success is the giving. Giving - money is the first thing you think of. While monetary gifts are awesome, and necessary, there are many other ways to give. We give donations when we can, but two other ways our family chooses to give is trust and time.
We gave trust to TSA, it's teachers and staff to provide her, and eventually her two brothers, with an excellent education. It did that and so much more. We trusted this school to give them the tools, and experiences they would need to go out into this great big world!
We also gave time. Time volunteering for a plethora of events over the years, and still today. Countless hours, but so worth it! We do this because we are proud to be a part of this school, this community, this culture, this family.

Review from #MyGivingStory

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Why Don't You Dance


I don’t dance. I have a hard enough time piloting my body just for the purpose of circumnavigation, let alone artistic expression. The closest thing to an aesthetic experience I can muster with my body is a morbid awkwardness that you wouldn’t want to experience twice. I don't naturally dance, but thanks to Toledo School for the Arts, I understand dance.

I first came to TSA as a student teacher during my last year of college. One of my formative experiences was chaperoning a dance. I thought the dances at TSA would be much like the dances of my high school experience: clutches of awkward teens shuffling in small circles of people that looked, talked, and thought like them in a contest to see who could look like they were having the least amount of fun.

But the TSA dance was very different. For one thing, the students danced together. Students that looked like they had nothing in common were all out there on the dance floor in a big heap. Mousy visual art majors danced with boisterous percussionists. Kids from the rich suburbs danced with kids from the projects. Kids who would have been relegated to a lonely corner in another high school found themselves the center of a roiling, laughing circle. And they all looked like they were having a great time. That's when I began to understand what dance is about, and what art in general is about.

There are aspects of this world that want to separate us. That want to stratify us. That want to keep us in an echo chamber populated by people who look like us, talk like us, and think like us. There are aspects of this world that want to keep us from The Other, that want to build walls around our little portion of the world until it seems like the only portion. That portion can be a lonely place.

Art obliterates those walls. What is art but communication refined through discipline, precision, and sensitivity? When we partake in the arts, we are seeing the world as someone else sees it, and recognizing a reflection of our self in The Other. We are, however briefly, transcending the confines of our own parochial set of experiences and sharing something essentially human. Art is one of the few dance floors we all share.

It’s no wonder that I hear from students year after year about how this place has changed their lives. I’ve seen eyes well with tears when they tell me about what it was like before they came to TSA. The sad fact is, that many of our students come from places that wanted to keep them separate. Places where they were the weird kid. Places that told them that playing the viola is soft, that boys don’t do ballet, that girls can’t use a bandsaw to build a set, that they shouldn’t play with kids that look like that. Too often, kids come into the world surrounded by walls.

And then they come to TSA and find themselves pulled out onto the dance floor. Every step, every plie, every stroke of the brush, every strike of the steel drum, and every memorized line is another sledgehammer through those walls. At TSA, students find themselves shoulder to shoulder with kids that aren’t ostensibly like them, but there they are understanding the world together through a jazz chorus, through a string quartet, through a poem. Suddenly, the world isn’t such a lonely place at all. That is how art saves lives, by breaking down the barriers that separate us. Art makes the world less lonely.

That's why I support Toledo School for the Arts. I want to help break down those barriers and help that kids have an experience that might not be accessible to them otherwise. I want to make the process of understanding other people a little more possible. I want to help rip the bricks out of all those walls, and use them to build a dance floor.

Review from #MyGivingStory

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My family gives back to our community in many ways but our donation to the children's school in memory of their father is our largest and closest to our hearts.

Toledo School for the Arts is the place that their dad dreamed of as a kid. We had very young children and our highschool aged cousin was attending school there. We toured the school and we were amazed. Through conversations with our cousin, we found out exactly why she liked the school so much over the next couple of years until she graduated. We were pretty sold at that point this is where we wanted our children to go to school.

My husband never got to see his kids attend this school, but it was his hope that they would go to TSA. He talked to our children about art, music, and dance while he was immobile and fighting cancer. His last request of me was to ensure that I support them fully in whatever endeavor they choose, Toledo School for the Arts is that endeavor and we will continue to support.

TSA is an amazing school with emphasis on academics and joyfully supplemented with the Arts.

We would ask that if you are going to consider giving, please consider Toledo School for the Arts.

Review from #MyGivingStory

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This year, I chose to give to the Toledo School for the Arts.

#MyGivingStory is very personal. Two intelligent, talented, unique young individuals that I am fortunate enough to call my children both attend TSA. I can honestly say that sending our kids to the Toledo School for the Arts is the single best decision that my husband and I have made as parents and advocates for our children.

TSA is a truly incredible educational journey for Jacob and Mia that combines superior Academics, and emphasis on the Arts, and the promotion of Community and Inclusion. When you walk through the doors of TSA, you can immediately SEE, HEAR, and FEEL that magic happens in this school...not magic in a Hogwarts kind of way, but magic in that the kids who are lucky enough to attend TSA LOVE going to school there. The colors all around the school are vivid, the sounds are amazing, and there is a vitality all around you that is hard to describe.

We believe in the mission of TSA. We appreciate the tireless involvement of a second-to-none staff, and we enjoy being a part of the Toledo School for the Arts community. Watching our kids grow into hard-working, passionate young adults who are not afraid to follow their dreams fills my heart with limitless joy, so I am happy to give back to our amazing school on #GivingTuesday2015 . Thank you, TSA.

Review from #MyGivingStory