Compass Arts Creativity Project

Classes at Compass Arts

The classes we offer at Compass Arts are designed to teach arts and creativity in a broad and developmentally targeted manner. They tend to integrate various art forms in wonderfully untidy ways for the purpose of surprising the student's creativity into wakefulness. They offer children and adults of all ages very cool experiences that incorporate equal measures of structure and self-guidance. The Compass Arts class offerings are certainly not run of the mill, and this is intentional. We are devotees of learning and expansion, creativity, hope and community.

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Please visit our FAQ page for information about our financial accessibility programs including family discounts, pay-over-time plans and sliding scale pricing.

Anyone interested in applying for sliding scale assistance right away can jump to our sliding scale assistance application.

If you would like to support our Sliding Scale Assistance Fund and help make our programs accessible to more of our community, you can make a tax deductible donation here.

You may review our covid-19 policies here.



Compass Arts Creativity Project programs are paid for in part by Dutchess County

Music, Theater, Dance, WRITING

Our performing arts classes are rooted in arts educational approaches that follow the natural developmental process of imitation, exploration, improvisation, and creation. Beginning with the very young, we lay foundational concepts through music and movement, focused mostly on imitation and exploration, then build upon those foundations in the preschool and kindergarten years with more exploration, improvisation, and creation opportunities. These classes introduce dance, theater and storytelling into the mix, following the natural physical and creative impulses of the child.

As we move into elementary school, these processes deepen, providing the students with more opportunities to create from their own imaginations through inquiry based frameworks that ground the students in fundamental music, theater, and dance skills while making space for them to discover their own unique voice. Connections with their peers are fostered through the collaborative process of creating pieces to share with an audience, strengthening their relationships in a supportive environment and furthering their capacity to share their authentic selves.


Compass Arts Musical StewMusical Stew
For little ones 6 months-4 years and a caregiver
Taught by Jessie Shaffer (Wednesdays) and Gina Samardge (Thursdays)

Rooted in music education approaches such as Orff-Schulwerk, Kodaly and Dalcroze, Musical Stew provides adults with songs, rhymes and activities to help nurture their child's musical development and allow the little ones to begin an integrative musical journey that lets music work its magic. Each class explores a variety of musical concepts through playful songs, rhymes, fingerplays, props, and small percussion instruments while providing a space for young ones to grow cognitively, physically and emotionally.

  • CURRENTLY RUNNING:
  • Wednesdays, 9:30-10:15am, April 20 to June 22, 2022, $200 (sibling discounts available)
  • Wednesdays, 10:30-11:15am, April 20 to June 22, 2022, $200 (sibling discounts available)
  • Thursdays, 9:30-10:15am, April 21 to June 23, 2022, $200 (sibling discounts available)
  • Thursdays, 10:30-11:15am, April 21 to June 23, 2022, $200 (sibling discounts available)

Compass Arts RompatomRompatom Elementary Music Ensemble and Youth Choir
For students in 1st through 5th grade
Directed by Gina Samardge and Jessie Shaffer

Love to sing? Interested in learning a little uke and percussion? Then this is the place for you! Each week, students will come together, sing, and get to learn some parts on xylophones, hand percussion, and ukulele. Technique, ear training, reading, improvisation, and rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic work will all be explored in this collaborative and playful environment while students are exposed to a variety of musical genres and styles. This winter and spring we will be running a 14 week class with performances as part of our end of year showcase the weekend of April 30 and May 1, 2022. No experience necessary.

  • UPCOMING:
  • No upcoming sessions currently scheduled for this class, please check back later

Compass Arts RompatomRompatom Elementary Music Ensemble and Youth Choir - SPRING SESSION
For students in 1st through 5th grade
Directed by Gina Samardge and Jessie Shaffer

Rompatom is running a fabulous and fun five-week sing-fest while learning new songs and revisiting the favorites from this past session. This end-of-year bonus session is open to students in 1st - 8th grade. Students in 5th through 8th will have opportunities for solos and challenge themselves with harmony singing and ukulele and playing for those interested. If registration permits, we will add a second class for students in 5th-8th grade from 5:15-6:30 pm. No experience is necessary.

  • UPCOMING:
  • Mondays, 4-5pm, May 9 to June 13, 2022, $100 (sibling discounts available)

Compass Arts Theater GamesImprov and Theater Games
For students in 3rd through 5th grade
Taught by Eric Saiet and assisted by Gwynne Watkins

Performers of all experience levels (including no experience!) are welcome in this improv class for students in grades 3 through 5, informed by the work of Viola Spolin and Piven Theater Workshop. We’ll learn a variety of improvisation and theater games that encourage creativity, team building, quick thinking and communication skills, as well as being ridiculously fun. This winter and spring we will be running a 16 week class with performances as part of our end of year showcase the weekend of April 30 and May 1, 2022. No experience necessary.

  • UPCOMING:
  • No upcoming sessions currently scheduled for this class, please check back later

Compass Arts Toddler DanceToddler and Preschool Creative Dance
For little ones 18 months-4 years and a caregiver
Taught by Chelsea Acree

In this class young dancers and their caregivers will move in different directions, levels and shapes making creative choices while learning about their bodies and improving motor skills. We will run like a cheetah, jump like popcorn, and wiggle like spaghetti, growing our creative and motor skills. Class will consist of a warm up, a story inspired movement adventure, and an obstacle course. We will conclude every class with the all time favorite freeze dance! Music, songs, and props will be used weekly. Full participation of the adult with the child supports family bonding, group social/communicative dynamics, and self-confidence. So come ready to have fun and dance!

  • CURRENTLY RUNNING:
  • Mondays, 9:30am-10:15am, April 18 to June 13, 2022, $160 (sibling discounts available)

Compass Arts Modern DanceIntro to Modern Dance
For students in K through 4th grade
Taught by Chelsea Acree

Modern Dance began as a rebellion of ballet in the early 20th century from an urge to dance without traditional limitations. In this class we will practice technical skills, improvisation and composition beginning with a warm-up that includes strength, flexibility, floor work and standing exercises. We will create by combining dance steps, improvisation and musicality, while relating to the environment, each other and finding inspiration all around us.

  • CURRENTLY RUNNING:
  • Thursdays, 4-5pm, April 21 to June 16, 2022, $180 (sibling discounts available)


Visual Arts

Our visual arts classes all share a commitment to inquiry & process based learning. The studio environment at Compass Arts is designed to trigger curiosity; empowering students to explore ideas, experiment, ask questions, and find or create solutions. In all of our visual arts classes, it is the creative process that we focus on the most, rather than the final products or outcomes. Collaboration and play are key ingredients in the studio recipe: we learn as we play with materials, concepts, and ideas, and we learn more when we are all in the process together.

In toddler-preschool classes, we aim to create a physically safe environment where children have the freedom to explore and experiment with materials using all their senses. In our elementary age classes, we focus on creating a supportive environment for a range of abilities. Through reflection and discussion, students build a vocabulary of self expression, as well as practicing interpersonal skills.

At the upper elementary level and above, students work on honing skills and developing technique. The earlier established principles of exploration, experimentation, and self expression in a safe and supportive environment remain as important as ever, empowering students as both inquisitive problem solvers and confident artists.


Compass Arts Paper, Wood, Wool & ClayPaper, Wood, Wool & Clay
For students in K through 4th grade
Taught by Romina Robinson

Paper, Wood, Wool & Clay is a class for curious kids who love to explore ideas, take on projects, and follow their inspirations! As the title suggests, we will focus on materials, coupled with a smattering of inspirational sources ranging from contemporary artists, to architecture, history, and more.

What can we make with paper as the primary ingredient in our creative recipe? Together, we will follow this formula:
1. take time to explore and experiment,
2. make lists and brainstorm,
3. draft an idea for a "goal" project,
4. and with the support and guidance of Romina, pursue that goal!

What can we learn from one another as students work side by side with the same materials, but with a different vision and approach? The possibilities are endless!

  • CURRENTLY RUNNING:
  • Wednesdays, 4-5pm, April 20 to June 15, 2022, $180 (sibling discounts available)

Compass Arts Tactile ExplorersTactile Explorers
For little ones 18 months-3 years and a caregiver
Taught by Romina Robinson

Tactile Explorers is an arts based class for children ages 18 months-3 years old. Through thoughtfully arranged "invitations to create," little ones will be empowered to make choices, explore ideas, and discover materials that just might result in squeals of delight. Please come prepared with a change of clothes, as these young artists tend to dive right in!

  • CURRENTLY RUNNING:
  • Tuesdays, 9:30-10:15am, April 19 to June 21, 2022, $200 (sibling discounts available)

Compass Arts Drawing Cartooning IllustrationDrawing, Cartooning, and Illustration
For students in 2nd - 5th grade
Taught by Ed Murr

Join us as we enter the world of storytelling through drawing, cartooning and illustration! Through observation, inquiry, and the use of shape language, students will learn drawing basics and techniques that will allow them to take their ideas and concepts and bring them to the page, setting the stage for a lifetime of exploration and self expression through drawing.

Each student will be met wherever they are in their artistic development and skills will be taught through the students’ original work, empowering each child in their own creative ideas and establishing a love of storytelling through drawing, cartoons, and illustration.

  • CURRENTLY RUNNING:
  • Tuesdays, 4-5pm, April 19 to June 14, 2022, $180 (sibling discounts available)

Compass Arts ElementsElements: A Multi Sensory Exploration of Art & Music
For children 3-5 years old
Taught by Romina Robinson and Jessie Shaffer

We are thrilled to bring back this beloved class that combines music, art, science, and sensory play. Using a thematic approach, students will be guided in magical explorations of music and art through stories, music, movement, art-making, and natural materials. STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) concepts will be interwoven throughout the arts experiences, giving children a multifaceted understanding of the world around them that is developmentally on target for their age.

  • CURRENTLY RUNNING:
  • Fridays, 10:00am-11:30am April 22 to June 17, 2022, $250 (sibling discounts available)

Compass Arts Drawing in the WildDrawing in the Wild
For students in K - 5th grade
Taught by Romina Robinson

An adventurous outdoor class! Join on a fun exploration of nature and drawing. We will begin class by building and binding our own sketchbooks that we will use to document the signs of springtime all around us. We'll practice the art of observational drawing, play games to build up our visual awareness, and come away with a beautiful book as a memento of our time together.

  • UPCOMING:
  • Tuesdays, 4pm-5pm May 17 to June 14, 2022, $100 (sibling discounts available)


Team Creative Directions: A Middle & High School Arts Program

When we asked our students what they like best about Team Creative Directions classes, one of them said this: “I just love the atmosphere. It’s like, I’m weird, you’re weird, we’re all weird, let’s get together in our weirdness and create weird stuff together.”

We think that sums it up pretty well. Compass Arts classes offer a creative, supportive environment where tweens and teens can feel free to be themselves, to pursue creative ideas, to challenge themselves, and to explore their identities. They’ll also have the opportunity to build some practical life and job skills through envisioning and executing projects, either individually or collectively.

In TCD (as the kids call it), there is a lot of laughter and a real sense of community. Kids can work on their own projects, collaborate with others, and cultivate new skills in both the arts and life. Whether we're improvising a scene, singing a song, working on a volunteer project, playing a board game, or making a drawing come to life, the core values of TCD remain the same: empathy, community, creative exploration, growth, and embracing the differences that make us special.

In all of our classes, we see creating as a process that continues over the arc of a year, with each season building on the skills and explorations of the previous session. Students are encouraged to participate in the full year but are welcome to sign up for individual sessions. The FALL will be focused on forming relationships and building a foundation of skills to draw upon for creating original work. In the WINTER, we will continue to develop those skills while creating original work and bringing a stage production to life. The SPRING will be an opportunity for celebrating our successes, reflecting on our creative journey, and pursuing new project ideas.

Healthy snack options will be available to students prior to classes starting at 5:15pm and we are working on a Friday after school hangout option for those enrolled in a TCD class Monday through Thursday. We’ll email with more details on both of these once folks are registered!


Compass Arts Theater GamesTCD* - Improv Theater Skills
For students in 6th through 12th grade
Taught by Eric Saiet and Assisted by Gwynne Watkins

Both new and seasoned performers are welcome in this improv class for middle and high school students. We’ll learn a variety of improvisation and theater games that encourage creativity, team building, quick thinking and communication skills, as well as being ridiculously fun. Students in this class are also working on long form improvisation, where they improvise an entire story/play informed by simple conversation and character work. This winter and spring we will be running a 16 week class with performances as part of our end of year showcase the weekend of April 30 and May 1, 2022. This [Tuesday] class is intended as a compliment to [Wednesday’s] Theater Crafters (Team Creative Directions) but students may sign up for one or both. *TCD = Team Creative Directions. For more info about our Team Creative Directions format, see description above.

  • UPCOMING:
  • Wednesdays, 5:15-6:45pm, May 11 to June 15, 2022, $165 (sibling discounts available)

Compass Arts CraftersTCD* - Theater Crafters
For students in 6th through 12th grade
Taught by Eric Saiet and Assisted by Gwynne Watkins

In this middle and high school theater class, we learn about the craft and creation of theater by reading and performing scenes from our favorite comedies and dramas, studying monologues, developing original characters, and creating our own work. This winter and spring we will be running a 16 week class where students will create original works that will be performed at our end of year showcase the weekend of April 30 and May 1, 2022. This [Wednesday] class is intended as a compliment to [Tuesday’s] TCD* Improv Theater but students may sign up for one or both. *TCD = Team Creative Directions. For more info about our Team Creative Directions format, see description above.

  • UPCOMING:
  • No upcoming sessions currently scheduled for this class, please check back later

Compass Arts Intermediate Drawing, Cartooning, and IllustrationTCD* - Intermediate Drawing, Cartooning, and Illustration
For students in 6th through 12th grade
Taught by Samatha Palmieri

This intermediate class will focus on illustrating ideas, mood, and character through line, color, texture and form with consideration of perspective and composition. Students will continue to explore 2D and 3D processes at their own pace with lessons on drawing the face and body, gesture, and expression added as it enhances their work. Each student will be met where they are in their experience and artistic development and all supplies will be provided. *TCD = Team Creative Directions. For more info about our Team Creative Directions format, see description above.

  • UPCOMING:
  • Thursdays, 5:15-6:45pm, May 5 to June 16, 2022, $195 (sibling discounts available)

Compass Arts Team Creative Directions HangTeam Creative Directions: The Hang
For students in 6th through 12th grade
Led by Gina Samardge and Gwynne Watkins

TCD Hangs are back!!! This winter, the plan is to alternate Friday and Saturday evenings and we will be kicking off our series with a Bake-Off on Saturday, February 12. So mark your calendars and get your recipes ready! After that, we'll have hangs on Feb 18 and 26, March 4, 12, 18 and 26, and April 1. All sessions will be 5-7pm unless otherwise specified, and there will be a discounted rate for anyone enrolled in a TCD class. Drop-ins and friends are always welcome as long as there's space. We're planning a lot of fun stuff, including karaoke, improv games, a movie night, and a hands-on community service project with food justice non-profit, Fareground.

A typical TCD Hang includes pizza and seltzer or lemonade, fun games and activities, plenty of laughter, service leadership opportunities, and connection with peers.

  • UPCOMING:
  • No upcoming sessions currently scheduled for this class, please check back later


Dungeons & Dragons Experiences

Join us for explorations into the world of role playing games - we're believers in the power of D&D to enhance academic skills, social skills, creative thinking, problem solving, and overall well-being. A perfect match for Compass Arts!


Compass Arts Dungeons & DragonsDungeons and Dragons: Adventure 101
For students in 5th through 7th grade
Taught by Allyn Peterson

Compass Arts is hosting an introductory D&D campaign for students interested in learning more about the popular fantasy role-playing game. Develop your character and participate in an epic adventure led by a Game Master, who will facilitate the session. No prior experience with D&D required!

  • UPCOMING:
  • No upcoming sessions currently scheduled for this class, please check back later

Compass Arts Dungeons & DragonsDungeons and Dragons: Winter Campaign
For students in 7th through 9th grade
Taught by Zach Baxter

Compass Arts is hosting a D&D campaign for adventurers of all experience levels. Players will develop their role playing skills and use teamwork, imagination, and a sense of humor to overcome obstacles, surprises, and danger in this adventure facilitated by the Game Master.

  • UPCOMING:
  • No upcoming sessions currently scheduled for this class, please check back later


Saturday Arts Potpourri Series

Join the CACP early childhood teaching crew on a tour of the arts! Each date in our Saturday series will be facilitated by a different teacher with a different specialization. Sign up for your favorite or sample them all. Different classes have different age ranges.


Compass Arts Dance MakersSaturday Arts Potpourri - Dance Makers
For little ones 18 months-6 years and a caregiver
Taught by Chelsea Acree

What are the elements of a story? What tools can we use to tell this story? We will use our body and space (and screen) to create a collaborative performance experience. After a quick warm up we will read a story and discuss the important elements to make our own version through movement. Let’s practice the art of dance by moving together and sharing the creative process.

  • UPCOMING:
  • Saturday, 9:30-10:15am, May 14, 2022, $20 (sibling discounts available)

Compass Arts Musical StewSaturday Arts Potpourri - Musical Stew
For little ones 6 months-4 years and a caregiver
Taught by Jessie Shaffer

Rooted in music education approaches such as Orff-Schulwerk, Kodaly and Dalcroze, Musical Stew provides adults with songs, rhymes and activities to help nurture their child's musical development and allow the little ones to begin an integrative musical journey that lets music work its magic. Each class explores a variety of musical concepts through playful songs, rhymes, fingerplays, props, and small percussion instruments while providing a space for young ones to grow cognitively, physically and emotionally.

  • UPCOMING:
  • Saturday, 9:30-10:15am, June 18, 2022, $20 (sibling discounts available)


Compass Arts Summer Camps - Welcome To Summer!

A note on the Mini Camps: Compass Arts Mini Camps are running June 27-July 18 from 9am-1pm. Each week we will focus on two different art forms and how they can interact and influence each other. Paint a dance, draw a sound, dance a song… we will explore the interdisciplinary nature of art forms through collaboration. Everyday will include mindfulness practices and plenty of free play inside and outside the center. Please send your camper with snack and lunch!


Compass Arts Mini CampsCompass Arts Mini Camp: Play, Draw & Dance!
For campers ages 3.5 - 6
Taught by Romina Robinson & Chelsea Acree

Join us as we investigate connections between dance, movements of the body, and large scale painting! Each day, we will spend time moving, reflecting, and applying our full body movements to canvas. How wide is your arm span? What shapes can you make when you use both arms together? After contemplating these concepts and more, students will each take home a unique, large scale art piece of their own at the end of the week.

  • UPCOMING:
  • M-F 9am-1pm, June 27 to July 1, 2022, $220 (sibling discounts available)

Compass Arts Mini CampsCompass Arts Mini Camp: Play, Dance & Sing!
For campers ages 3.5 - 6
Taught by Chelsea Acree & Jessie Shaffer

Do you feel music in your body? What emotions can music make you feel? This week, we will reflect on our individual experience of a variety of live instruments and different musical styles, and respond through experimentation with movement and dance.

  • UPCOMING:
  • T-F 9am-1pm, July 5 to July 8, 2022, $180 (sibling discounts available)

Compass Arts Mini CampsCompass Arts Mini Camp: Play, Draw & Sing!
For campers ages 3.5 - 6
Taught by Jessie Shaffer & Romina Robinson

What do sounds look like? How do colors and shapes sound? Together, we'll explore the connections between sound and sight, how music makes us feel, and what those emotions can look like when painted across a canvas!

  • UPCOMING:
  • M-F 9am-1pm, July 11 to July 15, 2022, $220 (sibling discounts available)

Compass Arts Mini CampsCompass Arts Mini Camp: Play, Draw & Dance!
For campers ages 3.5 - 6
Taught by Romina Robinson & Chelsea Acree

Join us as we investigate connections between dance, movements of the body, and art making! Using a STEAM approach, we will plan, design, and build some simple machines to help us in our endeavors of applying paint to paper. What tools can we use to create large, arching shapes? How can we work together as a team to manifest our visions?

  • UPCOMING:
  • M-F 9am-1pm, July 18 to July 22, 2022, $220 (sibling discounts available)

Compass Arts Summer SnapsSummer Snaps Photography Camp
For students 11-14 years old
Taught by Flux Photo Collective: Lesly Deschler Canossi, Flynn Larsen & Eve Morgenstern

We look at images all the time, but how do we make photos that tell our OWN story? Summer Snaps is a week-long workshop for youth who are curious about photography and want to learn more about how to make great pictures. Students will explore composition, exposure, DIY strategies for lighting, and visual storytelling. We will experiment with artificial and natural light, mirrors, windows, props, and the early photographic process of cyanotype, ending the week with a presentation (open to caregivers and family) where students share their images. All cameras are welcome, from iphone, point & shoot to DSLRs. Need a camera for the week? We have a limited number to lend, please note at registration.

  • UPCOMING:
  • M-F 9am-3pm, July 25 to July 29, 2022, $335 (sibling discounts available)

Compass Arts Mini CampsPerforming Arts Camp: Creating and Performing Original Work
A 2 week camp for students going into 5th-9th grade
Taught by the Compass Arts staff

Inspired by productions like Sleep No More and the natural beauty of Beacon, this camp will involve the creation of a site-specific, immersive theatrical piece using music, theater, improvisation, dance, art, design, and writing. Let this camp inspire YOU to bring your best creative self and have fun! No prior experience necessary. Whether you're interested in performing, making costumes, building sets, writing songs, or something entirely out-of-the-box, your unique talents will contribute to this one-of-a-kind theater experience.

  • UPCOMING:
  • M-F 9am-3pm, August 22-26 and August 29-September 2, 2022, $600 (sibling discounts available)


Classes For Adults


Compass Arts Beacon Rising ChoirBeacon Rising Choir
Directed by Gina Samardge

Beacon Rising Choir was conceived out of a combination of a women's singing circle led by Kim Chase and Gina Samardge, and an impromptu resistance choir inspired by what has become the anthem of the Women's March, MILCK's "I Can't Keep Quiet." Historically, the choir has performed an annual winter concert as a fundraiser for a local grassroots non-profit doing the good work in our community, as well as participating in community events, activism, and other area fundraisers in the fall and spring. The choir sings a variety of styles and genres with an eye toward interesting, beautiful, and artistic literature. New members will need to attend a voice placement with the director.

No experience is necessary for this choir, however some prior experience is helpful. This winter and spring we will be running a 14 week class with performances as part of our end of year Compass Arts student showcase the weekend of April 30 and May 1, 2022. Rehearsals will begin inside at the Beacon Hebrew Alliance in January but we will move outside under our circus tent in the spring once the weather has improved.

Please email gina@compassarts.org to schedule your voice placement time once you have registered for the choir.

  • UPCOMING:
  • No upcoming sessions currently scheduled for this class, please check back later
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Compass Arts Creativity Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Tax deductible donations to Compass Arts can be made on our donate page.

COMPASS ARTS CREATIVITY PROJECT

333 Fishkill Avenue, Beacon, New York
(Beacon Music Factory building)


CONTACT COMPASS ARTS

Tel: 917.648.4454
enrich@compassarts.org

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