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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 of various 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.

Compass Arts Creativity Project offers payment plan options for all of our classes and ensembles. If you are interested in a payment plan for one or more of our classes, please email enrich@compassarts.org to set this up.

Saturday Series Compass Arts

Saturday Series, a series of online workshops led by cherished local artists, January 16 to March 20, 2021

As we head into an uncertain winter, Compass Arts is pivoting and growing our online program offerings to meet the community’s need for social connection, creativity, empowerment, and self expression through the arts. The Saturday Series will be a 10 week series of online arts workshops and performances held during the coldest days of winter, from January 16th - March 20th.

Each week's program will feature a different artist who will teach a workshop in one of a variety of arts modalities, including visual arts, dance, poetry, and music. In order to make the workshops in this Saturday Series available to a broad and diverse audience, we are using a sliding scale payment model, which means you choose how much you pay.

For more detailed information please visit our Saturday Series page.

Compass Arts Saturday Series Ed MurrSaturday Series
Creating a Cartoon Character Through Shape Language
Geared toward upper elementary and middle school students
Taught by Ed Murr

Ever wonder what makes a cartoon character come alive? What makes one look like a hero while another looks like a villain? Lines, shapes and color all come together to create the characters that will bring our stories to life. Join us as we explore the design and construction of our favorite characters and get inspired to explore and create original characters of your own!

  • Saturday, January 16, 2021, 4-5pm (sliding scale)

Compass Arts Saturday Series Poet GoldSaturday Series
Dream Out Loud Poetry Workshop
Geared toward middle school and high school students
Taught by The Poet Gold

The Dream Out Loud poetry workshop mission is to engage students in understanding the direct connection between literacy, goal setting, and the achievement of their dreams. It is a workshop where participants write about their dreams in a poetic style in order to foster empowerment, find their voices for social justice and live a hopeful and productive life...to identify their dreams!

  • Two Saturdays, January 23 and January 30, 2021, 4-5:30pm (sliding scale)

Compass Arts Saturday Series Romina RobinsonSaturday Series
What Do You See When You Listen?
Geared toward lower and upper elementary students
Taught by Romina Robinson

In this one hour workshop, kids will learn about the phenomena of synesthesia, in which a person might experience the blending of multiple sensorial inputs, such as seeing sounds. Students will explore this concept through an audio accompanied art making experience, and conclude with a fun "coding" exercise of visually representing a pattern or rhythm. What sounds do your shapes make? How can we represent a pattern of sounds?

  • Saturday, February 6, 2021, 4-5pm (sliding scale)

Compass Arts Saturday Series Gwen LasterCompass Arts Saturday Series Damon Banks

Saturday Series
Global Rhythms, Sounds and Songs: Weaving Cultures in and through our Music
Geared toward middle school and high school students
Taught by Gwen Laster and Damon Banks

Violinist Gwen Laster and Bassist Damon Banks are excited to bring an interactive performance based workshop to young musicians and music lovers of the Compass Arts community. Bring an instrument, found object, or your own body to play along. Gwen and Damon will introduce songs and sounds based on global rhythms, melodies and stories from cultures around the world. They are co-founders of Creative Strings Improvisers Ensemble, "educating and engaging the complete artist in young musicians through improvisation, composition and global music."

  • Saturday, February 13, 2021, 4-5pm (sliding scale)

Compass Arts Saturday Series Chelsea AcreeSaturday Series
Dance Makers: Creating Movement to Tell a Story
Geared toward lower and upper elementary students
Taught by Chelsea Acree

What are the elements of a story? What tools can you use to tell this story? In this workshop, students will explore how to use their body, space, and screen to create a collaborative performance experience based on a tale. After a quick warm up, the class will read a story and discuss the important elements to make their own version through movement. Let’s practice the art of dance by moving together and sharing the creative process.

  • Saturday, February 20, 2021, 4-5pm (sliding scale)

Compass Arts Saturday Series Gina SamardgeSaturday Series
Draw a Dance, Sing a Shape
Geared toward lower and upper elementary students
Taught by Gina Samardge

How does a snowflake move? What does a spiral sound like? In this playful workshop we'll experiment with the intersections of art, dance, and music to see how we can use these tools to create original sound, visual, and movement compositions to accompany a song. We'll learn about ostinato, patterns, and form as we develop our pieces and create our own unique language to document and notate what we have created. Wear comfortable clothing, bring a writing/drawing utensil and a piece of paper, and something to play - real instrument, found object, or even just your own body. This workshop is great for family participation, so tune in with the whole family and let's make something together!

  • Saturday, February 27, 2021, 4-5pm (sliding scale)

Compass Arts Saturday Series Patti DeBonisCompass Arts Saturday Series JessieShaffer

Saturday Series
Exploring Stories Through Music and Art
Geared toward pre-school and lower elementary school students
Taught by Patti DeBonis and Jessie Shaffer

Join Patti and Jessie for a live experience of Elements at Home! Together we will explore children’s literature through the mediums of illustration, song, and an art project. This 40 minute session is designed with children ages 3-6 in mind but can really be enjoyed by folks as young as two and as old as 99! So have your whole family tune in for some banjo pickin’, story tellin’, and art makin’ as we explore the change of seasons together and celebrate the upcoming spring equinox.

  • Saturday, March 6, 2021, 4-4:40pm (sliding scale)

Compass Arts Saturday Series Sabrina WilliamsonSaturday Series
The World Needs Art: Self Expression and Advocacy through Street Art
Geared toward middle school and high school students
Taught by Sabrina Williamson

How can you make art that impacts your community? In this exciting workshop, students will learn about community art, social commentary art, graffiti, neo graffiti, and gorilla art; the rich far dating history of these art forms and their impact today.  Planning and design as well as law abiding ways to execute these art forms will be addressed as the students create their own ways of making the world around us more beautiful while expressing their feelings.

  • Two Saturdays, March 13 and March 20, 2021, 4-5:30pm (sliding scale)

Rising Artist Compass ArtsThe Rising Artist, Skill-Based Drawing
For 6th grade and up***
Taught by Sabrina Williamson

Hone your craft in this classical skill-building course, whether you are perfecting your existing techniques or just getting started and learning the basics. In this course you will learn perspective drawing, figure drawing, and classical approaches to line contour, shading and composition. Students will learn how to use tools and utilize techniques to take their work to the next level. Learn the power of the Fibonacci sequence and the magic behind Hyperrealism.

***Sabrina's teaching is geared toward middle and high school students, but she is open to upper elementary students who are really interested in honing their skills as an artist.

  • Mondays, 4:30pm-5:30pm, February 15 to March 15, 2021, 2021, $90 (sibling rate and drop-ins available)

Intro To Modern Dance Compass ArtsBeginning Modern Dance Online
For Students ages 6 to 9 years old
Taught by Chelsea Acree

Modern Dance began as a rebellion of ballet in the early 20th century which encouraged a universal goal to move our bodies in endless ways possible. This class will begin with a warm-up that includes strength, flexibility, floor work and standing exercises. We will learn technical combinations as well as improvisation and composition. Dancers will learn to express themselves by combining movement, music, dance steps and improvisation. We will travel like animals, jump like popcorn, dance our emotions, all while growing our creative and technical skills.

  • Wednesdays, 4:00pm-5:00pm, February 17 to March 17, 2021, $90 (sibling discount and drop-ins available)

Cartooning Comics Ed MurrCartooning Online - 2 Classes in March 2021!
Beginning Cartooning for students ages 6 and up
Intermediate Cartooning and Illustration for students ages 10 and up
Taught by Ed Murr

For both returning and new students! Explore the fundamental process of character creation using shape construction to develop the form of the character, while considering the personality of the character and how it informs the shape. Students will turn these characters into a cartoon drawing with a world created entirely by them. A full character has a world in which they live and students will explore perspective as a tool to build their character's individual world. From there they will introduce these characters into a story of their own creation as they explore the language of comics and sequential storytelling. Perfect for kids interested in comics, cartooning, animation and storytelling.

Students should log in with paper or a sketch pad and their favorite drawing utensils ready.

  • BEGINNING: Thursdays, 4:00pm-4:45pm, February 25 to March 25, 2021, $75 (sibling discount and drop-ins available)
  • INTERMEDIATE: Thursdays, 5:00pm-6:00pm, February 25 to March 25, 2021, $90 (sibling discount and drop-ins available)

Compass Arts Musical StewMusical Stew Online
For little ones 6 months-3 years and a caregiver
Taught by Gina Samardge

Musical Stew Online is a 30 minute music and movement class offered through Zoom. Rooted in music education approaches such as Orff-Schulwerk, Kodaly and Dalcroze, the class provides adults 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-helping children develop cognitively, physically and emotionally.

  • Wednesdays, 9:30-10am, February 17 to March 17, 2021, $55 (sibling discount and drop-ins available)

Compass Arts Rompatom EnsembleRompatom Music Skills Class - Online
For students in 3rd - 8th grade

Rompatom Music Skills Class will focus on active music making with xylophones, drums, ukulele, voice, and recorder while building skills in improvisation and composition . Basic literacy in Western European classical notation, including rhythm notation and treble clef note names, will also be introduced, but the focus will be on ear training and rhythmic work. 

Xylophones and drums will be available to borrow for this course. Ukuleles can be rented and soprano recorders purchased through Main Street Music.

  • Tuesdays, 4pm-4:45pm, March 2 to 23, 2021, $60 (sibling discount available)

Compass Arts Team Creative DirectionsTeam Creative Directions Online: A Pilot Program
For middle school students
Led by Gina Samardge and Gwynne Watkins

There are so many ways to tell a story; to express an idea, a thought, a feeling; to share your own unique voice and speak out about what's important you. What do you want to say? How do you want to say it? In this pilot program students will meet online to explore a variety of art forms and tools they can use to express themselves and tell a story. Students may find they want to work independently on a song, a poem, a painting, collage, or animation; or they may desire to collaborate with others in writing a skit, composing, or creating a dance. Perhaps one student writes a poem and another composes music to go with it....the possibilities are only as limited as our imaginations.

Each meeting will start with some kind of creative warm up to get the juices flowing, share examples of different art forms that they might use, and help them discover where their passions lie. There will be idea shares, partnering for collaborative projects, opportunities to share work and receive feedback and guidance from teachers (if desired by the students), and moments to connect as a community and support one another. Students may have clear thoughts about what they want to create or may just want to explore a different medium each class or help another student work on their idea; each person will be supported in their own process as they uncover the skills they have to offer and are encouraged to stretch themselves and play. We'll also have additional online "office hours" on Thursdays from 4-5pm for any group wanting extra collaboration time and possible assistance from Gina or Gwynne (no additional cost for office hours). 

We're envisioning after school programming possibilities and this pilot is our first step in learning more about what that might look like, so it is important for us to have the chance to co-create with the students and center their voices in its development. Come be a part of this vision!

If you cannot participate twice a week, you may pick one day a week instead. This may require students to connect with a creative partner outside of class if they need more time to collaborate. There is a small fee for this pilot project, however if your child would like to participate but you are struggling financially, please email enrich@compassarts.org to discuss possibilities.

  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 5-6pm, March 2 through March 24, 2021, $120 (abbreviated attendance options available)

Compass Arts Theater CraftersTheater and Improv Games - Online
For students in 3rd - 8th grade
Taught by Gina Samardge and Gwynne Watkins

Connect with friends from the comfort of your own home and join in the fun! Learn the art of agreement, as well as skills in articulation, acting, and writing through lively and engaging online theater and improv games in this supportive and encouraging environment. All experience levels welcome!

  • Wednesdays, 4pm-4:45pm, March 3 to 24, 2021, $60 (sibling discount available)

Clay Surface Form Compass ArtsClay: Surface and Form for ages 4 to 104
Taught by Romina Robinson

Hand building for all ages! In this class, we will take a look at ancient artifacts as well as contemporary ceramicists for inspiration as we work together over Zoom. Students will be guided through basic hand-building techniques and surface treatments for air-dry clay, but each project will allow space to experiment and explore! We will wrap up each class with time to reflect, share, inspire and learn from one another.

  • Sundays, 4pm-5pm, March 7 to March 21, 2021, $75 (sibling discount available)
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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.


Beacon, New York


Tel: 917.648.4454

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