A core mission of theJackson School of the Arts(JSA) is to provide accessible arts for everyone.
Their move to a new facility in Downtown Jacksonis making good on that mission.
“It’s exciting to be inthe new building. We can
spread out and have lots ofroom for bigger class sizes,” said JSA Executive Director Carolyn Moser.
The art school movedinto the former Vermeulen’s Furniture building on
W. Cortland Street this pastfall after the completion of a
$3.5 million renovation project.JSA was previously located in the Art 634 complex
on N. Mechanic Street.The school provides art,
theatre, dance, martial artsand gymnastics classes for
school-age kids, along withart and dance programs for
adults.Moser says the new
space provides more elbowroom for classes and has
many other benefits.“Parents can also drop off
students and enjoy all thatDowntown Jackson has
to offer like shopping andrestaurants,” Moser said.
Located next door to thebus transfer center, the new
building makes the artsmore accessible for families
with transportation issues.“The response has been
absolutely fabulous. Everyone who comes in loves thenew building,” Moser said.
Wanting a larger building that was more centrally located, JSA originallyplanned on renovating the
historic Masonic Templebuilding on W. Cortland
Street.In late 2020, it was determined the Vermeulen’s
property next door wouldbetter meet their budget
and space needs.JSA worked with the City
of Jackson to buy the vacant City-owned building.“The City was great to
work with in purchasingthe property. Everyone was
very supportive and madeit an easy process,” Moser
Class costs are based on
individual family income,using low-to-moderate income guidelines from the
federal government.“The most our kids pay
is $35 a month. We alsohave scholarships that get
the cost all the way downto $12 a month for classes,”
Moser said.JSA hopes the new facility can also be used for
community events.Moser says they are working on providing a space
that includes a rooftopbalcony for medium-sized
family, corporate and community events.“Money from the events
rentals will go to the scholarship fund so our programs remain affordable forlocal families,” Moser said.