New Programming Comes to the BAC This Fall

Organization Offers Unique Coursework Through School of Fine Arts

The Beverly Arts Center (BAC) announces new programming through their School of Fine Arts for the Fall Session, 2407 W. 111thSt. Chicago. New coursework will include the Art Start College Prep programming, Stage Combat courses, Chair Yoga, A Mural Workshop, and a Raku Firing Workshop. All programs are part of the BAC’s Fall Session, taking place Monday-Sunday, Sept. 9 – Dec. 15.

The Art Start College Prep program is a series of courses designed by Visual Arts Coordinator, Jake Saunders, with the goal of preparing teen visual artists for the college application process. The program takes students aged 12-17 from the wait-list to star applicant by growing skills through important coursework and establishing a portfolio for college interviews. Students get the opportunity to take classes from working professionals in the visual arts community, with specializations in Foundations of Design and Art History, Drawing, Illustration, Painting, Ceramics, and Portfolio Building. Those interested in learning more about Art Start College Prep should email Visual Arts Coordinator Jake Saunders at

Introduced for beginners new to the craft of stage combat, Intro to Sword Play is available for theatre students ages 12-18. In the course, students will learn the basics of sword play and different weapon styles. Through the use of simple yet fun games, students practice techniques, footwork, and soft sparring. The course is taught by local theatre professional Ardarius “AD” Blakely and takes place on Saturdays beginning Sept. 14. The cost of the workshop is $175 with a $15 equipment rental fee.

Additional Stage Combat coursework comes to the BAC with a workshop for teens ages 11-17 and a workshop for adults ages 18 and up. Students learn the basics of stage combat including hand-to-hand, weapon work, and more. Participants will learn how to create fight scenes from stage and screen, all while doing so safely. Stage Combat for Teens takes place on Sundays from 2-3 p.m. starting Sept. 15, while Stage Combat for Adults takes place on Sundays from 3-4 p.m. starting Sept. 15. Both workshops are taught by local theatre professional Ardarius “AD” Blakely and cost $170.

Added as an adult clast, Chair Yoga is a gentle form of yoga in which postures are performed while either sitting in the chair or standing and using the chair for support. All levels are welcome and the class is most beneficial for students with limited mobility who want to increase their range of motion. The class is instructed by Jackie Braggs and takes place Thursdays from 10-11am starting September 12. Registration for the class is $169.

A new Mural Workshop offers students the opportunity to leave their mark on the BAC by creating a mural on the first floor of the building. The course guides students in the proper techniques for drafting, sketching, editing, drawing to scale, painting, and final touch-ups. The workshop is led by local artist Tia Jones-Etu and meets on Thursdays from 6-8pm starting Sept. 10. Ages 12-18 are recommended for the course and the cost is $260.

Rounding out the new programming is a Raku Firing Workshop for ages 16 and up. Raku firing is an ancient Japanese ceramics technique where pottery is taken from an outdoor kiln while red hot and placed in a material such as sawdust or newspaper to cool. Due to the lack of oxygen, the process gives the glaze a variety of colors. The workshop is presented as a National Endowment of the Arts Artist Residency and taught by Kyle Pappalardo. The once-in-a-lifetime workshop will also present students with the opportunity to showcase their work in the BAC’s Simmerling Gallery in January. The workshop is offered in a two-day workshop on Saturday, Oct. 12 and 19 from 1-5pm, or a one-day workshop on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 9-5pm. The two-day workshop is $200 and the one-day workshop is $120.

The School of Fine Arts at the Beverly Arts Center is a multidisciplinary education center that allows everyone, regardless of age or level, to learn new skills and embrace the arts. Private instruction and classes are offered in Dance, Visual Arts, Music, Theatre, and more. Programming for the School of Fine Arts is partially supported through a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Student registration for the Fall Session is open now and can be done in-person at the BAC box office on the corner of 111thand Western, via phone at 773-445-3838, or online The Beverly Arts Center offers a one-day “Sale Day” where all registrants can take advantage of 10 percent off their orders on Wednesday, Aug. 14.

Link to School of Fine Arts:

Link to Fall Catalog:




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