Passion for the Arts
December 30th 2011 · 0 Comments
BY KIT PANG
Preparation is the key to success. No other person knows this better than Jovita Bernard, the Managing Director at the Academy of Performing and Creative Arts (APCA) in Clinton, NY.
For the past 25 years, Jovita has been sharing her passion for the performing arts in various ways to now managing her performing arts center which provides professional instruction in the various disciplines of performing arts.The Academy of Performing and Creative Arts has it all but it certainly did not start out this way.
Jovita started her love for this business by teaching piano in a room the size of a small closet with no windows and an upright rickety piano. Her practice started with one student who came at 7:00 pm on Thursdays! To supplement her income she worked full-time as a credit analyst in the corporate world never knowing how invaluable the experience would benefit in later years.
In five years, Jovita was working a seven day week, over 70 hours weekly juggling both a growing practice and a full-time job. The next step was scary, go into practice full-time with no medical benefits, paid vacation or pension. However the “call” was too strong to ignore and she took a big leap of faith. In the next fifteen years she built a music school expanding into several instruments with other teachers assisting her.
The next step was scarier still. Now older and financially established, looking towards being able to retire at a fairly young age, this next step would take ALL of that away!
Starting anew with a significant mortgage, expanding into other areas of performing arts like acting, dance and musical theater-all within a totally unexpected economic financial crisis. Timing could not have been worse! Yet five years into this expansion The Academy of Performing and Creative Arts has evolved into well respected performing arts establishment.
Offering a wide array of music, hip hop, ballroom, and acting programming options allowed the organization to successfully attract other complementary well respected professionals in other aspects of the business such as, writers, composers, talent agents, and independent film producers to collaborate on projects, expanding the local talent pool and bringing in nationally recognized talent.
There is never a slow day at the Academy. In the mornings, one might expect Jovita and administrative assistant, Frank Kielar, working hard behind the desk as they prepare new projects, reschedule class lessons or plan for their next big performing arts event. After 4 p.m. the rush hour begins: instructors are greeting their incoming students, very young students are coloring at a designated play area waiting for their singing lessons and parents are watching their children through a two-way mirror for their dance class.
Near the end of the day, the excitement finally wanders down near 9 p.m. as Jovita and Frank performs their closing procedures preparing for the next day. Many a day sees both of them working much later and also putting in weekend hours for the myriad of projects that the Academy has initiated.
The Academy of Performing and Creative Arts recently completed a very busy fall season, starting with a very successful cabaret presentation premiering a brand new youth musical, “Middle School Madness” on Veteran’s Day weekend in November to their winter showcase just before Christmas: 3 nights filled with performances by the Academy’s music, vocal and hip hop dance students. Musical selections ranged from holiday favorites to classical and contemporary selections.
A highlight of one of the nights the APCA Hip Hop Dance Crew dance presentation. The APCA Crew was formed in 2010 and offers dancers an opportunity to build confidence, self-esteem and team-work through performances for the community and also via competitions.
What’s next? With the successful premier of a synopsis of a brand new youth musical, the full theater production will now take place Summer of 2012.
New film projects are already being planned as well as a preliminary design to open a modeling/finishing school for youth offering a nationally renowned syllabus. All this while still maintaining a high quality in continued education for all their existing programs.
For more information on classes and upcoming events starting in January of 2012 at the Academy of Performing and Creative Arts, please call 315-853-7309 or visit their website at www.clintonmusicanddance.org. The Academy of Performing and Creative Arts is located at 13 Taylor Avenue, Clinton, NY 13323. You can also find them on Facebook: AcademyofPerformingCreativeArts.
By Mark Ziobro