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McKinney Center marks first year in the arts

Only one year ago, the McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School officially opened its doors as a community arts center. The Center has offered classes in many mediums, as well as hosting exhibitions, performances and festivals.
One of  Jonesborough’s newest gathering places has also served as a venue for such occasions as weddings, meetings and most recently, hosting the entrée course for the Heritage Alliance’s Progressive Dinner.
Since the very first day of its official opening, the McKinney Center has not seen an idle moment, as it serves the community in so many ways.
The McKinney Center first welcomed students for the 2014 year with its comprehensive Jonesborough Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts Educational Curriculum. Only one year later, the MBM Program has increased its opportunities by more than 20 percent with the intention of encouraging people of all ages to become involved in quality arts programming in Jonesborough.
There are classes in pottery, ceramics, watercolor, theater, acrylic, dance, hip-hop, drum buckets, musical theater, voice, filmmaking, and a long list of other offerings.
Classes can be seen in the full catalogue, accessible online from the town’s new website,, or by picking up the catalogue in person at the McKinney Center. These classes, most of which span a 12-week course schedule, are taught by leading artists in the region for very affordable rates.
The majority of the courses average between $10 and $15 per one-hour lesson, with all supplies included, unless otherwise noted. Because of the small class sizes in most of these offerings, students receive individual attention, increasing their ability to learn and master the skills taught in each course, for far less than the rates of typical private instruction.  
“We want to make every effort to offer classes that are affordable, and to provide opportunities for interested students to take classes through our scholarship program,” McKinney Center Director Theresa Hammons said. “Scholarship applications are based on financial need and family size. The only thing asked of scholarship recipients is that they or their parent volunteer ten hours during the semester.”   
Gift certificates for classes are also available through the McKinney Center. Certificates are available in different denominations and may be used to apply toward classes. They are available for purchase at the McKinney Center Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
“The addition of the gift certificates also allows supporters of student artists to help them participate in the program, whether it is a parent, grandparent, or neighbor,” Hammons said.
It has been a busy first year for the McKinney Center, with an even busier second year already on the horizon. To participate in the Spring 2015 arts classes, download the registration form online or stop by the McKinney Center, between now and January 15. For more information, call Theresa Hammons at 753-0562 or email at [email protected]