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Second session of PRYAF’s ‘Virtual Studio’ opens for enrollment June 6 

–Due to the COVID-19, the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation Center was forced to close its doors to nearly 400 students and their peers, along with a staff of 22. Students were preparing dances, songs, theater performances, and art pieces to show their families as they entered the last week of the first session of 2020. Instead, they received notice about the state-ordered shut down resulting in the sudden closure of the center. But the foundation will continue to bring arts to the community through their new “Virtual Studio,” which will return for a second session for students ages 5-18. The PRYAF “Virtual Studio” includes approximately 30, free visual, performing arts, and creative enrichment Classes beginning June 15 – Aug. 8.

Enrollment begins June 6, enroll here:

Uploads are tailored to specific lessons, to connect with students, promote discussions, watch videos, and remind them that they can create alongside mentors and friends, even from home.

Instead of an online institute, different lessons will be offered through the Virtual Studio. Students will read and comment on scripts, view dance and music videos and work on choreography and songs, plus new classes may emerge like yoga and graphic arts. Art and creative enrichment students receive virtual lessons and project ideas. Lessons are designed around supplies students can use to create from home as they continue to social distance. Students log in through Google Classroom which most are already familiar with through their schools.virtual studio

“The Paso Robles Youth Arts Center is a special place, unique in the fact that our students come here not only to learn an art form but for the environment,” says Executive Director Mindy Dierks. “The relationships with their instructors, and the friendships outside their school are so important to their development. We had to wrap our heads around what was happening, how did it affect our work, our mission, and how were we going to serve our students — closest to the heart of our purpose. Our students mostly need the connection to their Youth Arts Mentors, support from their peers, and some guidance on how to be inspired and think creatively during this time. I truly feel that this program has been successful, and we have plans to keep the program moving forward even after we resume live classes and this pandemic has passed. We are proud of what we do, and I am proud of our team.”


About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at