Dallas City of Learning Partners: ArtsVision

Established: Camp Succeed started in 1989 as a summer day camp program. It was put on hold when the church went through renovation and was reborn as ArtsVision Performing & Visual Arts in 2013 with a new vision and a new purpose.

About: ArtsVision is a creative and innovative urban after-school, weekend and summer arts outreach and enrichment program focusing on the fine arts for children and youth in 4th through 9th grades. The camp is located in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, on the campuses of St. Paul United Methodist Church and the Booker T. Washington High School for Visual and Performing Arts.

Why is Summer Learning So Important?

According to the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), “Research shows that summers without quality learning opportunities put our nation’s youth at risk for falling behind – year after year – in core subjects like math and reading. The math and reading skills low-income students lose each summer are cumulative and contribute significantly to the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income kids. A survey performed by NSLA, indicated that two-thirds of teachers said they spend at least a month re-teaching students old material when they return from summer vacation.”

“At ArtsVision, we have always taken this challenge seriously – the building up of youth during the summer through challenging programs and learning opportunities through the arts,” says Fran Jefferey Anderson, Artistic Director, ArtsVision Performing and Visual Arts Program. “Our young artists are not only singing and dancing and acting; but also writing and creating, making films and building sets.”

Why Partner with Dallas City of Learning?

“Youth like to receive reward and recognition for the work they do,” says Anderson. “Dallas City of Learning affords our youth a wide variety of opportunities to try new and different things. They enjoy the idea that they can go online and find activities or programs they are interested in and can participate in them, no matter their economic circumstances.”

“We just took our eight interns through DCoL/LRNG training so they can each create an XP (experience), either local or digital, from their arts area of focus. They are all so excited. I can’t wait to see what they come up with. One of our interns is also a graphic designer who is excited to use his expertise to create the actual badges. Our coordinator for DCoL/LRNG will be Micah Demby. She did an awesome job explaining what DCoL and LRNG are all about. We are still learning at ArtsVision, but we are going full out this summer.”

How Does Your Participation in Dallas City of Learning Benefit ArtsVision Kids?

“Our youth enjoy going to the DCoL website and finding ArtsVision programs on the site,” says Anderson. “They think it is cool that someone thinks enough of them to create something so ‘neat’ as DCoL.  We will make signing up for DCoL a part of all our future events. Also, the process of creating XPs benefits our summer interns by allowing them a sense of accomplishment. We are giving them the opportunity to actually create a product or activity that might potentially benefit hundreds of youth, and could expand far beyond our reach here at ArtsVision

What is Your Vision and Passion for the Future of Education?

“I am so passionate about the future of education and how the arts will play a part in it, that I became a teacher last year,” says Anderson. “I am working on my certification, while teaching Theater Arts at Uplift Williams High School. I have the honor of starting the theater program there. The students are shy, but blossoming in the program. Some of them have signed up for the ArtsVision Summer camp this summer, and I’m really pumped about that. It is my personal goal that every child in the Uplift Williams Family (elementary, middle, and high school) is registered for DCoL this year. And that we can get a two-week camp similar to ArtsVision into the Uplift Williams School.”

— Mario Tarradell