Nurturing Talent

The Foundry Center of the Arts opens the world of performing arts to youth

To have a growing, vibrant arts community, a love of the arts must be shared and nurtured with children, Allison Brown says.

That’s the mission of The Foundry Center of the Arts, which began 10 years ago and now offers programming and instruction for all ages, with a strong focus on youth, in drawing, painting, digital arts, dance, and musical theater.

Mentors, who are professional artists and performers, work with students in after-school settings, homeschool classes, and summer camps to shape their artistic gifts and stir their passions.

“Anything you can imagine in visual or performance arts, we do it,” says Brown, who joined The Foundry’s staff in 2018 and became executive director two years ago.

Mallie Benton, 9, is in The Foundry’s summer camp learning theater, which will conclude with a production of “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella: Youth Edition.” During the school year, Mallie was in The Foundry’s after-school arts program.

“I like to do art, but I wanted to see how acting would go,” she says. “There are so many cool things to do.”

Originally an outreach program at Crossroads Christian Church in New- burgh, Indiana, The Foundry’s visionary from the beginning was David Rinehart, the church’s music leader. Rinehart, his daughter Sophie, and his mother, Ruth Ann, were killed in a collision with a drunk driver in 2016 on Interstate 69 in Greene County, Indiana.

Brown says The Foundry – which has been its own nonprofit entity since 2017 and is without a permanent location – continues today in a manner that honors the Rinehart family. She says the center is faith-based, but there is no faith requirement, and all are welcome.

Programs include summer fine arts and drama clubs for ages 13-15 at Epworth Community Church in Newburgh; a 16-week after-school arts club at two Newburgh sites as well as a Henderson, Kentucky, site; a homeschool and virtual-learning opportunity at Crossroads and Living Word Christian Church in Newburgh.

“We want to make sure we have that mentor relationship, where we get to sit down with kids, talk with them, help them specifically with their art, and make it fun so they want to be there and talk and get to know each other,” Brown says. “We don’t have phones in our programming, except for our digital arts classes. You will see kids draw, make stuff, be weird, and it’s fantastic. It’s the bee’s knees.”

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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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