The College for Creative Studies is proud to announce our participation in the Detroit School of the Arts (DSA) Pathways Initiative, an unprecedented partnership between the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) and 24 arts organizations across metro Detroit. Launched in fall 2019, Phase I of the partnership provides in-kind or no-cost programming in various art forms through June 2020, in an effort to establish the Detroit School of the Arts as the premier arts school in Southeastern Michigan.

DSA students will have access to the program offerings of the 24 local arts partners, including workshops and mentoring by acclaimed professional artists; after-school, weekend and summer arts training opportunities; internships and externships; college-readiness and arts entrepreneurship panels; and more. And three national partners — Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, JumpStart Musical Theatre Program and Debbie Allen Dance Academy — have also signed on to provide arts training through the initiative.

“The College for Creative Studies is excited to collaborate with DPSCD and Detroit School of the Arts and to help create more opportunities for art and design education and experience,” said CCS President Donald Tuski. “We want to continue the important work of nurturing young artists and designers. The world wants and needs more creative thinkers, and partnerships like these make it possible for more students to have access to careers in the arts.”

A crucial aspect of the initiative will be to provide training to interested middle school students. Starting in fall 2020, DSA Pathways will offer high-quality arts education at four Detroit middle schools designated as Middle School Conservatories or “feeder” schools: Brenda Scott Academy, Duke Ellington Conservatory of Music & Art, John R. King Academic and Performing Arts Academy and Spain Elementary-Middle School.

CCS has taken an early step by spearheading the Saturday Arts Academy — one of the first programs implemented within the partnership — thanks in part to a $200,000 grant from the Skillman Foundation. Since fall 2019, and in conjunction with Detroit School of Arts, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit and DPSCD, the program has provided free courses in acting, dance, instrumental and vocal music, digital media, and drawing and illustration to middle school-aged students who have a passionate interest in arts education and careers.

According to DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, “We know that Detroit’s children represent historic arts talent and that DPS has developed some of the world’s best artists,” Vitti said. “As we continue to rebuild the school system, we are committed to the whole child [and] this is a critical piece to the process. The concentration of focus by the District and partners will make DSA the destination for Detroit’s talent.”

As a partner in the initiative, CCS will offer students from feeder middle schools a Community Arts Partnerships (CAP) “Middle School Art and Design Career Discovery Tour” — a STEAM-based, career-oriented tour of the College’s workshops and studios. CCS will also provide consultation services to help improve DSA’s animation facilities and curriculum and offer open seats in unfilled Precollege and Continuing Studies classes to visual arts teachers.  

“The College for Creative Studies is thrilled that DPSCD is serious about building a creative education/career pathway for the entire District,” said Mikel Bresee, Director of Community Arts Partnerships. “Elementary school students can aspire to one of the middle school academies, then connect directly to DSA and the possibility of advanced education and rewarding careers in the arts. We are grateful to be one of the early partners in this important initiative.”

For more information on the DSA Pathways Initiative, visit https://www.detroitk12.org/Page/10747