Don Stinson is hoping to launch Legacy Fine Arts, this summer, now that the organization has officially received its nonprofit status.
Stinson, a 2002 alumnus of Joliet Central High School and director of the school’s bands, founded the 501(c)(3) so low-income students ages 5 to 18 could gain more access the arts, according to a Feb. 16, 2021, Herald-News story. Legacy Fine Arts will be located on Joliet’s east side, Stinson said.
The program will start by offering music and theater – including acting classes and small scale productions – and later include visual arts and dance, Stinson said.
The two main factors that limit access to the arts are time and money, Stinson said. For instance, lessons outside of school cost money. And sometimes teachers for certain instruments or disciplines are not available locally, Stinson said.
“Parents might have to drive their kids to other cities,” Stinson said. “That’s something that might be difficult for our families to obtain.”
Although many local schools do offer programs in the arts, students’ schedules might limit accessibility, Stinson said.
“A student might have certain interests that happen to conflict when music is offered in school,” Stinson said.
According to Legacy Fine Arts’ GoFundMe page, funds are needed for “facility rentals, insurance, professional instructors, program supplies, instrument rentals, and marketing and advertising costs.”
Stinson said he and his board and exploring funding options for students, such as raising money to make some programs free or offer scholarships, Stinson said.
“On the other hand, we do want people to have some investment in it, as well, even if it’s a small amount of money,” Stinson said.
All teachers will be screened and vetted.
“We want to make sure parents feel safe,” Stinson said.
Stinson also is the author of “Teaching Music to Students from Underserved Backgrounds.”
For information about Legacy Fine Arts, visit legacyfinearts.org.