Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Crosland Donates Blakeney Retail Space to Displaced Nonprofit Organization

Move Enables Community School of the Arts’ Summer Programs to Continue in South Charlotte

Charlotte, N.C., June 10, 2009 – Crosland LLC, one of the Southeast’s leading diversified real estate firms, has donated retail space at Blakeney to the displaced Community School of the Arts (CSA), a nonprofit organization that offers music and arts programs to students before and after school, on weekends and throughout the summer. CSA provides students with the opportunity to enjoy safe, enriching activities outside the academic day.

Within 48 hours of hearing about the unexpected closing of the school’s previous south Charlotte location, Crosland’s retail division donated two prime spaces to be used as studios for CSA students currently taking lessons. The spaces will be utilized throughout the summer semester. Located next to Ann Taylor and White House Black Market, respectively, the new studios offer a beautiful backdrop by Blakeney’s Village Green for music lessons in violin, piano, flute and percussion.

“They are spacious, beautiful shops in a setting that is very convenient for parents, faculty and students,” said Andrea Stevenson, president and executive director of Community School of the Arts. “Our parents love the free parking and the ability to shop or dine while their children enjoy music lessons. Our mission statement pointedly calls for ‘accessible arts education,’ so we’re grateful to Crosland for stepping up and keeping us in this part of town.”

“In addition to providing financial support and volunteers for a variety of worthwhile organizations, Crosland is always searching for different ways to give back to the community,” said Susan McGuire, senior vice president of Crosland’s retail division. “Community School of the Arts provided us with the opportunity to do just that – give back in an unorthodox way.”

About Community School of the Arts

Founded in 1969 by Henry Bridges, Community School of the Arts has provided high-quality, accessible music and art instruction for 40 years.

The school offers both public, tuition-based programs and free outreach programs, highlighting its commitment to bringing arts education to all students, regardless of ability to pay. As part of its public programs, the school offers private and group music lessons, painting and drawing classes, family workshops, summer camps, pottery classes and early childhood programs like the literacy-based preschool arts lab. Within these public programs, the school offers need-based financial aid, as well as merit scholarships for exceptional talent or potential.

Through its outreach programs, Community School of the Arts teaches free piano, chorus, orchestra and art classes at neighborhood community centers like the Bethlehem Center, Seigle Avenue Partners and the First Baptist Church West after-school program. More than 32 percent of students served by the school pay no tuition for their after-school arts instruction.
The school’s commitment to accessibility extends to geography, with the school’s downtown headquarters anchoring more than a dozen satellite locations in Mecklenburg County. From Cornelius to Ballantyne, the school’s 43 faculty members teach 1,875 students each month, sharing the joy of the arts and nurturing the next generation of confident, well-rounded adults.

About Blakeney
Blakeney is a 270-acre multi-use development two miles outside I-485, zoned for 495,000 square feet of retail to include a mix of local and national retailers with a signature component of specialty shops, as well as casual and upscale dining. Crosland’s retail, land development, office, residential and contracting divisions are all involved in Blakeney, which encompasses four quadrants at the intersection of Rea and Ardrey-Kell roads – key thoroughfares connecting southern Mecklenburg and Union counties. The pedestrian-friendly community links retail, office, residential and recreational amenities through a network of sidewalks and trails, highlighted by preserved greenways and a two-acre park.

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