Samford Academy of the Arts is continuing the traditions of Samford After Sundown and Preparatory Music by offering classes in antiques, languages, art, photography and music during the spring semester.
“The Academy of the Arts is a combination of programs for all ages and disciplines,” according to Joe Hopkins, School of the Arts dean. “Our goal is to enrich the lives of people who live and work in our community as they learn and share their talents with others.”
Each semester, the academy features classes for a wide audience with diverse interests. The antiques class is the longest-running class and is taught by Dan Brooks, a celebrity among his followers. Hopkins instructs the Patrons of the Arts class, taking an in-depth look at upcoming arts events in Birmingham. Local artists and performers are featured guests at many sessions.
The music program provides training from highly acclaimed instructors. More than 1,000 students annually attend the Academy of the Arts music and art classes and summer camps. Many of the precollege music students have gone on to enroll in Samford.
The academy strives to provide the Birmingham community with a variety of classes that tap into the arts community with informative and engaging content, Hopkins said. From acrylic painting to photography, students can explore their creative passions.
This year, the class schedule added studies in French, Italian and Spanish to help the casual traveler with basic language knowledge. Additionally, ESL classes are now part of the curriculum to provide resources for the Birmingham multilingual community. Classes are taught by local artists and musicians, as well as Samford faculty members.
Each summer, the academy hosts camps in art, music and creative writing. Children from first through 12th grades enjoy instruction and group activities during sessions in June and July.
The program has been part of Samford’s community outreach for more than 40 years and now resides in the Academy of the Arts building across the street from the main Samford campus between Covenant Presbyterian Church and Homewood High School on South Lakeshore Drive.