By KAROLYN GEPHART
Chara Christian Dance Academy owner Shanna Kirkpatrick was assisted from the generosity of others throughout her dance training and now passes on the same gift to students locally. With the creation of a scholarship program, she can now open up funding opportunities for the community.
The gift of dancing can be given by scholarship to children locally through Part of the Art Foundation along with local dance studios. Part of the Art is a scholarship program that offers assistance for children who want dance lessons but cannot afford them.
Since 2006 Chara Christian Dance Academy in Friendswood has given out over $150,000 in dance scholarships to children of public servants, clergy, foster families, and single parents, who exhibit both talent and financial need.
Kirkpatrick is the daughter of a firefighter and now the wife of a pastor. She presents scholarships to students who demonstrate work ethic, community service, leadership, and the opportunity to better themselves through dance.
The founding of Part of the Art in 2017 broadens the scope of giving that can be done in and around the Clear Lake region, granting children who possess great passion but little financial power an opportunity to be a part of the art of dance.
Serving on the Board of Directors are Mary Beth Hillenburg, Wes Holloman, Bobby Kirkpatrick and Shanna Kirkpatrick.
Chara is hoping to see community members partnering with them in donations.
“This has been a dream of mine since opening my studio 12 years ago,” Shanna Kirkpatrick said. “Our new non-profit, Part of the Art, is finally up and running and through it we get to help kids experience the joy of dance.”
Part of The Art has two memorial scholarships. One is in the name of a childhood dance friend of Kirkpatrick, Amanda Buittita, and daughter of a police officer, who was in a fatal car accident.
The other is in honor of Dinah Boykin. Boykin was a Chara Christian Dance Academy mom who loved both kids and dance. Her legacy permeates the studio through two of her daughters, one who is on staff and the other who is a current student.
“Children whose parents make a difference in our community will now be on the receiving end of your generosity as children of firefighters, police officers, pastors, military, foster parents, etc., make up most of Part of the Art’s scholarship recipients,” Kirkpatrick said.
Visit www.partoftheartfoundation.com for more information and to find out how to partner with Part of the Art by giving a child the gift of a dance in the Clear Lake community.
All donations are tax deductible, according to Kirkpatrick.