Community Arts School FAQ

Q: Will OPA still be nonprofit?

A: While OPA will no longer exist as an entity, BW is a nonprofit organization and our work still operates under this legal tax status.

Q: Will the OPA staff change? What will the merged CAS staff look like?

A: BW has hired Angela Boehm, Heather Dennen, Toni Fenimore and Megan Ferguson as BW employees in the Community Arts School. They remain focused on providing exceptional programming. The following is a list of key CAS administrators that represents the larger, blended leadership team:

  • Adam Sheldon, director
  • Angela Boehm, artistic director
  • Meredith Kurtz, assistant director and private lesson coordinator
  • Jeanette Hagerty, program coordinator, music and theatre
  • Heather Dennen, program coordinator, dance
  • Toni Fenimore, community relations and growth manager
  • Megan Ferguson, program coordinator, group classes, and events manager
  • Emily Quinn, brand manager
  • Lisa Manning, administrative coordinator

Q: Will the OPA faculty change?

A: We will continue to run spring programming with the faculty advertised.

Q: Will there be changes in the location of our programs and in the office?

A: We do not have any plans for OPA dance, theater, art, film and gymnastics to move; they will remain in the Helwig Whistle Stop building at this time. Private music lessons will be moved to the BW Conservatory, and we are very excited about this change. BW has state-of-the-art studios with Steinway pianos which will enhance learning for all our private music students. With dual facilities now, some CAS staff will be located at the (former) OPA Whistle Stop location, and some staff will be located the current CMS Conservatory location.

Q: Will any CMS programming be moving to this new space?

A: Adam Sheldon will be speaking with faculty individually to assess if this makes sense. While we’ve acquired new space, the space is already booked with a significant number of existing classes, rehearsals and lessons.

Q: Who will be in charge of running OPA? Does OPA have an equal voice or is BW the decision maker?

A: OPA is now the BW Community Arts School and will be managed by a BW leadership team that includes former OPA staff. Adam Sheldon (former director, BW Community Music School) will serve as CAS director and oversee the management of this new enterprise. Angela Boehm will serve as artistic director and work in collaboration with Adam.

Q: Will you still be youth focused and family friendly?

A: Yes, the focus of CAS will still be on youth education and our programming will continue to be family friendly. Our core values remain the same, and we will continue to put families and students first in both our programming and in the decisions and choices we make.

Q: Who will be picking the shows you produce?

A: Angela Boehm will continue to lead as artistic director and Jeanette Hagerty will assist as a program coordinator. Decisions will be approved by the new combined CAS leadership team. In addition, we will utilize BW stage space in addition to off-campus performance venues.

Q: How did this come about?

A: BW saw value in the shared vision to provide arts education programs to the community and to prepare children for careers in the arts. The University also was encouraged by the demonstration of support and commitment from OPA families during the recent campaign. A big thank you to all of our OPA families for their support and being the heart of OPA.

Q: What will happen to the tuition I've already paid (or credit I have)?

A: Any tuition you have already paid will still be honored. Any credits you have currently must be used for spring and/or summer session classes and/or productions. All credits must be used before June 30, 2019, and no credits can be used toward fall programming.

Q: Will pricing change?

A: Our pricing for the spring session will remain the same. We will evaluate pricing as we currently do at the beginning of every session. Please be assured the BW Community Arts School is committed to accessible programming.

Q: Can I get a refund if I don't like the classes/change?

A: We encourage you to give this opportunity a chance with your continued participation. If we don’t meet your expectations, please let us know, and we will honor our current policies.

Q: Will I still receive makeups of missed classes?

A: Any classes missed on your own accord will not be able to be made up. Should there be a cancellation on behalf of the organization, a makeup solution will be provided.

Q: What advantages will the BW side of operations bring to the existing OPA experience?

A: The BW Community Music School has a wide variety of music education and performance opportunities for students which will complement OPA’s existing music programs and provide the best music education possible. The size of BW operations also offers stability and resources that will allow this new enterprise to grow and serve our community in a much more effective way.

Q: What changes are in store for the BW Community Music School?

A: Our community-based music programming is not impacted by this acquisition. In fact, there are now multiple opportunities to enhance music programming by considering cross-disciplinary opportunities. We are thrilled to be able to grow our family and include multiple disciplines with this new enterprise.

Q: Why would the Community Music School want to provide additional programming in visual art, theatre, dance and film?

A: The BW Community Music School has been studying market demand, and preliminary results confirm the need for youth and adult programming in multiple arts disciplines.

Q: Why OPA?

A: OPA has a strong arts education reputation in the community that aligns with BW’s goals.

Contact the Community Music School

(440) 826-2365, cms@bw.edu