Welcome to the new, online edition of Toledo School for the Arts’ Spotlights. This marks a shift from our previous print editions and we hope that you will enjoy this new format. It gives us much more flexibility and allows us to keep you more up-to-date on the current events at the school. And trust me, there are far too many to ever include in a quarterly print publication! Our goal is to provide articles that will encourage you to visit us on a regular basis to find the news that matters most to you. We hope that you’ll visit frequently to see all that is going on.

TSA has had an incredibly busy and successful summer. As usual there were so many different activities that it is impossible to talk about all of them. Below are just a few of the things our students were up to over their summer “break.”

The TSA Summer Arts Camp this past June provided another creative two weeks of visual art, theatre, writing, dance, costuming, and music classes for 4th – 9th grade students. TSA also partnered with the Toledo Opera to offer a two-week Opera Boot Camp, where 6th through 12th grade students rehearsed and performed Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore! It was an amazing collaboration that we look forward to bringing back to TSA in June 2018​.


Glass City Steel once again played gigs all over the Toledo area. They were seen at Monsoon Lagoon, Maumee Bay at the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse Festival, The Toledo Zoo, as well as many other locations.

Urban Jazz was featured on Thursday Jazz Showcase at the Summit. They also performed at the Toledo Zoo “Wild About Art” on August 5-6 along with GCS.


Visual Arts students under the supervision of Leslie Taylor learned the art of “faux.”  Mrs. Taylor was hired to transform the concrete pillars in the restaurant of the new Renaissance Hotel into “granite”.  The students worked after hours and added their skill and enthusiasm to the project.  Students also completed a mural project led by artist Merce Culp in the new Life Revitalization Center at the Cherry Street Mission.  Many TSA students contributed to the work during the school year and helped in the final days to complete the mural before the official opening of the new center in June.  Many students from Mrs. Taylor’s Business of Arts and Communications class chipped in to help complete the mural .

TSA students were employed by area groups for their arts expertise this summer. The Toledo Museum of Art utilized a dozen Teen Apprentices to develop Visitor Interaction opportunities. Students worked in the Design Workshop. TSA students also worked with a recent TSA alum, Alison Santoro, to design The Elements of Play for the TMA Art Play Space where imaginative games are inspired by visual literacy and can be played by visitors of all ages!

Eight TSA students worked as arts instructors for the Monroe Street Methodist Freedom School. Sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund, Freedom Schools provide summer reading programs across the country for at-risk youths, and TSA students provided arts enrichment in dance, music, theatre and visual art, throughout June and July.



Rehearsals began for our fall production of The Music Man. The cast rehearsed for 2 weeks in the Attic Theatre, learning all of the music, blocking, and choreography for the show. This allowed the cast to get a good base for the show when entering the school year. The kids were memorized for the most part by the end of the two weeks. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great skeleton to start the year out. When they start the school year, they get to play with characterization and creating moments onstage. It’s  a lot of fun to introduce this older musical to the students and watch them fall in love with the music and style of the show.

The “Pick A Little Ladies” rehearsing for The Music Man

This summer 90 high school students across all academic areas participated in our Summer School Pilot Program.  Students worked on one of two tracks. Credit advancement students worked ahead in their high school credits to allow more time to pursue higher level academics or arts during the regular school year, while credit recovery students worked to regain credits that were not achieved on time with their classmates.  TSA has always allowed students to pursue summer courses at other area schools however, we felt we could serve our unique population’s needs for greater success.  Students had access to their classroom content 24/7 so they could work when their schedule allowed.  Also, because we are a one to one iPad school, we were able to provide students the opportunity to have an iPad for the summer.  This allowed even more flexibility for students’ learning time.  Students had opportunities each week to meet in a small group or one on one setting with a teacher for extra help or to complete their exams.

For two weeks, late this summer, about 24 upcoming eighth grade students were invited to participate in a science and math course at TSA, taught by faculty members David Johnson and Katie Gill. The course culminated with exams that, if passed, allowed students to enroll in Physical Science Honors and Algebra I Honors as eighth grade students. This program started four years ago and has proved to be an excellent opportunity for students needing more of an academic challenge to begin their high school math and science curricula as junior high students. The first week is all science, with Earth science labs and life science labs studying topics such as plate tectonics, weathering, erosion, & deposition, and geologic time. The second week is mostly math, focusing on pre-algebra and algebra concepts.​

Our Development team had a busy year! As you are aware, TSA continues to operate at nearly 40% less revenue than traditional public schools in Ohio, and most of the families we serve cannot afford a private education. The demand on our Development team last year alone was $550,000 just to close the budget gap, and they met that challenge! Major donors including members of the Art Donor 333 Group have supported our General Operations, Capital Improvements, and helped build our endowment. Through their generous support we have been able to have the staff parking lot repaved, complete over $80,000 worth of improvements within the school building, build a new classroom and conference room on the first floor, and contribute $37,100 to the TSA Endowment at Toledo Community Foundation. All this summer alone!

School started up again on August 16 with a half day for our 6th grade students as well as all students who are new to our TSA family. New students got an introduction to our building as well as the TSA culture. There was a lunch and a dock dance for new students. School started for all of our students on August 17.

So, welcome to our newest version of Spotlights. We hope you like the new format, because when a place has so many triumphs to celebrate it takes a space as infinite as the internet to talk about them. From sold-out shows, to the student studying Japanese in Japan for the summer, and from a student performing their heart out at Kaleidoscope for 900 adoring audience members to the student who has finally found a school where they can fit in and feel at home, the accomplishments big and small deserve their own spotlight!


~Laura Doles, Marketing/Communications and Ticket Office Manager