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Olinville kids arts center returns to in-person classes

The Mind Builder Creative Arts Center in the Olinville is back to in-person classes after a year of virtual learning.

News 12 Staff

May 16, 2021, 1:52 AM

Updated 1,158 days ago


The Mind Builder Creative Arts Center in Olinville is back to in-person classes after a year of virtual learning.
The center has been bringing art to kids and families of the Bronx for 43 years.
"We all have burned in our memory from years ago those scenes of the Bronx burnt out, cracked out, all like that. So this to me is like an oasis, it's a little jewel in the Bronx," said dance department director Melvada Hughes.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the center to transition to online classes but now it's back with some adjustments.
The center said some students can still learn virtually and that it deep cleans studios after each class, requires masks and social distancing and other precautions.
Many classes are free or scholarship-based with options like martial arts, hip-hop and more creative activities.
Students like 8-year-old Cheyenne Johnson said the center has given them a place to be themselves.
"I can really express how I want to be in different ways, and different instruments, and different dances," Johnson said.
Employees at the center said families should know what's available right in their own backyard.
"They don't have to run to Manhattan to be in a beautiful space and have access, have wonderful teachers," Hughes said.
Johnson said she wants to encourage other kids not to let fear hold them back from trying something new.
"If you're feeling shy and you feel like you don't belong here, always know in your heart that you always do," she said.

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