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Reclaim Arts Academy in Marble Falls Offers Christian-Based Classes

Reclaim Arts Academy instructor Jonathan Sultemeier. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

MARBLE FALLS — In today's world, art and faith often appear to come into conflict with one another as much as they don't. It wasn't always that way.

"We, the church, have let the world lead the way when it comes to the arts," said Dorey Stubblefield, the executive director of Reclaim Arts Academy. "It used to be the church led the way. And that's what we want to do here: reclaim the purpose of the arts."

Stubblefield, his wife Amy Stubblefield, and a host of instructors are working for that through Reclaim Arts Academy. The art school introduced itself to the community last spring with a production of “Lion King Jr.” The response from the community showed the Stubblefields that their 15-year wait to create such an academy was God's hand at work.

"God has put so many people in our lives who are skilled in the arts, and these teachers bring such a passion for the arts and sharing them with students," Amy said.

Reclaim Arts Academy features a bevy of courses under art/graphic design, drama/acting, music, voice, dance, and leadership. And they've tapped a number of top instructors, including Barbara and David Bend, Tenisha Graham, Sarah Spillman, and Julien Jamar as well as Jonathan Sultemeier.

Dorey pointed out some of the courses such as InDesign and Photoshop aren't often found in communities like Marble Falls and the Highland Lakes, but these skills give students a boost as they venture into college and careers.

"We've even had adults tell us they are interested in those classes," he said. "And it's open to them."

Reclaim Arts Academy gave the community a look at what it was planning during the April 2017 production of ‘Lion King Jr.’ featuring Grace Todd as Simba. Now, the program is opening for its first fall semester with classes in a wide variety of arts. Go to redeemingthearts.org for more information. Courtesy photo

While one dance class is open to students as young as 5, the rest are for kids 6 and older with others geared more toward middle and high school students (as well as some for adults).

The Stubblefields also focused on keeping the courses affordable. Most courses are about $250, and parents or families can pay it all up front or spread it out over a period of time.

"We also have scholarships available," Amy added.

The classes start Monday, Aug. 28, but there's a parent/student meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21. The meeting, as well as the courses, will take place at First Baptist Church, 901 La Ventana Drive.

As for the arts and faith, particularly Christianity, the connection goes back, well, to when God created the universe, Amy explained.

"He is the ultimate creator," she said. "He put that in each one of us — the desire to create. And we want to help people create in a way that honors him."

In fact, before literacy became more commonplace, the church often used art to share God's story. Most Bibles written before the advent of the Guttenberg press featured illuminated drawings. Those drawings helped describe what was in the Bible's text in a way those who couldn't read could get an understanding of God's Word. Many of the early churches also featured paintings and sculptures, as well as other pieces of art, within their walls or on their grounds as a way to share God's story in a visual way.

Music and hymns played a big part of sharing the Gospel with early church members.

So one of the goals of Reclaim Arts Academy is to help Christians tell their and God's stories through art, whether it's a painting, a song, a play, or even a work of graphic art.

"The ultimate goal of the arts is to bring glory to God," Dorey added.

Go to redeemingthearts.org for more information, to register (you can also register at the church), or for a complete list of courses. Call (830) 693-4381 for more information as well.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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