Nestled in the Germantown neighborhood of Annapolis, Maryland, Studio 39 is the creative and performing space for Anne Arundel County Public Schools Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Program. On my first visit, I peeked in classrooms, walked through a gallery, and spent time in the theatre production area. I went up and down the stairs, in and out of classrooms, envisioning my 16-year-old self in this space.
As a now working-creative, I wondered what kind of push or education I would’ve received from a space like this as a High Schooler in Annapolis. Equipped with skilled and extremely dedicated teachers and staff, Studio 39 goes far beyond teaching. They exist to nurture creativity. Their education programs are dedicated to high school students who are interested in studying performing arts, visual arts, theatre, creative writing, and so much more.
Take Ciara Gladden, for example. Her education in cinematography has ultimately been solely nurtured by the existence of Studio 39. Her access to state-of-the-art equipment and technology has made her dreams a reality. But even more so, it has not only given her the confidence to apply to film schools but the ability to articulate what she wants for her future and the impact she wants to make as well.
Students of Studio 39 learn more than just the intricacies of their mediums- they learn discipline and business skills as well. Something that is invaluable as a self-sustaining artist. Most recently, their work was featured in a Pop-Up Art Gallery at the Annapolis Towne Centre. They took pride in their work at the opening reception and put their names on the map. A giant leap for any young creative. As a businesswoman myself, I reflected on what this kind of experience would've meant for me then. Now as the co-owner of ArtFarm Studios, I’ve had the chance to work with and support Studio
39 within the past year. Working with their artists, teachers, and administration has shown me what happens when dreams and creativity are properly fueled.
Studio 39 students easily communicate their vision and goals for the future. Through this space, they are being provided the proper tools to not only believe in their vision but execute it properly and with support. I am thrilled for the opportunity and head start each one of these students is receiving. I will be patiently waiting to see what waves they’ll be making and bragging that they came from my hometown. I encourage you to take part in that change. If you're a visitor, check out an event or wander through a gallery. If you're a local artist, volunteer your time and mentorship. If you're a parent, see how your kids can get involved or how your school can further help support the program. All good things.