The mission of the Colorado Springs Conservatory is to inspire, challenge and motivate all students to their highest potential as artists and human beings through arts immersion studies and community arts advocacy.
The Mission of the Colorado Springs Conservatory (CSC) is to inspire, motivate and challenge students to aspire to their highest potential as artists and human beings through arts immersion studies and community arts advocacy. The CSC is the Pikes Peak region's only non-auditioned preparatory performing arts conservatory, offering world-class immersion studies and programs in instrumental music, vocals, music theory, theater arts, recording arts, dance, movement, history, and humanities to young people age's birth through high school seniors and adults in the community. The organization was founded in 1994 by Oberlin Conservatory and Juilliard School educated Linda Weise, whose mission at that time was to provide a unique home for artistically inclined high school students who were likely to pursue an education in the arts after graduation. As CSC became better known in the region and recognized as having programming that not only provided youth the opportunity to grow creatively and personally through the arts but also grow prosocial skills and build protective factors in a physically and emotionally safe environment, CSC began expanding programming and outreach efforts. These efforts resulted in partnerships within the community leading to more intentional and informed programming for all youth, particularly at-risk and underserved youth populations.
1994-2001 FOUNDING & FIRST GRADUATING CLASS
•1994: Colorado Springs Conservatory founded as a non-auditioned, after school with 20+ youth enrolled of high artistic talent. Rigorous CORE arts immersion curriculum implemented with a compliment of nearly 50 outreach performances presented by students.
•1996: First adult 'drop in' piano classes offered at CSC.
•1999: First class of after school students graduate to nations most prestigious institutions; Oberlin Conservatory, Webster Conservatory in St. Louis, Boston University, Brandeis University to name a few. Enrollment grows to 40 students
2002-2010 EXPANSION TO DAYTIME EDUCATION PARTNER PROGRAMS
• 2002: First daytime Partner Program (PP) launched with regional Head Start Education partner, CPCD. Enrollment grows to 80 students
• 2003: Second PP begins with Harrison School District (HSD2) to serve our regions most underserved and at-risk population. Out of each of these daytime PP, students are identified to receive scholarship and attend the after-school CORE program. Enrollment continues to grow steadily.
• 2003 to present PP grows to serve four (4) regional school districts during the school day. Additionally, Mountain Vista Home School Academy (MVHSA) enlists the CSC to provide arts programming on site for its students. Enrollment continues to grow and programs are now offered for students 4 through 18 years of age.
2011-2015 COMMUNITY PROGRAMS
• 2011: A Positive Note (APN) is launched. A music program designed for young adults with special needs.
• 2013: Citizen Soldier Connection music program launches to provide studies for enlisted and retired military and their families from the five (5) regional military installations.
2016 CSC RECOGNIZED BY OUR PUBLIC SECTOR FOR IMPACTFUL WORK RELATED TO SOCIAL EMOTIONAL WELL BEING IN CHILDREN
• 2016: CSC partners with El Paso County Department of Public Health to better understand the impact of the outstanding programming on the social/emotional well-being of all enrolled students.
• 2017: Produces an original musical through Project 4A, "Jack, a moral musical tale" the story of a transformed bully with the hypothesis: Participation in a rigorous performing arts after-school curriculum during the 4th and 5th grades builds known protective factors that prevent suicide and address: Bullying Awareness, Drug Use Prevention, Teaching Empathy, Self Confidence, Self-Respect, and Resiliency. Results from the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC 25) © indicate that students who participated in Project 4A their resiliency scores by 10 points over the course of the project.
• 2018: First student from Fourth Judicial District is enlisted in an effort to understand impact of the CSC programming on decreasing recidivism. Consequently, CSC captures statewide 'Transforming Safety' grant, affording state leadership the opportunity to understand how the arts can play a significant role in changing the projection of the futures of at-risk youth away from the school to prison pipeline, by building resiliency, prosocial skills and protective factors through arts immersion studies.
• 2019: Early Childhood PICCOLO program formalized in light of social emotional work that CSC represents focusing on early intervention literacy, bonding and social connectedness.
• 2020: CSC celebrates nearly 1,500 students served on site annually and maintains a 100% high school graduation rate and college placement for all graduating high school seniors to the colleges, conservatories and universities of their choosing. Host to the region's most prestigious and artistic mentors. Music and theater programs are offered six days a week with over 300+ outreaches and productions as part of the curriculum. Community, Regional and State civic and arts partners include City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, regional school districts, Chamber of Commerce, The Resource Exchange, Arc, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, ENT Center for the Arts at UCCS, Colorado College, Pikes Peak Community College and many more.
• CSC now offers programming through three platforms: onsite, live online, and pre-recorded online classes, and soon a fourth platform - mobile programming. CSC programs are now accessible to nearly 3,000 more students across the Pikes Peak Region. Recently approved for broadcast, the first 13 episodes of the pre-recorded Simple Gift Series videos will be aired on RMPBS beginning in August for children across the state to enjoy learning music and reading.
The Conservatory provides much needed arts education and subsequent positive life skills in the Pikes Peak Region. CSC affords students the opportunity to discover their talents and interests; come to appreciate that hard work, dedication, and focus will help them achieve their career goals; and understand that a complete education (minimally high school graduation but more specifically the pursuit of higher education) is key to future success. The CSC has a 26-year track record of student success and community advocacy. The younger we engage students the more likely they are to maintain the rigor of enrollment with the program throughout their elementary, middle and high school years. Students develop a tendency for leadership and creative problem solving, empowerment, and self and situational awareness. As a result of this track record of success and positive outcomes, regional leadership have recognized CSC as a best practices program and continues ongoing review of impact on systemic, societal issues such as bullying, foster youth and teen suicide prevention.
Classic Homes has been a committed supporter of the Colorado Springs Conservatory since their inception beginning in 1994. The two consistent motivations for our support continue to this day. Linda Weise has brought passion, excellence and determination for advancing the arts in Colorado Springs. Secondly, she has opened up opportunities for thousands of kids with talent and a love of the arts; many of whom come from backgrounds where they may not otherwise have had the means to pursue their dreams. Linda and the Conservatory are community treasures. My best wishes to you, your staff and all the kids who are part of this great work.
CEO Classic Companies
The Colorado Springs Conservatory program is a combination of talent development for diverse youth of all ages and citizenship development as these youth learn community engagement and leadership skills. Colorado Springs stands with the Conservatory as it enhances the music and arts community in this city with future generations of talented performers, teachers, and community leaders.
Jim Stewart, Sachs Minority Opportunity Fund
The Colorado Springs Conservatory is a treasure in our community. As the CEO of CPCD…giving children a head start, we have partnered with the Conservatory for the past 10 years to provide opportunities for our Head Start children to participate in a high quality music and dance program as part of their preschool curriculum. We have seen children's math, language development and social-emotional skills improve as a result, and some even go on to become Conservatory students in elementary and middle school through scholarships offered by the Conservatory. Arts education starts in the early years, and our children and families love going to the Conservatory!
Noreen Landis-Tyson, CEO, CPCD Head Start
These music lessons have been a big help with my PTSD. Getting involved in something new that requires some dedication and continued practice helps, and gives me an outlet I didn't have before.
Robin Avery, Student, Citizen Soldier Connection
"I learned to never see a setback as a failure, but rather an opportunity to create a new solution. Everything can be overcome if you're willing to think outside the box."
Mark Autry, CSC Alumni
The qualities Jack has acquired through the Conservatory transcend all aspects of his life. From self confidence in exactly who he is to a work ethic few his age have, the Conservatory has taught Jack life skills he will carry with him always.
Ben and Kristi Markowitz, CSC Parents
The Conservatory is a place where you can discover what your talents and struggles are in a safe environment, knowing you have the support of the staff and your peers to excel.
Jack Markowitz, CSC Student
"The Conservatory has allowed me to find myself in profound new ways. From understanding the importance of community involvement, to developing diverse musical taste, to learning that true success requires true dedication - the Conservatory has been instrumental in my development as a person."
Nathan Nims, CSC Student