Outdoor cello lessons

Last year, as an example of being creative during the pandemic, cello students at the St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy took lessons outdoors.

GENEVA — The Nelson B. Delavan Foundation has given a $5,000 grant to the St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy for equipment and supplies.

The Academy continues to grow, and its success has created the need for more financial support. Normally, the group classes and private lessons take place at the Academy on 149 Genesee St.; this year, however, learning has been online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy, we believe that excellent Arts education that is available to all, regardless of income level, enhances the quality of life in our region,” said the Rev. James Adams, who heads the school. “I am particularly grateful to the Delavan Foundation whose grant has enabled the Arts Academy to adapt to the conditions brought on by the pandemic and continue to safely provide instruction to all of our students. During these months when so many programs and opportunities were lost to children, the regular instruction for our students from our outstanding faculty has been more important than ever.”

Entrepreneur Nelson Delavan died in 1971. Thirteen years later, Delavan’s wife, Elizabeth, established a non-profit trust, The Nelson B. Delavan Foundation, in her late husband’s honor. The trust donates money in support of education, historical, cultural and arts-related endeavors.

The Delavans were Seneca County residents.

The Arts Academy academic year starts in September and continues through the middle of June for a total of 36 weeks. Performances at several times throughout the year, except for this pandemic period, are an integral part of the program. According to the Academy, performances help students build confidence in their ability to practice, rehearse and perform in ways that recognize their potential as individuals. The Academy also stressed that performances help in the ongoing development of Geneva as a vibrant community that values the arts and education.

More than 300 students from 16 area schools encompassing a five-county area are taking lessons and performing at the Academy in choirs, piano, violin, cello, viola, organ, voice, dance, and guitar for all ages, with a dedicated core of instructors and staff, all of whom are professionals in their field. Embracing its theme of “Arts for All,” the Academy is open to everyone from infants to adults and is not affiliated religiously although St. Peter’s Church sponsors and supports the Academy.

More information on classes and supporting the Academy is available at www.stpetersarts.org.

Meanwhile, the annual Friends of the Arts appeal is underway. Donations will ensure that music and dance lessons are made available to students of all ages and abilities. Donors may mail a check to the Academy at 149 Genesee St., Geneva, 14456, or donate online at https://stpetersarts.org/giving/be-a-friend-of-the-arts/.

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