FAC Weekly Update

September 10, 2021

Good afternoon, Fine Arts Center Family

We are almost one month into the school year and we are starting to see our students settle into their routine at the FAC. These mini-milestones are an opportunity for us to stop and assess where we are on the road to progress. It is a good time to ask our children the following:

1. Do you feel like your routine is helping you be your best? If not, why not?

2. Are you connecting with others in school? If not, why not?

3. How can we help you feel more supported? How can you help others to feel more supported?

These moments of reflection and introspection can help make the road ahead smoother, and our viewpoints more clear.

Here is the latest from the halls of the Fine Arts Center...

20th Anniversary of 9/11/01

At the start of each class session today, I made an announcement recognizing the 20th anniversary of the 9/11/01 tragedy. We did this as part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance, taking a moment to teach about the events of that day, pause for a moment of silence and the playing of "Taps," and draw hope and inspiration from the heroes of that day. Here is an excerpt from the announcement...

In November of 1963, in response to a different tragedy, Leonard Bernstein spoke the following words that ring true towards all senseless acts of violence.

"It is obvious that the grievous nature of our loss is immensely aggravated by the element of violence involved in it. And where does this violence spring from? From ignorance and hatred -- the exact antonyms of Learning and Reason. Learning and Reason: every man can pick them up where they fell, and make them part of himself, the seed of that rational intelligence without which our world can no longer survive. This must be the mission of every man of goodwill: to insist, unflaggingly, at risk of becoming a repetitive bore, but to insist on the achievement of a world in which the mind will have triumphed over violence.

We musicians, like everyone else, are numb with sorrow at this murder, and with rage at the senselessness of the crime. But this sorrow and rage will not inflame us to seek retribution; rather they will inflame our art. Our music will never again be quite the same. This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."

At the Fine Arts Center, you have the opportunity to create and share beauty through your craft. Remember to give every ounce of energy towards your passion, each and every day. Use the power of art to its fullest extent to counteract negativity, spread positivity, and connect with others on the most basic but most intense level of humanity. Your art crosses the boundaries of race, culture, religion, and language, and can be understood around the world without translation. Your art is not only your future...but the future of humanity. And today, on this National Day of Remembrance, and every day...your art represents the hope of our society.

This Week's Student Leadership Lesson


If you want to influence others and you desire to get them moving in the right direction, you must connect with them before you try to take them anywhere. Attempting to do it before connecting is a common mistake of inexperienced leaders. Trying to move others before going through the connection process with them can lead to mistrust, resistance, and strained relationships. Always remember that you have to share yourself before you try to share the journey. Leadership is cultivating in people today a future willingness on their part to follow you into something new for the sake of something great. Connection creates that willingness.

John C. Maxwell - The Maxwell Daily Reader, p. 276

SEL - Social-Emotional Learning - at the FAC

Greenville County Schools are committed to educating the whole child, and part of this mission includes the implementation of an SEL Program at all High Schools and Centers. Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is a term used to describe traits students need to be prepared for opportunities in life, education, and employment. GCS has committed to building a better graduate, which includes social and emotional skills like perseverance, integrity, work ethic, and interpersonal skills. As an auditioned program focused on pre-professional training, and thanks to your influence on the home front, our students come to us with foundational levels of many of these social-emotional skills. However, there is always progress to be made in these areas, and we have chosen components of the GCS "Rethink SEL" program to incorporate our implementation of this program.

Our AM students will meet for approximately 20 minutes in their groups on the following days, and we are planning to cover the following topics:

  • 9/22 - Establishing connections to build relationships
  • 9/29 - Physical and Mental health for the artist
  • October 20 and 27 – Growth mindset and the gift of failure

  • November 17 – Goal-setting and grit

  • January 19 and February 26 – Mindfulness practices in the arts

  • March 2 and 16 – Giving and receiving feedback

  • April 20 – Cultural competence

  • May 4 – Resolving conflicts with empathy

Our 8:00 AM and all PM students will receive their SEL programming at their home base high school.

Should you have any questions, please reach out to Mr. Popat at vpopat@greenville.k12.sc.us

FAC Alumnus Marcus King Featured by NASCAR

Marcus King, a graduate of the FAC Jazz Studies program, and his band have had one of their hit songs selected as the theme song for the NASCAR playoffs! You can hear the song via the Marcus King Band Facebook page - https://fb.watch/7Wk_aONqJe/.

FAC Students Performing in the Community

Don't miss the South Carolina Children's Theatre performances of Spookley the Square Pumpkin - The Musical, running from October 22-31! The cast features FAC 9th Graders Bella Majarais and Ashley Smith, members of the Theatre Program.


Is Your Child Performing in the Community? The FAC is happy to publicize public performances and art exhibitions that feature our students. Please email Mr. Popat with any details of current or upcoming performances so that we can get the word out to our FAC Family!

Pan Harmonia Concert at FAC

Next Thursday evening, Panharmonia will host a concert of Harp and Flute duets at the FAC Sutherlin Recital Hall. Please click on the following link for more information - https://panharmonia.org/product/sept-16-flute-and-harp-greenville/

GCS Financial Aid Workshops

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Early Release from Quarantine for Students

GCS students who have been quarantined due to COVID will soon be able to return to school three days earlier if they are symptom-free and follow DHEC guidelines for an early release. Please click on the following link to learn more - https://www.greenville.k12.sc.us/News/main.asp?titleid=2109early

Notification of COVID-Positive Cases

Effective Monday, September 13, schools will begin using Backpack to notify parents when a COVID-positive case has been identified in their child’s classroom or team.

The new Backpack notification process, which interfaces with PowerSchool, will allow principals to automatically distribute an email to parents of all students in a particular classroom. This process will be much faster and more efficient than our previous Phone Messenger notification system.

If you have not done so already, please set up a Backpack account using the steps outlined here. Once a parent sets up a Backpack account, the final step requires verification of identity and proof of custody. Parents should contact their child’s school to confirm how the school would like to receive verification documents.

Please note that parents whose children are identified as “close contacts” will still receive a phone call from a school staff member.

Important Dates/Upcoming Events

  • October 1 - Music Faculty Recital; during class, for FAC Music Students
  • October 11-16 - Dance Guest Artist in Residence: Christopher L. Huggins
  • October 25-29 - Chamber Strings Guest Artists in Residence: The Callisto Quartet
  • October 25-29 - Jazz Guest Artists in Residence: The Regions


Green Artists Club

Are you interested in helping to make Greenville a better, cleaner, more beautiful place? Would you like to spend some quality time outdoors, earning volunteer credit hours, and making new friends? Fine Arts Center’s Green Artists Club is an extracurricular environmental awareness/conservation group, dedicated to improving and beautifying our surroundings.

Current projects include our Adopt-A-Highway program, as well as afternoon trips to Conestee Nature Preserve, where the Green Artists eradicate invasive plants (such as kudzu) that choke out our native plant species. The group would also like to seek partnerships with local environmental groups, such as Friends of the Reedy River.

The group is currently collecting names and email addresses of anyone who is interested and would like to set up a meeting soon after school to elect a new club president, vice-president, and communications/outreach liaison. If you are interested in learning more or joining the group, please email our Music Theory instructor Richard Young at rwyoung@greenvilleschools.us.

Julie Valentine Center

The Julie Valentine Center is a "nonprofit organization that provides free, confidential services to sexual assault and child abuse survivors and their families." They provide a wealth of programming, education, and resources to the community. Please visit their website for more information - https://www.julievalentinecenter.org/.

Dance Artist-in-Residence

Thanks to generous funding from the Peace Center, the FAC Dance Studio is excited to announce our Artist-in-Residence for the 2021-2022 School Year - Christopher L. Huggins. Mr. Huggins will be at the FAC from October 11-16, and will provide two masterclasses for both the 8:00 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. classes. He will work daily with the 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. studios to provide specific instruction and to choreograph an 8-9 minute work.

About the artist...

Christopher L. Huggins, a 2021 recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for Dance, is a choreographer, teacher, and former principal dancer of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Mr.Huggins trained under Andrea Herbert Major, Danny Sloan, and Martha Gray. After attending SUNY Purchase, The Juilliard School, and a fellowship at The Ailey School, Mr. Huggins appeared as a guest artist with dance companies in the United States, the Oslo Dance Ensemble in Norway, and Aterballetto of Reggio Emilia, Italy. Mr. Huggins is a master teacher and choreographer for pre-professional dance programs in South Africa, Europe, Japan, Korea, and throughout the United States in performing art schools and higher education at Howard University, Spelman College, the University of the Arts, to name a few. He has created ballets for Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Ailey II, Philadanco, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Louisiana Dance Theatre, Lulu Washington Dance Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Broadway Dance of Tokyo, and the Oslo Dance Ensemble in Norway. He was the sole choreographer for the 50th Anniversary Opening Night Gala for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in 2008. Mr. Huggins has received awards from the Black Alliance Award in Chicago, a Silver Medal for the Seoul International Contemporary Dance Competition, the Critics Choice Award for his choreography of the musical “The Wiz'' with Dallas Theatre, and a Service to the Field of Dance Award from

the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD).

Assisting Christopher will be Tyrone Walker. Tyrone is a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Tyrone has received dance training from The Washington School of Ballet, School of Nashville Ballet, Giordano Dance Chicago, and The Ailey School under full scholarships. He is a former member of Nashville Ballet 2, Ailey II, Moveius Contemporary Ballet, and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. He has performed works by many notable choreographers, including Paul Vasterling, Robert Philander, Alvin Ailey, William Forsythe, George Faison, Troy Powell, Ben Stevenson, Christopher L. Huggins, Robert Battle, and Judith Jamison. He has also performed with the Nashville Ballet, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey’s Memoria. Tyrone has been a guest artist with the Tallahassee Ballet, Eglevsky Ballet, and Philadanco. He was on faculty at the School of Nashville Ballet, was the Ballet Master for Metropolitan Ballet Theatre, and director of the Metropolitan Ballet Ensemble. Tyrone has choreographed on the Houston Academy of Dance, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, The Ailey School, Dallas Black Dance Theatre II, Metropolitan Ballet Theatre & Ensemble, Moveius Contemporary Ballet, and Agora Dance. His theater credits include Father Panik Village: The Untold Story (Bridgeport, CT), a production of The Wiz (Dallas, TX) with Dallas Theater Center, Matilda (Tuacahn), Cinderella (Tuacahn), and The Prince of Egypt (Tuacahn).

The FAC Parent Guild Wants YOU

The FAC Parent Guild is looking for volunteers who want to support the FAC in a variety of ways. Please click on the following link to view our informational handout.


If you have any questions, please email our Parent Engagement Committee Co-Chairs:

FYI - COVID Reporting Process

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FYI - Vaccination Impact on Quarantine/Isolation

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Fine Arts Center - Greenville County Schools

Preparing dedicated students for 21st-century careers through rigorous, pre-professional arts training in a dynamic, inclusive, collaborative learning community.

Core Values

  • Creativity

  • Respect

  • Grit

  • Identity

  • Connection

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