The Clay Community Arts program is dedicated to providing music instruction and musical instruments to students who would otherwise not have access to such opportunities. Thanks to a generous gift from Mr. Lyell Clay, the program began in 2008 and has since provided music education for thousands of students across the state. Clay Community Arts is now in seven West Virginia counties including: Boone, Cabell, Clay, Kanawha, Lincoln, Mason and Mingo. Our community partners run the gamut from schools to community centers to churches, and provide the locations for these lessons. The program has also been at the center of several successful summer camp programs with community partners like the Partnership of African-American Churches in Kanawha County; Able Families in Mingo County; and the Big Ugly Community Center in Lincoln County. Recent partnerships with VH1’s Save the Music program have also allowed the program to reach into Pleasants, Roane, Preston and Jackson counties. We have also recently expanded to Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School on Charleston’s west side, with special help from the Charles and Mary-Fayne Glotfelty Foundation.
During the 2013-14 school year, well over 350 students received regular private instruction on instruments ranging from woodwind to brass to percussion to strings. In the coming months, Clay Community Arts will continue to provide quality music lessons and musical instruments to young people in these counties.
above: Students show off violin skills they learned at a summer program through the Clay Community Arts.
at left: Children at the Bob Dunbar Center in Charleston learn about the origins of contemporary music in a summer program.
Instructor Adam Hager gives guitar lessons to students at Kermit K-8 in Mingo County, WV.
Clay County High School students received the great honor of performing at the WV Legislature in March 2013.