GCAA’s Brandon Riley Nominated for Best Performance Award by Arts for Life

GCAA’s Matt Frederickson & Lisa Kaczmarczyk received the following letter from Kimberly Klick, who is on the Board of Directors of Arts for Life:

ARTS FOR LIFE is recognizing Brandon Riley with a nomination for our 18th BrandonRiley-Theater-212x300AnnualBest Performance Awards for Community Musical Theatre.  This year’s nominations have selected Brandon for his award worthy achievement of Best Direction of a Youth Musical Production for the musical Oliver! by St. Louis Summer Players. Over 1,338 participants were eligible for nominations this year.  ARTS FOR LIFE is dedicated to recognizing, supporting and promoting community theatre in the Metro-St. Louis area.  We salute these volunteers and encourage their talent that only enriches our community and our culture.

We would like your help in congratulating Brandon on this outstanding accomplishment.  If you have a newsletter, please consider an article about his artistic endeavors.  A portion of our press release follows below.  You may check our website for information about our organization: www.arsforlife.org.

The awards event is open to the public, and production numbers from many nominated shows will be presented to showcase the “Best of the Best” from last year’s musical theatre productions.  We would love to have Brandon’s associates present to show support.

Please also consider purchasing an advertisement in our program to congratulate Brandon on this outstanding achievement. Rates are listed on the enclosed flyer. Deadline is May 9th. Your advertisement would reach 650+ arts patrons/performers at our event and over 1200 through our newsletter, website & social media campaigns. We are very proud of all the people who volunteer their time to bring the Arts to the St. Louis community, and hope that you will help us recognize their efforts.  From this collaborative endeavor, we all win in the long run—and it is, indeed, a fun run!

Thank you for your consideration.


Kimberly Klick

AFL Board of Directors

AFL provided this information about the 18th Annual Best Performance Awards, to be held June 11, 2017.

Arts for Life Describes itself as follows:

As we watch music education and theatre programs rapidly die in our schools, the need to keep community theatre alive is more important now, than ever. ARTS FOR LIFE, a non-profit organization with the mission of “Making A Dramatic Difference”, is passionate about the healing power of the performing arts, and is proud to salute, support, and serve the theatre groups in the Metro-St. Louis area. ARTS FOR LIFE is dedicated to promoting public awareness of local community theatre, encouraging excellence in the arts, and acknowledging the incredible people who are a part of it. ARTS FOR LIFE is also committed to supporting charitable programs in helping children, the under-served, and the community.

Each year, ARTS FOR LIFE conducts a special event, The Best Performance Awards for community musical threatre. This event is to recognize the incredible talent we have in St. Louis community theatre, and honor the passion and dedication of those who build this amazing, and unique theatrical community.

Arts for Life Sponsorship Form

University of Missouri Graphic Design Student Features GCAA Artists in “Audio Chroma”

For several weeks, Matt Washausen of UMSL (University of Missouri – St. Louis) worked with high school students from Grand Center Arts Academy as part of his senior thesis.   The result was: “Audio Chroma.”  In the following video, Washausen discusses his work during the December 16, 2016 exhibition of Audio Chroma at UMSL Fine Arts Building Gallery.






GCAA Middle Schoolers bake up some ideas in Earth Science


I’m posting this article to share pictures of projects my students did this week. As part is our Earth science lessons, they were assigned a strange geologic formation. I used the “Believe It or Not’s” list of 25 strangest geologic formations. These are some of the projects that the kids came up with. They had to research and present them to the class. Some were edible so I don’t have pictures of those because we ate them 😉. The exception is Skaftafell, in Iceland, which is the double layer cake in the picture. We had the wherewithal to take a picture of it first. The other ones represented are Gibson’s steps in Australia; Devils Tower in Wyoming; the Cave of Crystal in Mexico and the Puerto Princesa underground river in the Philippines.

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There were many additional projects, although some of the kids have already taken their projects home …

Laramie Project Featured on GCAA’s Student Media

GCAA’s Theater Department will be featured at GCAA’s Black Box Theater from Dec 1 – Dec 3, 2016. GCAA Today offers an article and video on the play:

The Laramie project is based on a true story in Laramie, Wyoming where a group of artists and reporters from New York travel to Laramie to document the death of Matthew Shepard. The play portrays a word for word reenactment of interviews given by those who were involved in the incident, and investigations conducted to seek the truth about his death.

“Vibes” – GCAA Winter Dance Concert – December 9, 2016

dance-photoPlease join Grand Center Arts Academy for “VIBES”, our 2016 High School Winter Dance Concert. Tickets are $5 in advance, and $10 at the door. There is a small ($1.27) convenience fee for online tickets.

You will experience ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, hip hop and more! The students have been working hard and they cannot wait to entertain you. They would love to have your support!

Doors open at 6:30 pm. We hope to see you at the Sun Theater!

If you have any questions, please email Ashley L. Tate, GCAA Dance Department Chair at Ashley.Tate@grandcenterartsacademy.org

NOTE: No Refunds are Available. Children (ages 2 and under) can attend for free, if sharing a seat with a paying adult. No photography or videography allowed.

Choreography by: Nicki Beier, Chivas Merchant-Buckman, Thomas Proctor, Danielle Sampson, and Ashley L. Tate.

Carly Lawrence of GCAA Dances at American Music Awards

One of GCAA’s graduates from last year was spotted on the American Music Awards this year. Carly Lawrence danced at the nationally televised show during the performance of the music group, The Chainsmokers.  Lawrence can be seen in the photo (below) of GCAA seniors graduating last year, bottom row, second from the right.  Lawrence can also be seen in the screenshot from the Show (bottom photo).

Congratulations, Carly Lawrence! carly-lawrence-credentials




Men’s Choir Rehearses

This week I visited a rehearsal of one of Wes Smith’s men’s choirs.   Here are a few images from that rehearsal class:




Two GCAA students that will be performing in a professional dance production on Sept 18th

Two GCAA students will be performing in a professional dance production on September 18. Jordan Siemens is a member of the crew, and Carly Lawrence is a guest performer. For details, see below:

Dear Dance Faculty and Mr. Frederickson,

I’m so happy to share that you have two GCAA students that will be performing in a professional dance production on Sept 18th. It’s called “DiversCity” and put on my TigerStyle Crew! (based out of KC, but members live all over the states). Jordan Siemens is a member of the crew, and Carly Lawrence is a guest performer. I was hoping you might be able to share that information with parents and dancers. The crew is also doing 3 stops at 3 studios that Friday Sept 16th and Sat Sept 17th in the STL area. Any dancers attending those workshops have the opportunity to also perform in the production that Sunday night!!! I’ll include that info below in case you can share it; both for the workshops (great opp for other GCAA students) and the show information as well.
Thank you for all you do,

Leah Cordiano-Siemens

Where: West County YMCA- Chesterfield Community Theatre
16464 Burkhardt Pl, Chesterfield, MO 63017
PURCHASE TICKETS HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/diverscity-a-tigerstyle-crew-production-tickets-26470486939

(these times are in flux currently for the “dancer call/rehearsals/breaks”. We will be reposting these shortly, but this is an outline that would be similar)
2:00pm Dancer Call (get them checked in and Warm-Up from 2:15pm-2:30pm on stage)
2:30pm Rehearsals start sometime between 2:30-3pm?
3pm-5:30pm Rehearsals (ish)
5:45pm-6:15pm dinner break for dancers
6:15pm Doors open for VIP SEATING
6:30pm Doors open for General Admission
7pm-8:30pm or 9pm show, pic with VIPS etc..

Opening Day – 2010

GCAA opened its doors for classes in August 2010.  I was there, and many students and families currently attending were there on that special day.

I’d like to share this photo that I found on social media.*   In this photo, Principal Lynne Glickert was greeting the entire student body at the temporary location of GCAA, Third Baptist Church.

GCAA opening day 2010



*If anyone knows who took the photo, let me know so that I can give credit where it is due.  I suspect it was taken by a faculty or staff member at GCAA.