Students to voluntarily teach weekend arts classes at public school in honor of Carr ’14

Sydney Foreman

A bimonthly arts program in memory of Justin Carr ’14 will begin at an Inglewood elementary school Sept. 28.

Each of the three-hour workshops in the Justin Carr’s Dare to Dream Arts Program were designed by students. Volunteers are not required to attend every session, but are free to design and assist with as many workshops as they please. Each workshop will count for three to six hours of community service.

At the moment there is no school-supplied transport, but arrangements will be made if necessary, organizer Mintis Hankerson ’14 said. Carr first conceived of the program while he was driving past an abandoned theater near his house, said his mother Susan Carr. He thought it would be the perfect place to build classrooms and put on performances for students who do not typically have the opportunity to do so, his mother said.

“Justin always had opportunities during the summer, whether it was architecture, technical theater design or writing,” Susan Carr said. “He knew lots of kids didn’t have this, so he wanted to give them more options.”

Carr began looking for schools that would be easily accessible to members of the community before his sudden death last February. The Frank D. Parent School provides this accessibility along with arts facilities, including studio art classrooms and a gym equipped with a stage.

When visiting the campus, Carr began a friendship with Eleanor Wallace, a math teacher at the school. She got him involved in a Saturday morning math and science program that was already instituted at the elementary school.

Carr asked members of the Black Leadership and Culture Club to volunteer at these Saturday sessions. Some BLACC members even continued to work at the school over the summer.

Danielle Stolz ’15 and Katie Hohl ’15 will conduct the first workshop and explore three projects that emphasize self-portraiture, design concepts and color theory.

Art teacher Marianne Hall hopes the program will expand to other schools in the future.

“If it works here it can be taken to the local neighborhood schools of [Harvard-Westlake] students,” Hall said. “I think it will be warmly welcomed.”