Art Minson looks out from the mural at Akron's Arlington and Baird streets, his words standing out against a field of color: "I've never made a fortune. And I'll never make one now. But it doesn't really matter. Because I'm happy anyhow." A dedicated community activist, Minson's accomplishments include starting a credit union that aided minorities in getting loans while he worked at Goodyear and creating a food pantry at his church. Sixty Akron-area students, including 30 from Archbishop Hoban High School, worked on the mural. Project adviser and Hoban art teacher Micah Kraus says most of the working discussions centered on Minson's life and impact. "They worked on this project to serve the community and Art Minson's memory. But they are the ones that gained the most out of it."
Lawrence School's dedication to students with learning differences extends to its performing arts programs. Actors in plays and musicals can wear an earpiece if they have trouble memorizing lines. "It neutralizes the fear and anxiety they may have," says music teacher Greg Donnellan. "And nine times out of 10, they end up not needing [it]." In fact, one recent graduate is going on to study theater at The Ohio State University.
Last Year, Open Door Christian Schools claimed its third Best Communities for Music Education award since 2004. The National Association of Music Makers Foundation award is based on the percentage of students who participate in musical programs such as marching band, jazz band and choir. "We have half to probably three-quarters of the kids involved in some sort of band or choir," says music teacher Chris Clark.