The Croton Academy of the Arts is hitting a major milestone:
Croton Academy of Arts Celebrates 10 Years of Building Confidence through Laughter
Croton on Hudson, NY December 6, 2012 – It’s been 10 years since the Croton Academy of Arts – then known as Croton Academy of Comedic Arts or CACA – began using their unique approach to creative exploration to help teens develop their communication and social interaction skills through the performing arts.
“From the very beginning, our goal has been to help kids find their voice”, says Catherine Riedel, co-founder of the Academy. “We’re about helping kids find their strengths and learn to express themselves in a way that’s positive and constructive”.
Nearly 1,000 students from across Northern Westchester have taken part in one of the many programs offered by Croton Academy of Arts. Many graduates now perform in college improvisational comedy and theatre programs across the country and several have gone on to work with professional improv companies.
“CACA helped me come into my own as a person and a performer,” says Emily Pojman, an alumni and Actress/Comedian currently studying with Upright Citizen’s Brigade. “The lessons I learned will support me in any goal I set for myself, whether personal or professional. ‘Always say yes and…” is the basic rule of improvisational comedy. It’s also a philosophy for how to live your life and I am so glad that I learned this as a teenager”.
One of the things that sets Croton Academy of Arts apart is its focus on collaboration. “It’s not about competition” says Myrlin Valerio, who co-founded the Academy with Catherine. “It’s about building a community where kids can express their individuality while contributing to – – and supporting – – the efforts of the group as a whole”.
It’s an approach that’s been embraced by parents like Rachel Norfleet, “Catherine and Myrlin offer top-notch instruction, and their students’ shows are hilarious. But it’s as much about the process as the product, and there’s a continual emphasis on confidence, community, and helping each student find their unique way of expressing themselves”.
Originally focused on improvisational and sketch comedy, the Academy now offers programs for acting, show choir, dance and sketch writing for middle- and high school students as well as programs for adults.
Croton Academy of Arts will be celebrating their 10th Anniversary throughout the coming year, including an Alumni Reunion show on January 4th at their new studio at 8-b Old Post Road South. “We’ve gotten so much support from the community since we first started,” says Catherine. “It will be great to bring everyone together again – our alums, their families and the community – to share some laughter and say thanks”.
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