School of Performing Arts & Cultural Education
School of Performing Arts & Cultural Education (SPACE) is an acclaimed afterschool performing arts program serving youth ages infant through 18. SPACE, located near downtown Ukiah at 508 West Perkins, offers an innovative year-round program that has become a vital beacon for hundreds of children and their families.
Our program emphasizes diversity, youth leadership, cross-cultual arts, social issues, and exemplary training in the arts. The curriculum may address issues of social, environmental and cultural awareness and activism such as distribution of resources, unlearning racism, gender stereotyping and/or sexual orientation.
SPACE’s mission is to empower our youth to discover and trust in their innate ability to be creative, responsible and compassionate individuals through effective training in dance, theater, music and cultural education.
After collaborating for ten years directing Performing Arts Summer Camp and other projects, Laurel Near & Paulette Arnold founded Near & Arnold’s School of Performing Arts & Cultural Education in 1995. Both women have been teaching young people since 1981.
All our staff are experienced performing arts educators or practicing artists. They are selected for their special ability to relate to young people’s training, social and developmental needs. We are also proud of our “Teacher Training & Youth Leadership Program” which nurtures young people who have the skills and interest to become teachers.
A priority of SPACE is the Scholarship Program, which provides access for all interested youth. The community, through fundraising events, donations, and grants, supports the program. Forty percent of families receive some financial assistance for tuition. SPACE functions as a safe space for youth to explore, express and reshape daily challenges through physical, vocal, and emotional creative growth. SPACE has been awarded and recognized by statewide foundations and is a living example of the power of art to affect individuals and change the consciousness and landscape of Mendocino County.