Chesapeake Academy receives Mary Morton Parsons Foundation grant to construct Arts and Innovation Hub


Chesapeake Academy recently announced the receipt of a one-to-one challenge grant for $50,000 from The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation to support the creation of an Arts and Innovation Hub at the heart of the Irvington campus.

“We are delighted by this opportunity to offer Chesapeake Academy students all the advantages of a cutting edge education right here in our unique rural community. Innovation and design are integral to developing the flexible, critical thinkers who will lead in the future,” said head of school Julianne T. Duvall.

“This Arts and Innovation Hub is the outgrowth of rigorous research, extensive faculty development and collaboration, and the generosity of donors who can feel the passion behind this project,” said Duvall.

Using seed money from an individual donor interested in honoring the memory of Dianne Chase Monroe, Chesapeake Academy launched a broad initiative that encompasses STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) and computer science as well as the creative components, technological applications and design thinking that are the hallmarks of well-rounded best-practice education for the 21st century, she said. With a strategic partnership with the College of William and Mary School of Education’s Center for Innovation in Learning Design, Chesapeake Academy has developed a strategic vision that unites STEAM, project based learning and the arts under the broader description of Arts & Innovation.

“Through our work with the Center for Innovation in Learning Design, we realized that creation of a physical ‘hub’ space to support our students’ work is vital to fully implementing the vision for arts and innovation,” said Duvall.

Technological equipment, such as a 3D printer, robotics and laser cutter will have a home in the hub along with power tools and hand tools. In addition, a broadcasting studio set up for video and audio, plus arts and design supplies will live side by side with software design tools such as Adobe Creator.

Architects from Randall Kipp Architecture have designed a space that includes an expansion of the current library into a courtyard bordered by classrooms.

“By connecting the library to the Arts and Innovation Hub, Chesapeake Academy will enjoy flexible, convertible and expandable spaces for multiple uses now and in the future,” said Duvall. “This vital central part of the Chesapeake Academy campus will be named in memory of Dianne Chase Monroe.

“We are looking forward to completing this project with the proceeds of The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation grant and matching funds from a diverse group of funders during the summer of 2019. This capital project will not impact the school’s operating budget in any way,” she said. “We are very grateful to The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation for their support of this vision for our students!”



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