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ARTBEAT Showcase – Where Kids Sing, Dance, Create, and Imagine

Planning for SSAF’s inaugural ARTBEAT arts event was started at the beginning of the 2023 year. ARTBEAT’s purpose was to celebrate the beautiful diversity, talent and spirit of our community by showcasing the art of our public-school students. SSAF worked with the schools (Ridgeview Charter Middle School, Sandy Springs Charter Middle School, Riverwood International Charter High School, and North Springs Charter High School) to conceive and refine the program to provide a memorable afternoon for our community. The inspiration for creating this showcase was a wish by the students and teachers as well – to perform and exhibit their art in the beautiful professional Byers Theatre!

ARTBEAT was then held on January 13, 2024. The ARTBEAT exposition provided a platform for the best of the best of our public-school artists, including those proficient in both the performing and visual arts. In addition to the SSAF board covering the costs of the event, SSAF will donate approximately $50,000 in total to the participating schools for their arts programming. We again thank our sponsors - Northside Hospital, RBM of Atlanta, The Bill Harrison Foundation, Hyperion Bank, RoughDraft Atlanta, Burr & Forman LLP, Chick-fil-A, and Solidarity Sandy Springs and our individual donors for making this event possible!


According to SSAF board member and community leader, Jan Collins, “Our premiere ARTBEAT event was a fabulous opportunity for our Sandy Springs-located students to showcase their talent and passion for the arts. Having the opportunity to perform on the grand stage of the Byers Theatre and display their art in the Byers lobby will be a thrill for students and audiences alike!”


Over 450 students from all the aforementioned schools presented over 120 pieces of 2D and 3D visual art and dance, sang, performed music (Band, Orchestra, Chorus), and acted. Approximately 900 people were in attendance as well. The students were so excited to share their art! The event is a memory for the children they will never forget.

Why are the arts so important in our public schools?

  •  Students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs, standardized test scores, and lower drop-out rates. The arts - music, creative writing, visual arts, dance - provide skills sought by employers. Arts activities in schools and at home can help foster cognitive development as well as provide outlets for children to express how they feel and develop their self identities.

  •  Research shows that the positive effects of the arts are especially beneficial for low-socioeconomic status students. Additionally, at-risk students who take art are significantly more likely to stay in school and ultimately to get college degrees.


Teacher Testimonials

“Thank you for organizing this wonderful event! The students, their families, and myself all really appreciate it. I feel so grateful to have been able to provide this opportunity for my students to play in a professional concert hall. They really enjoyed it and the event/rehearsal ran smoothly! Thanks again for all of your work and I hope to do something like this again in the future!!” RCMS


“Thank you again for facilitating such an amazing opportunity for our students to showcase their work. Seeing the work every day, I sometimes forget how impactful it can be when seen out in the community. Our students were so proud to have their work on display in such a beautiful space, and we received so much positive feedback from attendees.” RCHS


“I wanted to thank you all specifically for a wonderful event on Saturday. Maureen, thank you and your board so much for providing a space that advocates for the arts in schools. The Sandy Springs Arts Foundation is needed and appreciated. Saturday was so great, and I look forward to another one next year.” NSCHS


“ArtBeat served as a vibrant celebration of the arts, bringing together students from Orchestra, Band, Theatre, Visual Art, Chorus and Dance. The event showcased the incredible diversity of artistic expression, allowing students to shine in their respective fields. I extend my deepest thanks to the Sandy Springs Arts Foundation for the incredible ArtBeat experience. It is through initiatives like these that we witness the transformative power of the arts, and I eagerly anticipate future events that continue to inspire and uplift our Sandy Springs community.” RCHS


“The Sandy Springs Arts Foundation provided an amazing experience for our music students at Ridgeview Charter Middle School. The students and community really enjoyed having the opportunity to share our hard work, thanks to SSAF. The Foundation has also made substantial financial contributions to our music department, which has really aided in growing our program!” RCMS

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