It's really unfortunate, but, every year, school districts have to have tough conversations about what's going and what's staying. Usually, the extra-curricular activities take a big hit (sports, drama, etc.), then sometimes districts are faced with the decision to cut departments entirely. Art departments around the country have been shut down as the emphasis in education has shifted to STEM fields.

Art teachers here in the Treasure Valley have also felt the sting of districts pushing the STEM fields. And although teachers agree that "collaboration between the departments has positive effects", according to the Boise Weekly, teachers in school districts here in our community say what they were teaching "wasn't as creative, and we couldn't do the things that I thought would be really good for [the students]."

So, what did two instructors do about it? They opened up an art studio in downtown Boise where they can help students develop their art skills after school and during the Summer months without all the restrictions set by school districts. Syringa Art Studio (521 S. Eighth St.) is the product of two teachers: Jaimee Johnston and Kam Walters (West Ada School District / Boise School District). They offer classes for varying age levels after school and while the kids are on Summer vacation. This is such a cool concept, and it's great that students can hone their skills without the fear of their creativity being thwarted by policy and requirements.

Find out more about Syringa Art Studio HERE.