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City, RAAC will team up to offer art classes this fall

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There are a few kinks left to work out but come this fall the Rosemount Area Arts Council and Rosemount Parks and Recreation hope to partner to offer art classes.

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Exactly how it will work remains to be seen, but the two organizations have been working together to offer the classes to residents starting as soon as possible. The art classes will be offered at the Rosemount Community Center and will include offerings for ages three to 90.

Offering classes to all ages is in line with the art council's mission to bring the arts to people of all ages, said president Jeanne Schwartz.

"We are very excited about this opportunity," said Schwartz.

All of the classes will be taught by Jill Otto, a freelance artist from Eagan. Otto will work as an independent contractor for the RAAC.

Otto said she will offer innovative programming and hands-on learning through the classes. She has come up with a variety of classes that are meant to suit the participants, including play and hands-on activities for younger students. She also hopes to keep the class sizes to a low teacher-to-pupil ratio so students can get the most out of it.

For adults she will offer a drawing class. Because of facility rules, Otto was limited as to what she could offer for adults at the community center.

To get a feel of whether classes will go over well some sample classes were held in August at the Robert Trail Library. RAAC programming chair Beth Adams said attendance was good and they hope to get a similar response for the real deal.

An experienced art teacher, Otto has an art degree from the University of Iowa. She has taught at different locations throughout the south metro and is excited to bring her expertise to Rosemount.

Otto said she's also looking forward to the opportunity to work with Rosemount's residents and see what the future brings.

In the future Otto hopes the city and the RAAC can expand the offering to include camps and more classes.

The classes will be held a the Rosemount Community Center. A schedule for the classes is one of the things the two organizations has yet to work out. Parks and recreation director Dan Schultz said the classes will have to work with the center's schedule.

While there are some issues to overcome Schultz said he thinks the partnership will be good for the community.

"I think its something people will enjoy and it's a great way for the arts council to continue moving forward as an organization," said Schultz.

Schwartz said they hope to start offering classes as soon as possible, which could be this fall. At the latest she said classes will begin in December.

The Rosemount Area Arts Council will have a booth at SeptemberFest, held Sept. 12 on the Dakota County Technical College campus. Otto said anyone who wants more information can stop by and ask. For more information on the Rosemount Area Arts Council visit rosemountaac.org. For more information on Otto visit her web site at www.jillotto.com.

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