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September 22, 2014

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Nevada Arts Academy set to expand

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Nevada Arts Academy

A Christmas recital at Nevada Arts Academy in 2008.

After 11 years on Spring Mountain Road, the Nevada Arts Academy is moving to the corner of Durango Drive and Patrick Lane in April.

The Clark County Planning Commission approved the academy’s use permit on Tuesday, allowing director Jie Bu to move his institute from a 1,500-square-foot building to a 5,300-square-foot facility at 6072 Durango Drive.

The new location will allow the academy to accommodate more students, Jie said, as its student body, about 150 to 200 youths, continues to grow. He hopes to open at the new location between April 1 and 15.

Instruction will still be offered for music, private and group classes; all kinds of dance, from jazz and tap to hip-hop and body-shaping; and art classes, such as basic cartooning and introduction to watercolor.

Students sometimes attend from the first grade through their senior year in high school, Bu said. Programs usually begin about 4 p.m., after schools are dismissed.

Bu, who graduated from the of the Shanghai Music Conservatory and received his master’s degree at UNLV 20 years ago, will lead the music program, which covers piano, violin, cello, guitar, flute, vocals and more.

Louis Machacyk, former art director at the Walt Disney Institute, will supervise that program. Ella Gourkova and Sergei Popvov, former principal dancers for the Nevada Ballet Theatre, and Luz Morante of the North Star Dance Academy will head the dance classes.

The move will also allow the Nevada Arts Academy to expand its Music Garden program for children from 18 months to five years old. With some help from their parents, youngsters in those classes will learn simple movements and rhythms, Bu said.

Plans call for two dance studios, two classrooms, nine practice rooms, as well as offices and a lobby in the 5,300-square-foot space.

Bu said the school’s philosophy is to build a community and educate students first as human beings, then as artists. It’s been a successful model. Some students have gone on to music programs at Stanford, Duke, New York University and other institutions, he said.

“I have always been passionate about helping young people and passing on my experiences,” Bu said, adding that he had a dream of opening an institute for learning when he moved to the U.S. to continue his education at UNLV.

“We’re mentors. We teach them how to be a better person, how to work hard,” he said. “Young people need that kind of guidance.”

For more information, call 702-248-1288 or visit the Nevada Arts Academy’s website.

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