Dear MCA Community,
In March of 2020 Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota made the decision to suspend face-to-face classes and large gathering for the near future due to the public health issue created by COVID-19. As an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University of MN, Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts was directed to follow suit to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. We are continually reassessing the situation and recommendations from SMUMN and public health officials. We successfully held a small number of in-person dance classes end of August- November 10th and plan to resume a limited number of in-person programs once again beginning Jan. 21, 2021. Additional virtual and self-paced programs will continue. Students participating in in-person classes will be required to follow our strict COVID Code of Conduct. Please click on the tabs below to explore our current programs and resources. Additionally all students and families will be required to sign this waiver within our registrations system.
This Winter we will have a variety of offerings ranging from in-person at Valencia Arts Center, in-person outside, self-paced low and no tech experiences, and virtual classes. Explore our online programs below or by clicking here.
Thank you for your understanding during these unexpected times. Please know that no matter what we will be here to offer you community and respite through arts.
P.S. During this time, we invite you and your family to join us on social media for educational and entertaining MCA Moments created by our talented MCA community. Click on the social media icons below to take you to our pages. Check back often, as new content is being created daily. If you like what you see please consider making a donation to help support our instructors and MCA during this unexpected closure.
At-a-glance Summer 2021 Programs (outdoor, inside, in-person & self-paced)
Summer Stay Strong Classes
Stay Strong Summer 2021
During this flexible session, classes are offered twice weekly for three weeks leading up to the fall session and Nutcracker auditions. Dancers can register for just the classes they plan to attend at the low rate $9 per hour.
Week One (July 26-30)
Monday, July 26
Ballet IV-VII 3-5 pm, Jessica Dienger
Fosse Jazz Technique 5:15-6:30 pm, Jessica Dienger
Wednesday, July 28
Ballet IV-VII 3-5 pm, Rachael Ryan
Pointe Technique and Conditioning 5:15-6:15 pm, Rachael Ryan
Week Two (August 2-6)
Monday, August 2
Ballet IV-VII (Pointe Barre, Flat Center) 3-5 pm, Jessica Dienger
Int/Adv Contemporary Dance 5:15-6:30 pm, Becca Braun
Wednesday, August 4
Ballet IV-VII (Flat Barre, Pointe Center) 3-5 pm, Jessica Dienger
Cardio Warm Up and Int/Adv Hip Hop 5:15-6:30 pm, Becca Braun
Week Three (August 9-13)
Monday, August 9
Ballet IV-VII 3-5 pm, Jessica Dienger
Modern Contemporary Dance Technique 5:15-6:30 pm, Jessica Dienger
Wednesday, August 11
Ballet IV-VII 3-5 pm, Rachael Ryan
Pointe Technique and Conditioning 5:15-6:15 pm, Rachael Ryan
Fall Dance Dates (Nutcracker Auditions, Class Placement & More)
MCA Dancers or those who are interested in joining us in the Fall of 2021, please save the dates below, more information coming soon.
Aug. 16-19- Dance Class Placement Class (ages 7+)
Aug. 30- Fall Dance Classes Start
Sept. 11- Nutcracker Auditions (ages 7+)
Fall 2021 Placement Audition Class Schedule
New this Fall MCA invites all dancers aged 7+ who are interested in dancing with us this fall to come to a placement class. These low key classes will help ensure students get placed in the right level to help them grow. Due to interruptions in dance instruction during COVID-19 MCA envisions reorganizing some of our levels slightly. This is a perfect time for new students to give dance a try or for dancers who have took some time off to come give it a try.
There is no cost to participate in the placement auditions. Dancers who are auditioning should follow MCA Dresscode for the dance class they are taking. If a dancer does not have access to dance clothing please contact the MCA office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-453-5500 to borrow gently used items.
If you are unable to attend but interested in dancing with us in the Fall, please contact the office prior to Aug. 16th. Please read the descriptions below carefully to determine which audition is best for you/ your dancer. If you have questions contact the office at email@example.com or 507-453-5500.
Monday, August 16 (Contemporary/Modern/Jazz Placement Day)
5+ years of Jazz or Modern 3-4:15 pm Studio 1
Beginner to 2 years of Jazz or Modern (8+ years old)
2-4 years of Jazz or Modern 5:30-6:30 pm
Tuesday, August 17 (Tap Placement Day)
5+ years of Tap 3-4:15 pm Studio 2
Beginner to 2 years of Tap 4:30-5:15 pm Studio 2
2-4 years of Tap 5:30-6:30 pm Studio 2
Wednesday, August 18 (Ballet Placement Day)
5+ years of Ballet 3-4:30 pm Studio 1
Beginner to 2 years of Ballet (7+ years old) 4:45-5:30 pm Studio 1
2-4 years of Ballet 5:45-6:45 pm Studio 1
Thursday, August 19 (Hip Hop Placement Day)
3+ years of Hip Hop 4-5:15 pm Studio 1
Beginner to 3 years of Hip Hop (7+ years old) 5:30-6:30 pm Studio 2
Theatre Classes & Productions
Main reACTion is back!
2021 Summer Camps
Dance Me a Story
Are you ready to step on stage? Then you will love this camp. During this one week experience you will work with classmates to tell a story using ballet, creative movement, and theatre. Participants will even have the opportunity to craft their own costumes and design scenery in preparations for an informal outdoor performance on the last day of camp for friends and family. Campers (and friends and family on the last day) will be required to follow MCA’s COVID Code of Conduct.
Day/ Dates: Monday-Friday, June 21-25
Location: Outside Valencia Arts Center (moved inside if inclemete weather)
* Campers will need to bring a towel or sit-upon, water bottle, and snack daily.
Junior Training Program for Dancers
Are you ready to dance your day away? Here is your chance! Each day dancers will warm up in a ballet class; build foot and ankle strength in pre-pointe; dabble in different theory classes such as dance history, composition (choreography), and theatre; and round out their dance experience with a “genre of the day” class, including jazz, modern, musical theatre, and hip hop. Each day will end with a rehearsal in preparation for a final showcase for up to two family members per dancer. Dress rehearsal and performance schedules, July 16-17 may vary from the above times, but will be communicated in advance.
No auditions are required, but it is recommended that dancers have at least three years of training. MCA's COVID Code of Conduct will be followed.
Due to COVID the capacity is only 11 dancers.
Day/ Dates: Monday-Friday, July 5-17
Time: 9am-4pm, M-F, Dress rehearsal and performance schedules, July 16-17 may vary from the above times, but will be communicated in advance.
Location: Inside Valencia Arts Center
Fee: $429 before 5/15/21, $450 after 5/15/21(Fee includes over 60 hours of instruction. Students will need to bring a lunch and water bottle daily.)
Summer Dance Intensive
MCA’s 18th annual Summer Dance Intensive offers intermediate and advanced dancers ages 12-25 a wonderful well-rounded and personal experience. Due to COVID we are unable to offer boarding this year, however we do plan for in-person classes and virtual options for accepted dancers. More details including fees and schedules will be released on May 1.
Day/ Dates: Monday-Friday, July 5-30, 2021 (option to attend 2 week or 4 weeks)
Ages: 12-25 (Virtual option may be available upon request)
Location: Inside Valencia Arts Center (Virtual option available upon request)
Fee: $699 (20% off for returning students)
Mindful Moves and Artful Journaling
Kids will love this camp that infuses creative journaling, movement, yoga, and mindfulness. Campers will explore their senses as they create, listen to music, build their sensory awareness, while they enjoy the sunshine during this outdoor program. Parents will also breathe a little easier knowing that their kids are learning new tricks to regulate their emotions, build positive self-image and ways to explore with new art materials. Campers will be required to follow MCA’s COVID Code of Conduct.
Day/ Dates: Monday-Friday, Aug. 2-6
Ages: 6-12 years (separated in groups)
Instructors: Megan Peterson & Brianna Haupt
Location: Outside Valencia Arts Center (moved inside if inclement weather)
Fee: $109 (early bird), $129 (after May 1, 2021)*
* Campers will need to bring a towel or yoga mat, waterbottle, and snack daily.
Join us for an exciting week of rhythm! TAP CAMP will include classes in tap technique, repertory, improvisation, body percussion, music theory, and concepts for the tap dancer, tap history, and tap in films. TAP CAMP will hold new challenges for beginning, intermediate, and advanced tappers. An informal demonstration for family and friends will be held on Friday. Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, come on dancers, it’s TAP CAMP time! Campers (and friends and family on the last day) will be required to follow MCA’s COVID Code of Conduct.
Dates: August 9-13, M-F
Time & Ages: Tap for Kids and Tap I: 10-Noon p.m. (ages 6+, no experience- two years experience)
Tap II-V: 9-12 p.m. (Intermediate & advanced Tap Dancers
ages 11+ or MCA Tap levels II-V. Tappers will participate in a
placement class on day one.)
Fee: Tap for Kids and Tap I:$99
Tap II-V: $149
*Dancers should bring a water bottle and snack each day.
Private Music Lessons
We are excited to announce that we have shifted to offering private music lessons online and we are now accepting online registration for new students for most instruments. Now is the time to finally spend a little time with that piano that's been sadly sitting quietly in the corner or guitar that has been collecting dust in your basement!
As with in-person lessons you may purchase lessons in a 4, 8, or 12 lesson package (ranging from $17-$19 per 30 minute lesson). We will be happy to shift lessons to in-person lessons once we can safely do so. No fees are paid until we connect you with an instructor. Learn more about MCA private lessons and instructors.
What you need need at your house to have a successful online lesson:
- your instrument
- a device with a camera and microphone (internal microphone should be fine unless you need to be far away from your device to be at your instrument.
- optional: headphones or external speaker
- a wired connection (most reliable) or a strong wireless signal (around 1.5 Mbps for upload speed). A 4G connection traditionally works as well.
*In-person private lesson instruction will start to return slowly beginning May 2021. All students and instructors will be required to follow the MCA COVID Code of Conduct.
Creative Aging - Art Programs for 55+
Explore basic watercolor techniques including masking, wet on wet application, and learn about various painting supplies. Students will be given step by step instruction to complete a finished floral piece during each session. Sign up for one or both! Have fun, let go, relax, explore your creative side and enjoy the magical world that is unique to watercolor!
Adults (55+): $24/workshop (includes supplies)
- Workshop 1: Wednesday, July 14 | 10:00am-12:30pm
- Workshop 2: Thursday, July 15 | 1:00pm-3:30pm
Instructor: Faye Schoen
Location: Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts' home, Valencia Arts Center
Please note that MCA's COVID Code of Conduct will be followed during these in-person workshops for the safety of faculty and students.
Virtual Art Classes
Colored Pencil Techniques
Did you know that there are a multitude of special techniques that can be applied using colored pencils? Creating highlights, shading, blending, shapes, and more. Each week will explore a new topic, techniques and artist(s). Participants who are interested will be invited to exchange postcards with classmates featuring their artwork.
Suggested class supplies: set of colored pencils (24 colors or more is ideal), sketch book, pencil (an ebony pencil is ideal), eraser, black felt-tip or fine liner pen, & straight edge (such as a 12 in. ruler). Optional extra supplies: colorless bending pencil, blending stump (tortillon), & gel pens. For postcard mailing: you will need card stock, recycled materials or premade postcards, (3"x5" or 4"x6") and postcard stamps which are .36 per stamp.
Doodle Club (Ages 13+)
Wednesdays 7:30 PM
Dates: Jan.6- April 28
Instructor: Lisa Douglas
Fees: Free (students will need a pen (preferably a thin felt tip pen or marker), pencil, eraser, paper, and a round object for tracing such as a canning lid or tuna can.)
Intergenerational Playful Postcards (Ages 55+)
Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) is excited to offer “Intergenerational Playful Postcards”- a class aimed to bring together older adults and Girl Scouts in the Winona Area. Registration for adults (ages 55+) is now open. Registration for Girl Scouts opens on May 1. Get creative and have a little fun sending and receiving colorful postcards! Color with glittery gel pens, collage with washi tape and more using a postcard to be sent to a local Girl Scout or adult as a canvas. Students will receive a kit of materials including everything needed- all you will be asked to do is explore new art techniques, then create and send a postcard a week.
Adults (55+): $12 (includes kit)
Girl Scouts: $5 (includes kit & fun patch)
Dates: May 30-June 29
- Adults will receive weekly emails with lesson and prompt.
- Girl Scouts will meet weekly on zoom from 9-9:30am on Saturdays June 5, 12, 19 and 26.
- A zoom social will be held for all participants on June 29 at 6:30pm to meet and share experiences.
Kits Include: 6 postcards, 4 stamps, 2 fineliner pens, 2 gel pens, 2 rolls of washi tape, a stencil, and instruction booklet.
Instructors: Brianna Haupt (adults), Catie Deysach (Girl Scouts)
*This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund, Aroha Philanthropies, and the Elizabeth Callender King Foundation.
Other opportunities to work with MCA through our amazing partners: (registration for these programs is handled by the partner and may require you to be a member of a specific group or live in a specific area, please click on the opportunity to learn more about the programs and our partners.
Caledonia Public Library- Art programs for all ages (ongoing)- Learn more about art programs at with Caledonia Public Library.
Elder Network- Exploring Oil Pastels (monthly on second Tuesdays, Feb. 9- May 11, 1:30-2:30)- Learn more about our oil pastel class in partnership with Elder Network.
Saint Mary's University Alumni (ongoing art programs)- Learn more about upcoming art SMUMN Alumni and Family Art classes.
Elder Network & MCA Partnership
Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is thrilled to be partnering once again with Elder Network to offer an art workshop suitable for all family members, care givers, and care receivers to spend an hour together in their home creatively. The class will be exploring colored pencils and will be interactive and run live through ZOOM. No art experience with oil pastels is needed, however for those that participated in Elder Network and MCA's Intentional Doodle or oil pastel series will find this class a perfect next step in their artistic journey. Below are the class details.
About Elder Network:
Elder Network was founded in 1988 in Rochester Minnesota. Their mission is “Individuals impacted by the limiting effects of aging have an optimal quality of life.” As a are a local 501c3 nonprofit, they serve primarily three counties in Southeast Minnesota; Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona. However, their educational offerings and support groups are open to anyone that would like to attend. Elder Network has developed seven non-medical programs that support seniors and their caregivers. We are a well-respected organization providing non-medical elder care which isn’t provided by other organizations doing similar services. They are proud that to network with other organizations so that we are able to support seniors and their caregivers through service or referral. Elder Network's outreach extends to all regardless of elder traditions, cultures or religions. These programs include Senior Advocacy, Education & Support, Companion Services, Respite Care In-Home, Peer Support, Friendly Visitors, and Transportation.
Partnership with Caledonia Public Library for Houston County Residents
Arts programs in collaboration with the Caledonia Public Library
Arts Opportunities for All Houston County Residents
The Caledonia Public Library and Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, are excited to announce a a variety of virtual and self-paced programming for both youth and adults. Programs will include virtual storytimes, valentine creation, Doodle & Relax sessions and Unsolved Art Adventures. These programs have been created to encourage creativity, inspire learning, and foster community. All of these events are FREE to all. Accompanying kits are available to Houston County residents through the Caledonia Public Library. For more information visit the Caledonia Public Library Facebook Page or Caledonia Public Library YouTube Page.
Homeschooling/ At-Home Learning Resources
We realize that the world has turned upside down over the past few months and that many more families will be homeschooling or virtual schooling during 2020. As always we will be here to help provide arts education to the community, including daytime options for homeschoolers. Thank you to everyone who filled out our online surveys in August. We hope that you are excited about the daytime, self-paced and evening offerings that we are offering this Fall that can help you meet your learning at home needs. On August 22 we hosted a Homeschool Q & A session via Zoom, please click here to view the recording. If you have ideas for desired programs please feel free to email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MCA Winter 2021 Programs before 3pm:
Beginning Hip Hop- Virtual Dance Class. Jan. 26-April 20: Tuesdays- 2:15-3 PM (ages 6+)
Private Music Lessons- Virtual (anytime) or in-person (after Sept. 21)- Arranged at a time convenient for student & instructor (all ages)
Self-Paced Art Kits- Explore MCA's 4 unique Art Kits. Mystery Art Kit & Hours of Art Kit & On-Demand Classes- all kits available while supplies last.
On-Demand Tap Units- These pre-recorded tap classes for Beginning (MCA Tap 4 Kids & Tap I Level) Intermediate (MCA Tap II Level) and Advanced (MCA Tap Levels III-V) provide challenging and fun warm-ups, technique instruction and combinations that can be executed at home. MCA has tap shoes and tap boards that can be checked out to local students as well as tap boards that can be purchased.
Exclusive MCA Community Facebook Page
This group is for current (within 1 year) MCA students and their families. During the COVID-19 outbreak we plan to use this group to help us share and create together and inspire each other on a daily basis.