Kids (and adults) Art Studies Academy

Located on the Historic Dome Campus at the site of the former Sonora Parent Nursery School, KASA was opened in October of 2012. With our main mission of arts education in mind, we serve residents and students of all ages in the exploration into skills-based, multi-disciplined art experiences.

The Sonora High School District under the leadership of Superintendent, Dr. Michael McCoy made an agreement with Executive Director, Connie O’Connor to occupy the building at the amazing “gift” of a annual lease of $1.00 per year.  The “Tuolumne Arts Academy at KASA” was established on California Arts Day, October 6, 2012 and a Youth Arts Fair was held on the grounds and hands on art projects at KASA during the day.

Several programs have been established under the auspices of KASA– KASA ARTS KAMPS were fashioned after TCAA’s very popular summer arts camp in Columbia, administered by arts educator Betsy Spring. KASA KAMPS are currently administered by arts educator Sarah Anne Graham. These are programs that feature an arts immersion experience over a period of five days. Entertaining and educational, for children 7 to 12, students meet and work with outstanding, professional artists and educators with opportunities in dance, music, theater, visual and culinary arts. The three KASA KAMPS begin with a Spring Break KAMP, and two others in mid-summer with the same format.

In 2014, another exciting addition to KASA was the addition of  the KASA DANCE STUDIO, located in the same building that houses the visual arts classroom. This was made possible by a major gift by Arts Alliance supporter, Sandy Richardson through her established “Acorns to Oaks Fund” at the Sonora Area Foundation. SAF matched her gift and  with a generous gift from Sonora Regional Medical Center the floor then became a reality. The state of the art “floating floor” was built by local contractor and Arts Alliance supporter Scott A’dair of A’dair to Build. Scott’s wife Michelle A’dair continues to build the dance and fitness program for all ages. 

Since that time, KASA has been the recipient of two major gifts. The first, was in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Sonora Area Foundation. Twenty five non-profit organizations that focus on children in Tuolumne County were selected to receive a $10,000 grant and KASA was one of those recipients.  The next one came at the end of 2015 when an anonymous donor made a gift of $10,000 to the Sonora Area Foundation in honor of its Executive Director, Ed Wyllie. The gift came with the stipulation that Mr. Wyllie would select the non-profit organization that would receive this money to establish an “Advised Fund” at the Sonora Area Foundation. His personal choice was “KASA” to be used to create new programs and opportunities for youngsters in Tuolumne County through the Arts. Both of these gifts were of great significance helping to stabilize our programs and also they were a measure of endorsement as to the value of our programs and our status of the “mandated public art agency in Tuolumne County”.
In the spring of 2017, an extension of the dance floor will be completed with matching funds again from long time supporter Sandy Richardson and matching funds from the SAF KASA Advised Fund. 
TCAA supporters are welcome to help grow the KASA Advised Fund by making donations to SAF in the name of KASA. These funds can only be used for program support and special events hosted by TCAA. They are never used for operational needs nor, salaries. We are endeavoring to set up a matching grant from these funds for scholarships for KASA KAMPS and  Summer Arts Camp in Historic Columbia State Park, which would allow students to participate in these enriched programs that might not otherwise be able to.