A Reflection from the Artistic Director

To my Infinite Legacy Project and Akron After School (AAS) Educators:

I have had the privilege of seeing most of you in AAS classes in the past few weeks. It always fills my heart with joy to experience the thoughtful creativity — and simple caring — that goes on in our classrooms.

You often will not know the TREMENDOUS difference you make in the lives you touch. Let me share two examples of how profound the simplicity of this sharing can be:

When I was 16 years old my dear stubborn Dad had me do classes with the Parks & Recreation because he thought I needed “a dose of reality” from the rarefied world of ballet. All summer long I taught football players, rowdy children, and beginner adults. Throughout the experience a young boy would stand on the sidelines of whatever activity I was teaching, acting out and sneering. At the end of the summer, a truly horrible float I had made (I was also mysteriously in charge of visual art?!!!!) went out to embarrass me at a local parade. I sat down on the concrete steps to feel sorry for myself and that young boy sat down next to me and said: “Do you know, this is the BEST summer I ever had.” I think of him every time I teach a class.

Years later I was teaching in AAS. A young girl was a model student in our classes — helpful with younger students, hard working, and talented. One day this girl was listless and unhelpful as we lined up for a restroom break. When I asked her why she was tired she said: “I was up all night saying goodbye to my Dad. He went to J – A – I – L.” When I said, “I’m so sorry. How long will it be before you see him again?” She replied, “I’ll never see him again. . .”

Some of the burdens these children face are unimaginable to us. Your contribution changes all of that for the better. Never doubt that. When you’re having a bad day, remember that each smile, each dance step, each reinforcement of EACH INDIVIDUAL has transformative power.

The schools I visit always emphasize how wonderful your teaching is and how valuable — and valued. One teacher had had a difficult day the week previously and the site coordinators said to me: “The kids love her! She came in today and said ‘We’ll start from a new place.’ That’s what we do as teachers everyday. . .”

Thank you all for the infinite ways you make this happen. It becomes what we know as The Infinite Legacy Project.

I am truly grateful that each of you is a part of it. . .

Suzanne Winland


The Latest Video From the ILP

The Infinite Legacy Project is an outreach program housed in Westminster Church, Akron, OH. Pointe West Performances, Inc. (PWP) created the program in a 7 year pilot project during their work in the nationally noted Akron After School Program. Pointillism Jazz Consort (PWP’s professional dance company) maintains The ILP as its outreach mission:

“To provide life-changing humanities education (which crosses socio-economic barriers) through meaningful exposure to the cultural projects of Pointillism Jazz Consort.”

AAS and the scholarship opportunities provided by The ILP were celebrated as a national “Model of Success” when the first scholarship offering was funded in April 2009. Since 2009 The ILP has awarded hundreds of scholarships for dance studies, contributing to the cultural growth and academic improvement of APS students, families, and the Akron community as a whole (through FREE performances, scholarship opportunities, and reasonably priced community classes).

Since 2004 Pointillism has presented a yearly season of FREE performances at the 5 Star Akron Summit County Public Library Auditorium to realize its ILP mission. In 2013 The ILP marks its 10th Anniversary with AAS with a full-length performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Stay tuned for “Follow the Magic” flash happenings during May & June of 2013!