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Sedona Arts Academy plans opening of Arts & Community Center


Emerson Theater Collaborative: Gabriel Grier and Quartay Denaya in 2020 Vivian’s Music.

Emerson Theater Collaborative: Gabriel Grier and Quartay Denaya in 2020 Vivian’s Music.


Originally Published: August 25, 2020 10:35 a.m.

Sedona Arts Academy announces its grand opening Oct. 17 at The Collective Sedona in the Village of Oak Creek as a community arts, performance and social center.

SAA is excited to bring its visions of education, collaboration and innovation in all artistic forms to the people of the Verde Valley.

Sedona Arts Academy is a nonprofit professional organization committed to providing educational and community programs to our local Sedona and Verde Valley residents and visitors.

Sedona Arts Academy & Community Center is an educational and cultural community center committed to innovation and creating art in all forms.

The organization consists of dedicated professional artists who will collaborate across artistic disciplines to ensure all underserved people are represented.

SAA will provide a nurturing environment conducive to learning and overcoming challenges so all people who walk through the doors can excel in their personal goals.

The aim of SAA is to provide educational and recreational activities to our local community and visitors including dance, art and music classes for adults and children and events and exhibits showcasing local, regional and national talent.

SAA will also offer hourly space rentals to local artists, teachers and others who need an affordable meeting location.

A new volunteer SAA Art Exhibit Committee, chaired by renowned local photographer Jim Peterson, is finalizing plans for installing art exhibits at the center.

Peterson lived on both coasts of the US before settling in Sedona. He holds a BA in music and PhD in biochemistry from the University of Chicago.

Each art exhibit will last for two months, and a new one will begin shortly afterwards. Any artist working in the Verde Valley will be eligible to apply. All who do so will be accepted as long as the works fit in the space and meets the gallery’s “family friendly” standards.

In addition to recruiting individual artists, the program will also reach out to local arts groups, galleries, native communities, and schools with the objective of attracting artists of all ages and experience levels including children and first-time exhibitors.

Artists who make sales from the exhibits will be asked to donate 20% of their sales to SAA to support future exhibits and the organization’s mission.

Camilla Ross will serve as SAA’s president, chairman and executive director. Ross is a veteran actor and producer She is also co-founder and current President of Emerson Theater Collaborative (ETC). She graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a bachelor’s degree in performance.

Ross also has an MBA in finance and teaches business courses for Three Rivers Community College as an adjunct online business instructor. Ms. Ross serves on the Sedona Conservatory board. She is a member of the Sedona Chamber, Sedona Village Business Association, and the Southeastern Connecticut Women’s Network.

She is also a US Navy veteran. ETC was the 2019 recipient of The Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona’s Community Collaborator of the Year award.

SAA’s Vice President and Vice Chairman is Andréa Ferraz Bokenham. Ms. Ferraz Bokenham is originally from Brazil and began her artistic career in 1994 as a voiceover artist and opera singer.

Ms. Ferraz Bokenham won the Best Actor award at the Kennedy Center’s ACTF competition and was a recipient of a full scholarship to the MFA program in performing arts with an affiliate of Carnegie Melon.

She is the founder of Sedona Shakespeare Company and Back O’Beyond Studios. Ms. Ferraz Bokenham has worked for Voxx, Fox and Walt Disney and was part of the original cast for the feature animated film Rio, which was nominated for an Oscar in 2011.

Also joining SAA as Secretary is Winnie Muench, MBA, retired healthcare executive with the University of Pennsylvania Health System and founder of Sedona Chamber Ballet. Ms. Muench has served on numerous local boards including Sedona Conservatory and Emerson Theatre Collaborative.

Her extensive corporate background will allow her to sustain and strengthen the financial foundation and long-term sustainability of the Sedona Arts Academy.

Breinne Reeder will serve as SAA’s artistic director. Ms. Reeder has a master’s degree in diversity and social justice from the University of Michigan and has been directing and stage managing for ten years. She has successfully directed for Emerson Theater Collaborative since the summer of 2017 and comes to this endeavor with bright and innovative talent. Ms. Reeder also co-wrote and directed the original musical, StageStruck.

SAA has a wonderful indoor space with all the accoutrements required for professional meetings, workshops, events and theatrical productions. The space is available for rentals immediately including, but not limited to, use of portable staging, lighting, sound system, screens and a baby grand piano.

The resident companies located at the Sedona Arts Academy & Community Center are Emerson Theater Collaborative, Sedona Chamber Ballet, Sedona Shakespeare Co. and Sedona Conservatory. SAA is located at The Collective Sedona, 7000 State Route 179 Ste. C-100-104.

Visit SAA at sedonaartsacademy.org. For more information, contact Camilla Ross at (928) 288-2258 or email sedonaartsacademy@gmail.com.