The Next Star Arts Program

Who we are

When our doors opened in 2015, Amma Gatty, founder & Artistic Director, had one primary goal in mind - to see children succeed in life. Her belief that every child is destined to accomplish great things if motivated in the right way has become the driving force behind the program’s mission. This belief is reinforced each week through the Next Star pledge that reinforces the power of the imagination to open doors and overcome obstacles. Our team have developed enduring relationships with students, based on the foundation of love and acceptance. The program has become a haven for many children facing challenging life circumstances.  The challenges each child faces may vary, but the nuclear family that Next Star provides for its students remains steadfast. One child states, “ I learned how to be more confident and to express myself. I like the people that we are surrounded by and all the teaching that the teachers do.” Another student testifies, “I like all the dancing and the acting and the family we have here.

Next Star places strong emphasis on leadership education to equip our students with the life skills to become successful. We have worked diligently to build a sense of community for the families enrolled in our program and, in the process, we have become trusted partners with parents/guardians in raising well- rounded children. One parent’s testimony to the importance of the program to her child: “My daughter really enjoys her acting, dance, and art classes. Thanks you for taking time out for my daughter and loving her as if she were your own.” 

The Program’s key strength is the ability to incorporate life skills and coaching into its curriculum. A portion of each class time is dedicated to motivating our students to become the best they can be. The program is run is by individuals who are caring, intuitive and sensitive to the needs of each child in the program. This has allowed us to foster strong relationships with parents and guardians. The Program is one of its kind in Eastern Henrico County and promises to be far reaching.

Impact Statement

The Arts have a tremendous impact on the overall development of a child. Research shows that children involved in the arts are able to think creatively and are open minded. It serves as an avenue to express feelings without the use of words and also offers children the opportunity to build self-esteem, improve communication, collaboration, and other valuable skills. 

Mission Statement

To develop valuable life and leadership skills, promote creativity, and encourage self-confidence through the visual and performing arts.

Our program has become a haven for many children facing challenging life circumstances.  At Next Star, a child can escape the stresses of life for a few hours each week to develop self-assurance and confidence through exploration of the visual arts, dance, and theater. 

Our team is made up of professionals who are as passionate about the arts as they are in raising the next generation of leaders. We have worked diligently to build a sense of community for the families we serve.  In the process, we have become trusted partners with parents and guardians in raising confident, well-rounded children, who use their creativity to positively influence the world around them.

How do we gauge our impact?

·         By watching our children grow in confidence and self-esteem in simple but profound ways.

·         By witnessing a shy, self-conscious child exude excitement and new-found confidence in his creative ability.

·         By seeing a child have an "Ah Hah" moment when lessons are internalized and demonstrated in his interactions with others in the group.

·         By observing when a student takes ownership of her attitude and behavior and changes it for the better.

·         By watching a child show empathy for a peer.

·         By celebrating with our students when they take it upon themselves to collaborate to solve a problem or resolve a conflict.

Our Strategic Direction 

1) Foster collaboration and deepen our relationship with the community, churches, schools, businesses, and other stakeholders.

2) Make the program easily accessible to all children by expanding our scholarship program.

3) Maintain its top notch arts program by encouraging professionals in the field to volunteer their time.