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International Talent Academy Celebrates 10 years of Inspiring the Community

International Talent Academy Celebrates 10 years of Inspiring the Community

The International Talent Academy has a long history of serving the Carmel community with its world-class liberal and performing arts programs for young learners. This September, the local non-profit is celebrating its 10th year of inspiring, challenging, and educating children. The goal of ITA’s efforts is to build a brighter group of children as an investment in the future, using research that shows that an incredible amount of a child’s brain development occurs in the first few years of life; at a time before children are often challenged with extensive learning programs in the United States. After 10 years of development and growth, ITA is incredibly pleased with its accomplishments and ready to celebrate in them with the community.

What 10 Years can do

ITA was founded in 2006 by its Executive Director, Tatyana Komarova. She was inspired by her own experiences in the performing arts as a child and then later her early career, learning and teaching music to children in Russia and interacting with gifted students. “As a child I was very busy going to music school 6 hrs a week, doing theater, ballroom dancing and then later city’s youth leadership club where we designed and executed educational programs for youth councilors and students in teacher’s colleges. As a Middle/High School child I was already teaching college students on how to interact with kids in after school and camp programs. I was lucky to have this kind of afterschool education and wanted to do the same for my own kids,” – Komarova says. As she traveled in Europe, she realized that accelerated learning programs for children were common throughout the world. When she moved to the United States in 1997, after finishing the music college, landing in the Indianapolis area, she pursued a BA in theater, and eventually an MA in Executive Development for Public Services. ITA was created as her response to the need for gifted, performance related learning programs for young children in the Indianapolis area. She feels very close to the cause, having extensively researched the connections between music, performance, learning and early brain development in children; and because she has children of her own who she felt deserved the best learning opportunities. “I am utilizing all my degrees at ITA,” – Komarova said.

Katerina Folkin (Tatyana’s daughter; 12 yo) said: “My mom inspired me very much. When I was 2 years old, she started an ITA for me, so I can learn a lot and go through many valuable programs and classes, and I appreciate that very much. My mom taught me music, dance, etiquette, theater, singing, Public Speaking, Russian, and much more. I was very shy at first and now I have confidence and presentation skills that will help me in the future. These programs impacted my life because I have learned so much. I use this knowledge and skills now in my Middle school, as well as when I travel abroad. Not only mom my taught me educational lessons, but she also pushed me hard to do my best and reach my potential. She also taught me many life skills and now I am working on my organizational and time management skills. I think I have a big potential in my future, and this is all thanks to my wonderful mom!”

ITA’s very first class taught early brain development to a group of 12 parents at IUPUI’s campus. A year later, curriculum grew to include Music for Little Mozarts at Gorin’s piano studio, which produced a few young musicians who went on to succeed in illustrious young careers. After the Monon Community Center was open in Carmel, ITA has exploded to include 30 different classes in its music, theatre, dance, and liberal arts programs. Now serving about 350 students each year, ITA went from being Tatyana’s dream to a growing reality that has touched and inspired the lives of over 3,000 parents and students. “She shapes young minds to appreciate the importance of arts and thus creates a holistic point of view of the world within the students. Not only did she prepare me to perform on the stage, but she prepared me to excel in the world stage,” – shares Ellen Voskoboynik, a student of Indiana University, (Student of Tatyana in 1998-2008)

Creating a Brilliant Community of smart people

As a non-profit organization, ITA exists with the best interests of children and their community at heart. It is truly incredible the ease and speed at which young children can learn when they are challenged. One ITA parent of a 4-year-old says, “I now can comfortably say that she is a fast learner who is full of curiosity with very long attention spans […] Learning is fun for her and I will continue to support that!” Other parents report the great strides their children are making in math, reading, music and manners. “We care about our children’s education and are firm believers the only way to achieve high level thinking is to teach them at a young age. We found that Miss Tatyana shares those same values.  We have known Miss Tatyana now for a couple years and she has been a big part of our children’s growth and development,” – says Reymer family.

Participating in the community environment is a high priority for ITA, appearing in Carmel’s July 4th parades and hosting fun stage activities at CarmelFest for the kids. ITA has also been involved in the Carmel Klavier International piano competition, International Arts Festival, and Carmel Has Talent. Donations and tuition money have gone to help provide thousands of dollars in scholarships to ITA students, all in an effort to reach as many children as possible.

ITA Celebrates at the Children’s Festival

After doing 10 years of work in the community, ITA is ready to celebrate! In order to give back to the community that supports it, ITA has organized the first annual Children’s Festival for Arts and Education. This exciting and unique event will feature educational games and activities, prizes, chances to meet storybook characters, and a talent show. Local businesses supporting arts and education in the community will also be present. The event is free and open to the public, and families with children ages 3-13 are invited to attend. Children are also invited to submit an act to perform in the talent show. The festival, entitled “Discover your Talents!” will occur on September 11, 2016 from 1-5pm at the 502 East Event Centre in Carmel, IN.

The goal of this festival is to welcome the community into a relationship with ITA, and educate families about the important of early liberal and performing arts education. Attendees are encouraged to share the event with family and friends and invite as many people as they know to help promote this important cause, while providing a fun and relaxing atmosphere for kids and families. Any businesses or organizations that wish to partner with ITA for this spectacular event are also invited to reach out. As always, ITAs heart lies within its community; and it is constantly searching for new and amazing ways to help children discover their talents for a brighter future.

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