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Our Partners

Studio 345

Studio 345 is a free out of school youth development program that uses Digital Photography, Digital Media Arts, and Multimedia Design to educate and inspire students to stay in school, graduate, and pursue goals beyond high school. Providing unique experiences for high school students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Studio 345 fosters a sense of belonging and interconnectedness. Taught and mentored by professional working artists, students gain invaluable experiences enabling them to become creative risk-takers and craftsmen while growing emotionally, intellectually, and artistically.

A Proven Model

Based on Bill Strickland’s belief that environment shapes behavior, classes are held in contemporary studios and equipped with state-of-the-art technology and complimented with experiences in the community, workplace, and higher education. Since 1972, Manchester Bidwell, founded by Strickland, has attracted national attention for its youth development program.


Spirit Square Center for Arts & Education
(Former Clayworks and Barber Paint Studios)
345 North College Street, Charlotte, NC 28202

Hours, Sessions, & Transportation

  • Studio Classes: 3:30-5:30pm, Monday-Thursdays (classes will be either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Open Studios: 3:30-5:30, Fridays only
  • Trimester Sessions (10 weeks each):

      • Enrollment night:  September 16, 2014   3:30 -5:30 pm
      • Classes run: September 29 - December 11, 2014
      • Celebration: December 11, 2014   5:30-7:30 pm
    • 2nd Trimester:

      • Enrollment night: December 11, 2014    3:30 -5:30 pm (Course Catalog)
        • Click here to register (enrollment closes on December 15 at 5 pm)
      • Classes run: January 5 - March 19, 2015
      • Celebration: March 19, 2015  6:30 -7:30 pm
    • 3rd Trimester:

      • Enrollment night: March 19, 2015     3:30 - 5:30 pm
      • Classes run: March 30 - June 4, 2015
      • Celebration: June 4, 2015   6:30 -7:30 pm


  • Public transportation (to and from the site) will be offered at no cost to the students (CATS transit passes) 

Student Participation Requirements

Students are expected to participate through commitment, attendance, performance, and citizenship.

  • Commitment - Show up during studio hours and participates in student activities.
  • Attendance - Come to Studio 345 when scheduled.
  • Performance - Maintain good work habits and uses time and resources effectively.
  • Citizenship - Respect self, peers, instructors, materials, equipment, and learning environment.

Core Artistic Principles & Social Values

Engagement in the arts will provide a pathway for students to learn life skills in communication and leadership development. Studio 345 is driven by the following principles and social values.

  • Balance and passion
  • Creativity and responsibility
  • Expression and integrity
  • Intuition and meaning

Eligibility & Selection Process

Studio 345 is open to all Charlotte-Mecklenburg County School students in Grades 9-12 who are motivated and committed to develop skills in Digital Photography, Digital Media Art, and/or Multimedia Design.  All students are welcome to attend enrollment nights and place their name in the lottery system for the course(s) of their choice.  There is also a recruitment process that includes information sessions at schools and nominations from parents, teachers, counselors, & others.  The overall goal is to serve 120 students per trimester.  There is no interview or portfolio process, students ultimately self-select for the program by attending enrollment night and registering for the course.

Sponsors and Partners


Image & Video Gallery

For more information on Studio 345, contact:
Barbara Ann Temple, Ph.D.
VP Education

Our Staff

Laura Allison 

Multimedia Design Studio

Laura Allison is a mixed media artist who coordinates the education and outreach department at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and uses her creativity to engage children in learning at Holy Covenant United Church of Christ. She received a BA in studio art from the College of Charleston, with a focus on drawing, painting, and sculpture. In addition, she has been designing and creating jewelry for over ten years. Laura was born in Monrovia, Liberia, and grew up in the United States. She attended elementary through high school in Charlotte, and returned to the city after graduating college in 2012.


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Dawn Anthony 

Music Studio 

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Nicole Driscoll

Digital Photography & Video Studio

Nicole Driscoll is a quirky and offbeat filmmaker from Boston, Massachusetts. After moving to Charlotte in 2005, Nicole found a passion for telling stories of insecurities through humor. Nicole attended The Art Institute of Charlotte, graduating with a BA in Digital Filmmaking in 2011. Since then, Driscoll’s films have played in local and national film festivals. Nicole is working currently as a freelance videographer/editor in and around Charlotte.

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Tommy Nichols

Video Studio 

Tommy Nichols a filmmaker and creative artist. He is the founder of the 5thannual Charlotte Black Film Festival and president of Tommy Filmworks. LLC. While attending Wilberforce University a keen business acumen and strong appreciation for filmmaking was developed. Through continued education, Nichols subsequently graduated from The National Federation of Entrepreneurship, The American Guild of Court Videographers, and The Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute. He later completed extensive and specialized training at the Hollywood Film Institute in New York, which boasts Quentin Tarantino and Spike Lee as graduates.

His professional accolades are numerous and include: Director of Photography for the movie, “Johnny, Mattie and Smooth White Stone, II and III,” (filmed in Ripley, Ohio and Ontario, Canada); Producer for the feature film “ Tree Willow” Writer and Director of four stage plays, recipient of “The Business Journal’s 40 under 40 and “The YMCA Black Achievers Awards. He has been featured on NBC WBTV 3, FOX WCCBTV, the Charlotte Observer and the Charlotte Post, just to name a few. His experience and reputation in media and business has made him a sought after Producer, Director, Consultant and Workshop Presenter. 

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Herman Nicholson

Digital Photography & Video Studio/Multimedia Design Studio

Herman Nicholson is a photographic artist who was born in Midland, North Carolina and educated at Savannah College of Art & Design (BFA, 2006) and Columbia College Chicago (MFA, 2009). He recently moved back to the Charlotte, NC area after a four year stay in London UK where he worked as a commercial and fine art photographer. His work has been extensively exhibited and published both in the USA and internationally, including at The National Portrait Gallery in London, Ring Cube Gallery in Tokyo, and the Umbrella Arts Gallery in New York.

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Emily Pfahl

Multimedia Design Studio

Emily Pfahl is a classic example of Graphic Designer meets Book Artist. She delves into many mediums to create her work. She makes books, movies, photographs, screen prints, and photomontages with found images, as well as personal travel photographs. She was born and raised in Charlotte, NC where she attended Northwest School of the Arts. As a student at NWSA she traveled to Spirit Square to take art classes. Following graduation, she ventured to NC State University where she received her BA in Graphic Design. While living in Raleigh, she had the opportunity to travel abroad to Florence, Italy to study at Studio Arts Center International (SACI). This is where she was introduced to Screen Printing and Book Arts. She fell in love with both processes; she even loves to mix the two. After returning from Italy she looked for a school that offered these mediums, and found The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. There she received her MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking. When she is not making art she is working on her graphic eye, as Graphic Design is a huge passion. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passions with the students at Studio 345, in the same building as her first Graphic Design class, and as a teacher she hopes to open the eyes of students to the vast possibilities of digital and traditional ways of making artwork.

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Jerrard Polk

Multimedia Design Studio

Jerrard K. Polk is an Artist, Illustrator and Author of the upcoming book “Welcome Home Pops – The Story of Louis Armstrong,” a picture book biography. Jerrard has been drawing all of his life. He holds a degree in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Charlotte. He has a love for design and a passion for illustration, especially drawing caricatures. Since 1997, he has drawn thousands of people at malls, parties and corporate events in North Carolina, South Carolina and Bermuda. As owner of POLKFUN.COM, he became an entrepreneur at age 16. In recent years he has delved into the fields of film editing and animation, a venture which he enjoys sharing with others.

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Eddie Schneider

Digital Media Arts Studio

Eddie Schneider is a visual artist as well as a musician. He is based out of Charlotte, NC. He went to Appalachian State University where he earned a BFA in Painting and Fibers. Soon thereafter, he abandoned painting to focus mainly on music. Since then, he has made a lot of music for odd projects and various bands in the area. Although interested in the zeitgeist, Eddie has a hearty distaste for Tumblr, and he doesn't totally understand Twitter.

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Stacy Utley

Digital Photography Studio