The Lipscomb Academy Fine Arts Program is expanding its offerings and personnel this fall, adding a dance program to be led by Kari Smith who will also take on the role of high school theatre director. In addition, longtime Lipscomb Academy Drama Teacher Suzanne Craig is being named to the role of Coordinator of Lipscomb Academy Theatre.
“Lipscomb Academy has always had a rich tradition of theatre which will further benefit from Kari’s many exceptional skill sets,” said Mike Fernandez, Dean of Lipscomb University’s College of Entertainment and the Arts. “This move will allow Lipscomb Academy and Lipscomb University to have a compelling arts training program ranging from PreK to college - something no other school in Nashville can offer.”
Smith will continue to work for Lipscomb University’s College of Entertainment and the Arts in addition to her new role at Lipscomb Academy through a partnership linking the two programs to offer a complete PreK-college arts education. Prior to joining Lipscomb University in 2013, Smith taught theatre, English, and dance at Centennial High School and Ravenwood High School for 11 years. She holds a Theatre and English Education degree from Lipscomb University and has a Master of Arts in Fine Arts and Theatre from Cumberland University.
“This is a very exciting opportunity to help elevate our students and their passions in both theatre and dance,” said Smith. “I am thrilled to get to know and work with the students and the Lipscomb Academy Community and partnering with the College of the Entertainment and the Arts to make the Lipscomb Arts experience truly transformative for students.”
Craig, who has been the driving force for Lipscomb Academy middle and high school theatre, will continue directing all middle school plays while working closely with Smith and a team of directors including Elizabeth Harrell on the middle and high school levels.
“Kari is a skilled teacher who understands how to help a young person find their confidence and nurture their passions,” said Robert King, Lipscomb Academy’s Director of Fine Arts. “Suzanne has been a tireless champion of the arts at Lipscomb Academy, and this new partnership with the College of the Entertainment and the Arts will create a unique Fine Arts program for our students. With the directing team of Smith, Craig, and Harrell, we have a more comprehensive leadership, and are able to add Dance to our performing arts program alongside theatre, strings, band, and choir.”