For over 37 years the center has offered affordable theatre, dance and crafting classes as well as art exhibitions  for the community.

William Grant Still Arts Center (WGSAC) resumes its Adult Acting Classes during the 6-week Winter session beginning Thursday, January 8 from 10:30am-12noon.  Award-winning actress, Penelope Lowder, will be teaching acting techniques for stage and film for adults. The workshop will cover acting techniques, monologues, character, scene analysis, cold readings, commercial auditions and also feature special industry guests.

Adults over the age of eighteen can enroll for a nominal cost of $5 per class. Keisa Davis, Education Coordinator for the William Grant Still Art Center comments, “There’s a stigma about where you can get quality adult education in the community; people think it’s not possible. There’s an assumption that you need to go somewhere expensive. However, we’re a City facility, we offer excellent programming that’s affordable. Our instructors have a rich educational and professional background.”

Lowder, a native of Los Angeles, holds a bachelors degree from the USC School of Drama. She has performed in numerous productions in London, New York and Los Angeles while continuing her theater education with notable acting coaches, Margie Haber, Ellen Geer, New York based acting coach Susan Batson, and Harry Mastrogeorge.

On her interest in working with the center, Lowder comments, “I wanted to give back to the neighborhood. It’s important for the community to be able to express themselves. Through theatre, you can give yourself a voice; anything that’s been bottled up, you can express it through character improvisation and scene study, I felt that the community deserved to have this opportunity.”

She adds, “What really attracted me to William Grant Still Arts Center, was the work that Keisa and Ami ([Motevalli] Director of (WGSAC) were doing and how dedicated they are to the betterment of the community. I really wanted to be apart of that. I’ve previously worked with youth in Inglewood and I heard from them that they felt like they were invisible. This acting class is a great vehicle for people to find their voice and create a world of opportunities for themselves.”
Acting classes aren’t exclusively for those who want to pursue the craft as a career; it contributes to personal and professional development. Lowder says, “Acting helps with problem solving, it boasts creativity and self awareness. It allows people to connect to others.”

Davis adds, “That’s what I love about arts, even if you don’t go into the arts professionally, its important to learn how to be creative in order to solve problems. We have a lot of issues today’s society where oftentimes people don’t know how to creatively approach a situation. Through theatre, you learn to develop your ability to think outside of the box.”
Lowder continues, “It’s beautiful to watch people come out of their shell. For those that are already boisterous, it allows them to connect to a vulnerable side of themselves that they may not be in tune with. Acting is therapeutic. People are more confident once they’ve completed a class.”

On the importance of the center to the community, Davis says, “We were closed five years ago but our community came together with our councilman and we were able to get the doors back open. We’re happy to be here, to reflect the cultures and really enrich the lives of those in the neighborhood.”
William Grant Still Arts Center is located at 2520 West View Street, Los Angeles, CA 90016. For more information please call Keisa Davis at 323-734-1165 or visit