Davenport academy has seen a lot of success despite tight budget

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DAVENPORT, Iowa - A unique Quad City school had students take to the stage tonight. Not only are they performing music, dance and art, they're proving an experiment in education is working.

Students at Davenport's Creative Arts Academy showed off to parents what they've learned this past semester.

Some would say their talent is a reflection of the success the academy has seen since it opened two years ago.

"We feel like we have a lot of momentum. The community is very supportive, there`s a lot of enthusiasm," said director, Joel Franken.

Now into their third year, the academy has a waiting list.

"The first two years are a number of children auditioning was just a little more what we could take in, so we didn`t turn very many away. Unfortunately for us last year we had to turn over 35 kids away," said Franken.

However, their success is on a very tight budget.

"We are aware of times are tough financially in the district and so we have to be aware of that and have to put out a product, a bare bones product and do as much as we can with the money that we have," said Franken.

The academy has to apply for grants and look for donors as a financial resource.

Franken says it's an easy product to sell and its student's performances can sell itself, "We feel the arts are a key to turning children onto education."

The academy lets students like Jenna VanHoosier, express themselves in ways they never considered. "At my old school we didn`t have a lot of enrichment. We had art class but they didn`t teach us very detailed stuff like they do here and my music class was very short and wasn`t very long either."

The academy is the only magnet school in Iowa for creative arts.