Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring Updates!

Please stay tuned as this blog evolves into the CASS-MIND Academy web site!  There are many exciting developments on the horizon, so please keep an eye on this site for the latest information!

Times-Recorder Article

The following article was recently published in the Zanesville Times-Recorder:

Written by Jennifer L. Mannfrin, Correspondent

ZANESVILLE — Cassandra McDonald has a calling to help people of all ages find their voices and the paths they were meant to travel in their lives.

She is making her calling a mission by offering a venue for people who are seeking guidance and fulfillment.

McDonald will be hosting weekend Vision Retreats at the C.A.S.S.-M.I.N.D. (Creating Artists, Stimulating Success/Making Impact, Negotiating Decisions) Academy at 405 Moxahala Ave., in the Alvah Buckingham Heritage House.

The retreats will consist of theatrical or musical entertainment on Friday evenings and continue throughout the day on Saturdays with three motivational breakout sessions to help participants get through tough times, realize their goals and learn how to accomplish them.

“The goal of the Vision Retreat is to expand the vision that you have for yourself, which will enable you to be equipped to accomplish it. You generally put up walls in life because of how someone labeled you, and because of the influences you have had in life that have led to a lack of identity. I will help you plan out your vision,” said McDonald, who is a visionary coach with a Ph.D. in intervention strategies.

The Vision Retreats will take place each weekend based on an enrollment of at least 10 participants. Based on interest, retreat weekends will be geared towards adults, and can be reserved by businesses who would like to energize their employees. Retreats also will be held for youths in the summer months, McDonald said.

“All of your themes will branch off of the concepts of visualizing, conceptualizing and realizing. To break it down: see it; believe it; be it,” said McDonald. “The outcome is to find you and to invest in your purpose. You can never be totally happy until you find out why you are here.”

The location of the Vision Retreats is also a place of healing, McDonald said. The Alvah Buckingham Heritage House was built in 1821 and was known as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

“This house is such a house of healing. I can feel the pain and the hope here, and the hope supersedes the pain. We plan to use this house for what it was built for,” McDonald said.

The house has a large room for gatherings and performances. Plans are in the works to convert the upstairs into an area for overnight guests.

Vision Retreat weekends cost $160 for the entire weekend, $20 for the Friday evening performances only. Participants will receive packets with information about their weekend’s scheduled events, including Friday performances, scheduled meals and Saturday breakout session topics. Participants will be given information about suggested dinner locations with discounts and hotel accommodations, if needed. They will also receive a copy of McDonald’s debut booklet entitled, “The Power of Joy — A Sustainable Force.”

“You have a choice,” McDonald said. “You always have a choice. Being true to who you are and having the support and guidance to go forward will help you achieve your goals. It’s time to address your state of mind.”

Friday, December 9, 2011

Holidays at The Academy

We have only been in our new headquarters for a short time, but that hasn't stopped us from being well-prepared for Christmas!  Many thanks to so many of the Muskingum University students, especially the M.U. Praise Choir, who helped with these gorgeous decorations!


Welcome to the new blog for the C.A.S.S.-M.I.N.D. Academy!  The Academy is located in the beautiful historic City of Zanesville, in the hills of Southeastern Ohio.

C.A.S.S.-M.I.N.D. (Creating Artists, Stimulating Success/Making Impact, Negotiating Decisions) was founded by Cassandra McDonald, an award-winning performing artist and Lecturer of Music at Muskingum University. C.A.S.S.-M.I.N.D. is an organization dedicated to teaching its creative arts students about music, drama, writing, and visual arts, but offers all youth an opportunity to learn about business, leadership, and life skills. Its students are not only young artists drawn from the Eastern Ohio area, but also youth from local social services organizations, and the C.A.S.S. Performing Arts Camp.

The C.A.S.S.-M.I.N.D. Arts Academy and the C.A.S.S.-M.I.N.D. Headquarters are located in Zanesville, Ohio. The future home of the Academy is the Alvah Buckingham Heritage House, located at 405 Moxahala Avenue in the Putnam Historic District, overlooking the scenic Muskingum River. The house was an important stop on the Underground Railroad, and will feature an historic exhibit dedicated to its prominence in this regard. The house will also feature a Bed and Breakfast in one wing, and an internet cafe'.

One of the first programs to be implemented at the Academy is the Keep Kids in School Initiative, involving participation of youth from the Avondale Center, a Muskingum County facility for abused, neglected, and abandoned youth ranging from the ages of 12 to 18. The program is designed to offer at-risk youth a stable, nurturing environment, something often missing in residential facilities and the constant bustle of temporary foster care. Students will explore their career aspirations and discover their gifts, as well as have an opportunity to experience specialized courses in art, music, and business/leadership. Students will also have the opportunity to learn about conflict management and compromise, and a program similar to "StreetLaw," designed to teach them about their rights as citizens and basic concepts of law and government.

The C.A.S.S. / M.I.N.D. mission is to design individual curriculum based on assessment outcome for each student. This course will entail two six-week sessions. The first two weeks involve individualized assessment: Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence (MI) Model, Myers-Briggs personality test, and a career development project; the composite will result in individualized mapping. Each student will have a specific curriculum designed on the outcome of these individual assessments. The remaining four weeks the students will choose their curriculum concentration of art, business, or music. 

Watch this blog for more information on upcoming programs, as well as news on the progress made at our new location, and updates on previous events!