Youth Programming


Kulani – West African Dance Class

Mondays from 5:30 – 6:15
Classes begin on September 19, 2022!
Ages 5+

Join Kulani for West African Dance fun! Ms Gwen and Ms Holly continue to bring West African Dance to the Johnstown Community. Your children ages 5 and up will learn the art of dance, and drumming, as passed down from generation to generation in Western Africa. These instructors traveled to Guinea and have been sharing what they learned from their amazing Guinean teachers since 2014. 
All kids ages 5 and up are welcome, a $5 donation per session is recommended, but not required. 


Arts Academy 2023

Nine Consecutive Saturdays ٠ Starting January 28, 2023!

Session Times for Ages 8-12
9:30AM – 12:00PM 

Session Times for Ages 13- 18
1:00PM – 3:30PM 

Do you have a love for art? Are you looking to blossom your talent & skills? The Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center invites you to come on an artist journey during our 2023 Arts Academy: Winter Session! Over the course of nine consecutive Saturdays, young creatives will be immersed in fine arts learning along with professional artists and art educators. You will be challenged to develop your technical skills, explore art disciplines, and discover your creativity.  Bottle Works is committed to creating a hub for artistic development and growth. Our mission is to nurture these young people who will become artists, creators, innovators, and leaders of tomorrow!

The Winter session focuses on three disciplines: Drawing, Painting, and Folk Arts. The three disciplines are broken into three-week segments. Each week, students will engage with various art professionals/ educators who are masters in their trade. Students are encouraged to develop their own project ideas and engage in the creative process. At the end of each segment, participants will make several art pieces that will be showcased during the 2023 Arts Academy Exhibition at the Bottle Works! All class materials and supplies are included. 

CREATE YOUR OWN PATH—To obtain the complete Arts Academy experience, we encourage participants to enroll in all nine weeks. You also have the choice to partake in three-week segments that most interest you.  For creatives participating in the ENTIRE nine-week session, they will earn a “Master of Arts Certificate” during our Arts Academy graduation ceremony. 

Arts Academy will now offer two sessions for different age groups.  

Register Today!
We accept all forms of payment: cash, check, money orders, and all major credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, Discover, and AMEX) 

Full Arts Academy Registration Fee (attending all nine-weeks)
$275 Non-Members
$255 for BW Members

Three-Week Segment (Drawing, Painting, or Folk-Art)
$100 Non-Members
$95 for BW Members 

Arts Academy is a dynamic art experience that you cannot find anywhere else! Space is limited. To ensure your spot, register online today!  Advance payment is required to secure registration. If you are experiencing financial hardship, full and partial scholarships are available upon request. Precedence is given to participants enrolling for the ENTIRE NINE-WEEKS. Funds are limited and are awarded on a rolling basis. 

For questions regarding Arts Academy and other Youth Programs at the Bottle Works, please contact Youth Education Coordinator Holly Lees via email Hlees@bottleworks.org

Segment One: Drawing in Perspective with Brandon Mcdonald- MFA
Class Dates: January 28, February 4 & 11

This segment is suitable for students interested in any style of drawing at any skill level. We will spend three weeks working on the foundational skill of drawing in perspective. Using varied subject matter and the student’s interest and inspiration, we will begin by learning one-point perspective and building to learning two-point perspective. Students will have small outside assignments to apply what was learned and choose what piece they would like to showcase in our Arts Academy Student Work Exhibit.

About the Instructor:

Brandon McDonald is a visual artist working out of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.  He has his Master of Fine Arts degree in Drawing with a minor in Woodworking.

Segment Two: Painting –Exploring Acrylics with Joanne Mekis-BFA
Class Dates: February 18 & 25, March 4

Over this 3-week segment, students will create two unique painting projects. 

Learning skills of observational drawing with paint, color theory, color mixing, composition, and creative visioning,  students will create an acrylic painting on canvas of an abstracted still life. For the second project, students will create a  watercolor illustration of a plant or animal of their choice using watercolor paint and gouache. 

About the Instructor:

Joanne Mekis is an award-winning graphic designer, painter, and art educator. She creates from her home and artist studio at the Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center. Joanne loves art from different cultures. When creating art, she pulls from her own Slovak heritage and the other heritages around here. Joanne has been an Arts Instructor at Bottle Works for more than 15 years. Her summer camps and workshops for youths, teens, and adults are often fan favorites.

Segment three: Folk Art – Mask Making with Sarah Gayle- Artist, Illustrator, Author
Class Dates: March 11, 18 & 25

Masks in their multitude of forms have been present in almost all societies across the globe for

as long as we can tell. They were for practical use as well as decorative use and for story telling. During this three week segment of Arts Academy, we will look at examples and explore creating paper masks by cutting, folding, scoring, painting, and building mask parts for three unique paper masks.

About the Instructor:

Sarah Gayle has more than 20 years of experience as both a student and instructor of the arts. She loves creating fun and accessible classes for many age ranges. Her diverse artistic interests have led her to acrylic painting, watercolor, drawing, illustration, book cover, design, paper arts, costuming and more. She is a recent transplant to the Johnstown community and Bottle Works is happy to have her joining our instructional team!


Arts Academy Evening Edition

Sculpture Series w/ Colleen Albright

Arts Academy Evening Edition

The Sculpture Series With Colleen Albright BFA

Bottle Works’ Arts Academy is designed for learners who wish to have an immersive art experience. Students will work alongside professional artists exploring many different art forms and disciplines. This exciting comprehensive program takes art education to the next level and opens up a whole new world of cultural adventure!

To enroll your child please register a payment, and fill out the corresponding enrollment form.

Full Series All seven weeks of sculpture series Ages 8-12 or 13-18

Hand Built Ceramics, Molding & Casting, Paper Making– 7 weeks: $165 Nonmembers, $155 BW Members

Ages 5-7

Air Dry Clay, Molding & Casting – 4 weeks: $70 Nonmembers, $65 BW Members

All supplies included

Hand Built Ceramics

This class will focus on pinch and coil ceramic techniques building with stoneware clay. Students will make their choice of decorative vessels that will be fired and then painted with acrylic paint. Colleen will encourage students to be creative as they learn sculpting and carving techniques.

Ages 8-12 

Wednesdays – 6-8:00 PM

January  11, 18, 25

Ages 13-18

Thursdays- 6-8:00 PM

January 12,19, 26

$85 for Nonmembers, $75 for BW Members

Air Dry Clay for ages 5-7 

This class will focus on sculpting vessels using air dry clay

Two Wednesdays

Feb. 15 & 22

$40 for Nonmembers, $35 for BW Members

Mold Making & Casting 

This will cover basic casting and mold-making methods. Students will bring a few of their favorite found objects and we will make a plaster copy! We will be doing a main project that gives an in-depth step-by-step process of making a mold, pouring, and revealing of the original object. During the drying time, we will explore a few side projects that focus on simple techniques.  

Ages 8-12 

Wednesdays – 6-8:00 PM

April 5, 12, 19

Ages 13-18

Thursdays- 6-8:00 PM

April 6,13,20

$85 for Nonmembers, $75 for BW Members

Molding & Casting for ages: Ages 5-7

Two Wednesdays – 6-7:00 PM

March 8 & 15

$40 for Nonmembers, $35 for BW Members

Paper Making

This is a one-day session with a focus on traditional paper-making techniques. We will explore the steps of the paper-making process from pulp-making all the way to pressing the paper with handmade screens. 

Ages 8-12 

Wednesday – 6-8:00 PM

March 22 

Ages 13-18

Thursday- 6-8:00 PM

March 23

$30 for Nonmembers, $25 for BW Members


Arts Academy Evening Edition – Small Metals Jewelry w/ Erika Boas

Arts Academy Evening Edition

Small Metals Jewelry with Erika Boas-  BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Making, Artist, Goldsmith   

Bottle Works’ Arts Academy is designed for learners who wish to have an immersive art experience. Students will work alongside professional artists exploring many different art forms and disciplines. This exciting comprehensive program takes art education to the next level and opens up a whole new world of cultural adventure!

To enroll your child please register a payment, and fill out the corresponding enrollment form.

Full Series All six weeks of small metal series Ages 8-12 or 13-18

Special Discount for attending all 6 weeks $125 Nonmembers, $115 BW Members

All supplies included

Small Metals- Copper Creations

Ages 8 -12 

Learn how to create your own designs on copper using etching! In this class we will create copper charms that can be turned into necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Use rubber stamps to create your designs, or use a permanent marker to draw your own totally unique designs. We will also learn metal stamping, and how to use the rolling mill to create texture on metal. The possibilities are endless!

Thursdays- 6-8:00 PM

Feb 2, 9, 16

Ages 13-18

We get all the tools out for this class! The metal saw is the star of the show here – you will learn to cut simple shapes out of copper, file, and sand off the sharp edges, and add texture to make it come to life. We will also be learning copper etching in this class, allowing you to add designs using rubber stamps, or draw your own designs using a permanent marker. Turn your creations into mini sculptures, necklaces, bracelets, or earrings!

Wednesdays – 6-8:00 PM

February 1, 8,15

Small Metals – Wire Wrapped Jewelry

Ages 8 -12 

In this class we will use wire to create totally unique jewelry! Bring in your own stones, beach glass, marbles, etc, and make one of a kind works of art. Wire wrapping is a fundamental jewelry skill, and one that is approachable to all ages! We will make pendants, earrings, and more!

Thursdays- 6-8:00 PM

May 4, 11, 18

Ages 13-18

Learn how to form and shape wire in this intro to jewelry making class! We will introduce simple forging techniques to create unique shapes and depth in wire. Bring stones and beach glass to class to create your own keepsakes! We will cover chain-making, pendants, earrings, and more!

Wednesdays – 6-8:00 PM

May 3,10,17

Pricing: 

Copper Creations – 3 weeks: $85 Nonmembers, $75 BW Members

Small Metals II (need title) – 3 weeks: $85 Nonmembers, $75 BW Members

Special Discount for attending all 6 weeks $125 Nonmembers, $115 BW Members

All supplies included


Mindfulness and Arts
Making a difference in your classroom

Our Mindfulness and Arts Initiative seeks to engage youth within local schools and community organizations by employing the Mindful Schools curriculum coupled with arts. Through the application and practice of The Mindful School’s curriculum, we aim to provide an outlet for behavioral, emotional, academic, and social growth and support. Programming is held at your school/organization, or at the BOTTLE WORKS.

The Mindful Schools (mindfulschools.org)

What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the quality of deliberate attention, of bringing purposeful awareness to one’s experience.

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

Over thirty years of research demonstrates that mindfulness improves:

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Decision-Making Skills
  • Academic Achievement
  • Body and Thought Awareness
  • Impulse Control
  • Stress Management
  • Improved Focus
  • Compassion towards others and self

Log on to http://www.mindfulschools.org in order to find out more. Mindfulness and Arts Program: This Mindfulness and Arts program teaches mindfulness tools while engaging students in the joy of arts. We use the Mindful School curriculum to teach youth how to improve decision-making skills, impulse control and stress management. Among others, the lessons include: mindfulness of breath, mindfulness of emotion, mindfulness of thought, mindful eating, compassion toward self and others, and body awareness. The art lessons will provide students with practice and applicability by utilizing the learned mindfulness skills. Students will engage in many various forms of art that may include drumming, creative writing, watercolor, zentangle, and clay. This programming can be tailored for any grade. We are looking to partner with schools and community organizations, as students would benefit.

The in-classroom Mindfulness and Arts Program is an eight- or sixteen-week program that occurs twice weekly.

For more information, contact Holly Lees, BOTTLE WORKS Mindfulness and Arts Facilitator, at hlees@bottleworks.org or 814.535.2020.

What are people saying?!?

“Students were made aware of ways to maintain self-control which is extremely important today. Also, it is quite beneficial for students to have the strategies presented to fight stress. I think students partially enjoyed the art lessons that related well to the mindfulness teachings.”Mr. Roberts 6th grade teacher at Conemaugh Valley Elementary“I definitely will use mindfulness tools for the rest of my life” ~ 6th-grade student“Thank you for teaching me how to keep my body calm. I especially like how we used mindful breathing.”

~ 5th-grade student“Mindfulness helps with situations. When I’m mad, I use mindful breathing”~6th-grade students


Please note that the Bottle Works engages in photography and recording of programs and events for its own print and online publication/promotional purposes. Staff and volunteers will make every effort to notify members of the public when filming and/or photography is taking place. Please notify a staff member/volunteer if you do not want to be photographed or filmed.