MetroArts Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting life-long learning through the arts. Our mission is to teach creative and critical thinking processes through innovative arts education programs and curricula.
MetroArts mission consists of three fundamental objectives to support the ideal:
For the past 23 years, we have established ourselves as a premiere arts & cultural organization carrying out our mission via several avenues including Kids Camp, the Young Artists Debut! Van Buren Competition & Concerto Concert, Summer Ensembles, and Creating Minds curricula.
In 1993, Niel DePonte, Executive Artistic Director, founded MetroArts Inc. in response to his concern over what he saw as diminishing resources devoted to arts education in the public schools. Since then, MetroArts Inc. has been involved with moving the educational agenda in Oregon and SW Washington towards the idea that the arts are necessary to the education of the whole child.
Niel has gained a national reputation as a composer, conductor, and concerto soloist. He has been the principal percussionist of the Oregon Symphony since 1977, and also serves as Music Director and Conductor for Oregon Ballet Theatre. Niel received his training at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he earned a Master of Music degree and the Performer's Certificate. He also holds a degree in education from the State University of New York. Niel was a 2003 Grammy Award Nominee in the category of Best Instrumental Solo Performance with Orchestra.
As part of his work with MetroArts Inc., DePonte has researched the use of the arts for teaching cognitive strategies in the classroom. We approach our programming from the belief that the arts are an effective vehicle for challenging children to think in the manner that a practitioner of an artistic discipline thinks, including reflecting on his or her work and the processes used to create it.
Niel DePonte, Chair
Niel DePonte, Executive Artistic Director