Performing Arts Academy

The Performing Arts Academy is the newest artistic and educational endeavor at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. The academy offers multiple dance disciplines for all age categories and skill levels. The academy instructor is Scioto County native Summer Logan. Our goal is to provide a welcoming creative environment for our community. 

Academy Levels & Descriptions
Pre-Primary Level is designed for dancers 3-5yrs old. This level focuses on development of gross motor movement, spatial awareness, rhythm, and the foundations of creative movement.

Primary Level is designed for dancers 6-10yrs old. This level focuses on development of gross and fine motor movement, spatial awareness, rhythm & musicality, use of ballet vocabulary, correct body alignment, incorporating foundations of creative movement along side classical and contemporary dance techniques.

Level I is designed for dancers 7+ with beginner/ intermediate skill levels with 1-2yrs of prior dance experience. This level focuses on development of gross and fine motor movement, spatial awareness, rhythm & musicality, use of specific technique vocabulary, correct body alignment, expansion of beginner/intermediate techniques, and development of the dance aesthetic.

Level II is designed for dancers 11+ with intermediate/advance skill level with 2-3yrs of prior dance experience. This level focuses on the expansion of gross and fine motor movement, spatial awareness, rhythm & musicality, use of specific technique vocabulary, correct body alignment, expansion of intermediate/advanced skills, and continued development of the dance aesthetic.


Creative Movement: “Creative dance combines the mastery of movement with the artistry of expression.”  – Ann Green Gilbert This class focuses on developing gross motor movement and muscle control while incorporating imagination and artistic expression. Students will learn the fundamentals of ballet technique and vocabulary while exploring larger movement concepts through play. American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum Ballet:  All ballet classes are taught through the world renown American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum. The ABT NTC approach incorporates classical techniques such as Vaganova, Cecchetti, Russian, French and Italian methods. Dancers will learn the foundations of Ballet while promoting performance qualities that are key to becoming a well rounded and healthy dancer.
Contemporary Technique  Contemporary classes taught in the Academy will cover a beginner/ intermediate movement vocabulary for Contemporary Jazz/Modern Technique. Classes are designed for dancers who fall into the Level I & II age groups. The class is intended to help the student
understand dance as a process of exploring movement, performing and relating to other dancers and audience. Contemporary dance involves the integration of new movement styles with kinesthetic development. Tap Technique  Tap class in the Performing Arts Academy will cover the Beginner- Advanced movement vocabulary for American Tap Dance. Classes are designed for dancers who fall into the Level I & II age group. The course is intended to help the student understand dance as a process of exploring movement, performing and relating to
other dancers and audience. Students will learn traditional steps and combinations as well as develop rhythmic patterns for contemporary tap styles.

2018-19 Season Has Been Announced

The Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association – Shawnee State University 2018-2019 season was announced on April 29.

For more information about which performances are included in the subscription or flex subscription series, visit the SOPAA website.

Subscribers will receive season brochures in late May/Early June. They will have until July 6 to renew their seats.

Starting July 9, new subscribers and single ticket buyers can start purchasing tickets.

If you would like additional information or to have a brochure mailed to you, you can contact the Vern Riffe Center Box Office, 10:00 am – 5 pm Monday-Friday at 740-351-3600.

No Need To Wait Until Dark To See The Art

Vern Riffe After Dark is about three weeks away, but you can see some of the art that will be on display if you know where to look.

Thanks to the generosity of local businesses for hosting these works in advance of the show. Wander in and check ’em out.

by Josie Wickerham
Find it at Law Offices of William Dever, 1110 Gay Street


Stormy Lakefront by Ken Carlson
Find it at Trinity Business Group, 613 Chillicothe St
Butterfly Ascension by Sarah Minter
Find it at Market Street Café, 212 Market Street
Broken Heart by Dale Hall
Find it at Edward Jones Financial Advisors, 604 Second St.
Dutch Voyage by Nicko Savicz.
Find it at Stewart Supply, 681 Webster St., South Webster
The Preposterous Radical Bug by Drew Pierce
Find it at Castle Comics, 901 Gallia St, Portsmouth
Galaxy Bubble by Breanna Stewart
Find it at- Port City Cafe and Pub, 424 Chillicothe St, Portsmouth
Farm by starlight by Terry Noel
Find it at the NEW Sherman-Kricker Insurance Offices, 1033 Gallia St, Portsmouth

We Want To Put Art In Your Business

Want To Show Off The Talents of Local Artists In Your Business?

We are looking for businesses and organizations who are all about showing some love and pride in the talented people of our community by providing some space to display some art for about three weeks before the next Vern Riffe After Dark on April 12.

How will it work you ask?

  • Artists will submit images and dimensions of the pieces they want to display by March 9.
  • Week of March 12 we will send you pictures of the pieces so you can decide whether it will fit in your available space
  • Week of March 19 we will deliver the pieces to you. We will take pictures and post them to social media so people will know what to look for when they visit your business.
  • April 9-11 we will come back to pick the art up so the artists can sell them on April 13
  • What if you love the piece and want to buy it? Well that would be awesome!

How Can You Participate?

Fill out the form below or contact Joe Patti at the Vern Riffe Center 740-351-3621.

(Ceramic bowl by Charlotte Gordon)

[ninja_form id=14]

Show Off Your Creative Abilities At Art After Dark V

You may think that “V” is for the fifth After Dark (okay, sure it is) but even more it is a V for Victory thanks to the support of the creative folks who have made this event successful over the past few years.

Thanks to the interest and response to our last After Dark event, we are putting out a call for entries for our next show on Thursday, April 12, 7-10 pm

Right now we are looking for artists interested in participating in showing and selling their art.  We will be accepting applications with work samples until March 9.

The deadline is earlier this year because past participants have had the idea of displaying work in area businesses in advance of the show. If you are interested in having your work displayed publicly in advance of the show, please indicate this on your application.  Upon acceptance of work for the After Hours event, a $20 per table fee will be due by April 6

If you know of a business that would like to display work, please have them complete the form on this page or contact Joe Patti at 740-351-3621

Your willingness to submit work for public placement has no influence on acceptance for the After Dark Art Show

How Public Placement Will Work

  • Submit your application and pictures of work samples by March 9. Indicate on the application which image represents the work you would like displayed, its dimensions and how it should be displayed. (hung, on a pedestal/table, does it require heavy duty hardware due to its weight.)
  • We will provide the submitted information to the business so that they can decide if it is appropriate for their space and clientele.
  • In the meantime, we will ask you to bring the work you want displayed to the Vern Riffe Center by March 16. Because we won’t have control over how and where the works are displayed, we encourage people to submit copies, prints or pieces of lower value that you don’t strongly value or have an attachment to.
  • Week of March 19, we will distribute works to the participating businesses. After that we will call attention to the placements on social media so people can check them out.
  • April 9-11, we will retrieve the works so you can sell them on April 12

Just download the form fillable application and send it to You can also send questions and inquires there as well.

Thanks to our friends at the Creative Cult for their help in promoting this event. (Image: Clockwork insect by Sarah Minter)

C*MAR Creative Cult Induction

SSU alums and friends of VRCFA, C*MAR are teaming up with local artisan and faculty member Wayne Stump to start a “Creative Cult.” 

Creative folks in the Portsmouth area looking for a supportive environment to talk about their work, get feedback and encouragement and maybe even collaborators are invited to the Induction ceremony on Tuesday, October 18 from 8-9 pm at Stump Standards Gallery, 725 5th Street, Portsmouth, OH.

Child Care Available For Selected Performances

Vern Riffe Center and Shawnee State University Children’s Learning Center are launching a pilot program to provide child care during 10 performances in the 2016-2017 season. if successful, we hope to expand it to other campus events.

Our Child Care page has more information and details about how to make arrangements.

Try Out Our New Ticketing System

This summer we transitioned from using Ticketmaster to a new ticketing system that will enable us to do a better job of serving our visitors.

One of the features we love is that if you get stuck or have questions while making an order on the Internet, you can call in and we can take over from where you left off to complete your order.

What we think you will like is NO ADDED FEES on your Internet orders for our shows*. The price you see advertised is the price you will pay.

We have to clean up some small formatting issues on the website, but the new system is ready to take your orders. Give the online purchasing experience a try for your favorite shows.


*Renters may choose to add fees instead of including them in the advertised price.

Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Celebration On Sale Date

Tickets for the annual Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Concert will go on sale Monday, August 29 at 10:00 am at the Vern Riffe Center’s McKinley Box Office.

The performance is schedule for Thursday, December 1 at 7:30 pm.

Due to the high volume of walk up and phone business we typically receive when the show first goes on sale, we encourage people to continue to try to call throughout the day or purchase tickets online through our website.

We apologize for any difficulty you may have purchasing tickets at that time. Generally the phone and window traffic clears up around noon so you are welcome to call after that point.