Our school was born in 2004. When we look back, it seems like it was only yesterday; but just look at our graduates – they are already in college!!! The founder, creator, and the first director of Solo School was Sofya Logvinova, a talented painter and sculptor, who lead Russian Art and Music classes at Marcus Jewish Community Center. It started out as a small group of enthusiasts who eagerly craved to get art education in Russian language. At first, the classes were scheduled only for a few sessions, but they quickly became very popular, thanks to Sofya, who is an incredibly gifted instructor and artist. In addition to the group classes, Sofya Logvinova taught many individual Art lessons and spent many hours commuting to students’ homes from one end of Atlanta to the other, because the school did not have its own premises.
In 2005, the team of art enthusiasts added Ivan Logvinov, Sofya’s son, professional actor and who graduated from a prestigious drama institute in Moscow. Ivan insisted that students should come to the instructor, and not the other way around – that laid the first stone in the foundation of Solo school’s future! Yes, it was really brave and risky decision, as at that time, Sofya and Ivan did not have any financial support or a business plan; only the strong belief that they will succeed. At last, our school was established and named School of Art and Drama.
Sofya and Ivan leased three classrooms on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Atlanta, and in August 2006, we delivered our first hit performance, children’s musical-Pinocchio to Atlanta’s Russian community. Successful premiere was the beginning of a new tradition of Solo Theater performances.
The school was growing quickly, and in 2006 Ekaterina Serebryakova, Ivan’s wife and a professional actress as well, became the Director of School of Art and Drama. Developing and expanding the school was not an easy task…Ivan and Ekaterina had financial difficulties and didn’t have enough money one summer to pay instructor compensations. So they had to pay from their own pocket. Every path to success is different… That struggle was a good learning experience, which gave a new direction to become more confident and more creative. Despite some bumps in the road, nothing could stop Ivan, Ekaterina and Sofya. They had a strong vision and a burning passion. New ideas were constantly envisioned and materialized.
The school moved to a bigger location in a church on Holcomb Bridge Road in Norcross and called it home for four years. During this time, the school expanded the number of classes from 4 to 7. The school was becoming overcrowded with students and parents, who were waiting in the small and narrow corridors. Every morning, Ekaterina, Ivan and Sofya carried chairs to the halls for parents to sit, rearranged desks and moved equipment. Then, in the evenings, they carried everything back in its place.
In 2011, Solo School received an offer from the Medside Adult Daycare in Atlanta to unite their efforts and move to a common facility, where Solo could lease space on Saturdays. It was a unique opportunity, as even the floor plan for the new building was created and designed by Solo, together with Medside. It was a chance to plan the classrooms better, so that they were convenient for Solo students as well as Medside customers. We were able to get additional classroom space and a large hall to welcome parents. Over the years, our school added many more classes besides Art and Drama. In 2013, the school became a non-profit organization and we changed our name to Solo School of Fine Arts and Drama. We continue to grow and are ready to make a new feat!
As of December 2015, Solo School is moving to a new building at the International Charter School of Atlanta (ICSA) in Roswell. This is such an exciting development! Now our young students will have spacious, bright and inviting classrooms, a wonderful and cozy cafeteria for parents, a huge gym for dance classes and various events, and even a brand new playground! We feel it is much more appropriate for our young students to be in a real school setting, rather than at the adult daycare.We are excited to have our own space. The school potential can grow even more, as we hope to develop a mutually beneficial partnership with ICSA. We are optimistic this will open a lot more opportunities and possibilities in the future. But no matter how quickly we grow, the school is still short of funds and support. Even now, the existence of the school is possible only with volunteer help and private donations. We recently created Solo Parent Association. We believe it will help us fill in those missing links in the chain so that our school will be known not just as a Russian School, but a magnet School of Art and Drama for the entire Russian community of 60,000 people in metro Atlanta!
Welcome to our Russian School in Atlanta – SOLO!