Our Story

Arts in Action’s early history began in 1998 when Joni Prince came to West Virginia and shared her expertise and love of dance by teaching ten teenagers in a local church basement. Interest and participation increased steadily as students shared their excitement and parents appreciated the positive professional instruction. By 2000 classes were open to the public and offered at no charge. Soon an interdenominational youth-oriented performing troupe emerged. Named 4th Wall, the group performed regionally, visiting juvenile detention centers, at-risk youth groups, churches and other public venues.

By 2003, the participation in dance classes grew beyond the capacity available through this volunteer effort. The church’s limited space became overwhelmed. With a mission to provide access to the arts for everyone (regardless of race, gender, religious affiliation, or economic status), local leaders and a core group supporting the program formed a nonprofit organization. Arts in Action, Inc. was born!

Today Arts in Action is a 501(c) (3), non-profit organization that provides professional, positive education and performance opportunities in the arts for all ages and abilities. From its studio in Hurricane, West Virginia, Arts in Action offers classes in all dance forms at all levels, a visual arts program, drama classes, music education. Special summer programs include a dance intensive workshop and Princess Ballet camp. Arts in Action’s outreach programs include Urban Stage, a dance instruction program for at-risk youth of Charleston’s West Side; Artistic Discovery Camps, a performing and visual arts summer program; and Lambs of Light, a performing dance troupe. Over 350 students are enrolled overall, mainly from Putnam and Kanawha counties, but also from Cabell, Mason, and Lincoln counties. Arts in Action continues its commitment to arts for everyone, providing over $100,000 in financial aid throughout its programs. Joni Prince continues as the Artistic Director and is joined by a staff of 11 professional instructors and a cadre of volunteers.