Gene Nastri Community School of the Arts announces the retirement of founder/director, Carol Harkins. In 1984, when the Everett School District discontinued its string program, Harkins saw a local need for quality string instruction, so she and an intrepid board of volunteers with the blessing of Gene Nastri, Everett’s Mr. Strings, founded the Gene Nastri Community School of the Arts. Originally a two-week multi-arts summer camp at Forest Park, co-sponsored by Everett Parks and Recreation, the School began operating year-round in the fall of 1993. In 1995, GNS relocated to the old Rosehill Community Center in Olde Town Mukilteo. When the old community center was torn down, the School found its current home in a remodeled split level home at 8616 Mukilteo Speedway.
Under Harkins’ direction, GNS co-sponsored with Everett Parks and Recreation, a multi-arts summer program at Forest Park, Everett for 17 years, with the City of Mukilteo, The Rosehill Revue, an all-city talent show and the Rosehill Haunted House for 16 years, a Point Elliott Treaty Commemoration Ceremony at Rosehill co-sponsored by the City of Mukilteo and the Tulalip Tribes, 2000, with the City of Cebreros, The Cebreros Festival of Strings, Cebreros, Avila, Spain in June, 2001, remodeled the second floor of the old Taylor’s landing commissary above the Mongrain Glass Studio into the Point Elliott Art Center, exhibiting the works of local professional artists and providing a home for a number of art studios, and co-sponsored along with Terry Preshaw, the founding of the Mukilteo Community Orchestra.
According to Harkins, “36 years at the helm of Gene Nastri School has provided me with a lifetime of community involvement, the opportunity to know and work with some of the finest musicians and artists of our time, and to bring exciting, new events to the Snohomish County area. It has provided a constant and steep learning curve. I’m confident that I’m turning the school over to a superbly qualified new director and a competent and committed board of directors. I want to express my gratitude to all of the citizens of the greater Mukilteo and Everett areas who have believed in the School and provided us with generous support as students, parents, volunteers, donors and program participants. The list is long.”
Carol will be succeeded as director by Julie Buetow, music faculty and board member since the fall of 2018. Buetow’s diverse prior experience includes 35 years as clarinetist with various amateur and professional arts organizations in the Seattle area, stints as board member with two of those organizations, and 11 years at Boeing as a technical aide, documentation specialist, and database developer. Julie also has a passion for music education, having taught beginning to intermediate clarinet students and volunteered in local schools assisting music teachers with recorder and beginning band classes. She and her husband Clint have 3 kids in the Mukilteo school district, who all play musical instruments.
GNS is currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but faculty and students continue lessons online. New students are always welcome. Contact email@example.com for more information. The lack of in-house activity provides the board and new director with the opportunity to review the organization, engage new faculty, and prepare for an exciting future of community artistic pursuits.