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(AUDIO): Columbia’s Jabberwocky says diversity award gets to its core mission

(AUDIO): Columbia’s Jabberwocky says diversity award gets to its core mission

Columbia Mayor Barbara Buffaloe (left) congratulates Jabberwocky Studios executive director Linda Schust and board member Jeff Sossamon (January 19, 2023 photo courtesy of Jabberwocky)

A popular Columbia nonprofit that provides youth and children with high-quality free or low cost programming in art and dance has received a diversity award.

Jabberwocky Studios was honored at the recent Columbia Values Diversity celebration. Jabberwocky also provides high-quality free or low-cost programming in theatre and STEAM. Founder and executive director Linda Schust tells 939 the Eagle that she’s attended the celebration for years, noting it gets to the core of Jabberwocky’s mission to build equity and inclusion in Columbia.

“To have won the award is incredibly humbling and joyful for us, because it’s an award that recognizes us for doing what is at the core of our mission,” Schust says.

Columbia’s Jabberwocky Studios are located on Grand. Students explore the arts in-depth. This is resident artist Joe Schlottach (left) and Jason Stephens, a CARE intern (September 2022 file photo courtesy of Jabberwocky’s Linda Schust)

Jabberwocky’s studio is on Grand, near the Business Loop. It works to ensure that dancing, painting and performance arts are accessible to all students, no matter their background. It was founded eight years ago by Ms. Schust, who remains executive director. While she’s thrilled they received an award at the Columbia Values Diversity celebration, she has additional goals for this year.

“Because we’ve had some new board members come on and we’ve had some rearrangement of areas of responsibility within the staff, I’m really looking forward to this year as a year of growth,” says Schust.

Ms. Schust notes Jabberwocky’s motto is “Good enough is not good enough.” She hopes to rejuvenate registrations for some programs that haven’t bounced back from COVID. Finances can be a barrier for some families. Jabberwocky has implemented a tuition waiver program.