GCSA – About


The Gadsden Community School for the Arts is located in the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts at 501 Broad Street in Downtown Gadsden, Alabama, and offers classes in Music and Visual Arts for Spring, Summer, and Fall Semesters. Music classes are taught in a one-on-one format, one student per instructor, in half hour or hourly lessons, once a week for the semester. Spring and Fall Semesters are 16 week courses, and Summer Semester is an 8 week course. Visual Arts classes are taught in a small class style, with minimum class size requirements, which vary according to the class. Registration is available in person, by phone, or by mail, and a registration fee is required for all non-members. Call us at (256) 543-2787, ext. 29 for more details.


As a National Guild member, GCSA is committed to ensuring all people have opportunities to maximize their creative potential.


Gadsden Community School for the Arts 

General Information Guide

Please read carefully

In order to participate in any Gadsden Community School for the Arts activity, students must complete a registration form at the beginning of each new semester. The GCSA Registration Form may be completed and returned in person or by mail to the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts or a student may be registered by phone at 256.543.2787, ext. 0. A $15 non-refundable registration fee is due at the time of registration each semester for each class/lesson taken per student. The registration fee must be paid before a student’s name may be placed on any studio or class roster. The registration fee can be paid with cash, check, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or Visa. This fee is waived for members of the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts. A registration form is available at: 

Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts
501 Broad Street
Gadsden, AL 35901
256.543.2787, ext. 0

        *Students desiring to register for the Downtown Dance Conservatory must pick up a separate registration packet and form. These forms are available at the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts. A $30 non-refundable fee is also required for students registering for the DDC, unless they are members of the Center for Cultural Arts. Contact the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts for more information concerning the DDC.

 Terms of Payment

            The amount required for tuition at the GCSA depends on the instructor.

Tuition does not include music, books, supplies, etc, unless noted in the class description.

            As mentioned above, the $15 non-refundable registration fee is due at the time of registration. Tuition will be split into payments unless a student chooses to pay the balance in full up front. The tuition payments for the semester will be divided as follows: one payment of one-fourth of the tuition is due before classes and lessons begin; payments of one-fourth of the tuition are then due by the fifteenth of the month until the balance is paid in full. An additional $5 will be added to the balance for all payments not made by the last day of the month. If payments are not made in accordance with the above terms, students will not be allowed to register for future semesters. If, in the judgment of the GCSA, it becomes necessary to engage the services of a collection agency or attorney to settle the dispute in connection with the above terms, the individual who signs the registration form agrees to pay the collection fee or the attorney fees, reasonable expenses, and cost incurred. Please note that the individual who signs the GCSA Registration Form is understood to agree to the above listed terms.

*If a semester is already in progress, a student’s tuition will be prorated to reflect the number of weeks remaining within that semester

* The GCSA accepts cash, check, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and Visa.

Refund Policy

            In order to withdraw and receive financial credit or a refund, students must submit a written withdrawal request to the GCSA Director. Non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal, and no deduction will be made for a temporary absence from the classes/lessons. Please note that the registration fee for classes/lessons is non-refundable. The refund policy for music and art lessons is based on the assumption that the student has paid the tuition in full prior to the date of withdrawal. Registration is based on a semester commitment. Therefore, tuition balances will not be dismissed if withdrawal occurs before the balance is paid. Due to contractual obligations for instruction and other services at the beginning of each semester, tuition refunds will be based on the following schedule:

            Prior to the first lesson – 100% refund

            Within two weeks –           75% refund

            Within three weeks –        50% refund

            Within four weeks –          25% refund

After the fourth week –   No refund will be granted and students are responsible for the remaining balance.

Financial Assistance

            To the extent that funds permit, the GCSA offers financial assistance to qualifying students in the form of reduced tuition. Financial assistance will be based on need and considers family financial resources, assets, number of dependent children, etc. Scholarships will also be available based on teacher recommendations and participation in other programs of the Gadsden Cultural Arts Foundation. Financial assistance will be limited to one activity, per student, per semester. Financial assistance granted for the fall semester may be renewed for the subsequent semester depending on the results for progress reports. Applying for financial assistance is required for each academic year. Applications are available at the time of registration or may be requested in person or by phone at the Mary F. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts 256.543.2787, ext. 0. Please note that students who have received financial assistance in the past and who have defaulted on payments may not be considered for future financial assistance.

Absence and Schedule Changes

            Students who plan to miss a lesson must call 256.543.2787, ext. 29 and leave a message for the instructor at least 24 hours in advance, Exceptions will be made in emergency circumstances. Students who do not follow this policy will forfeit the right to a make-up lesson. Please note that make-up lessons are not guaranteed. Instructors will provide make-up lessons at their discretion. In the event of an instructor cancellation, lessons/classes WILL be made up.


            As a result of our faculty’s tight class/lesson schedule, students who are late for a class/lesson cannot be guaranteed their full lesson time. Faculty will wait for a student for one-third of the scheduled lesson time and students are expected to do the same. If an instructor does not arrive within this amount of time, please notify the GCSA Director or the information desk.


            Classes and lessons are only canceled when the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts is closed/ The Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts will follow the Gadsden City School System procedures for emergency closings. Please listen to local radio and television stations for these announcements.  All emergency notifications will be sent by Remind. To receive messages via text, text @gcsast to 81010.  You may opt-out of messages at any time by replying, ‘unsubscribe@gcsast’.

Waiting Area

            Parents waiting on students and students waiting for their class/lesson to begin are expected to be respectful of the lessons in progress and maintain a calm and quit demeanor. Please note the GCSA classes and lessons are most often not the only events taking place at the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts.

Open Studio Policy

            Each individual instructor may have certain policies regarding class observation. While parents may contact the specific instructor for their student, the general rule is that parents may observe from outside the teaching space for classes/lessons.

Studio Rules

            Food and drinks are NOT allowed in the studios or practice areas of the classes or lessons, or the second floor of the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts. It is also asked that instructors and student leave the practice areas as they were found.


            Each individual instructor will have his/her own list of supplies needed for the class/lesson. These supplies are not included within the price of tuition, unless specified with a supply fee at the beginning of each semester. These supplies might include music, books, etc. The students are to inquire with the instructor about these supplies.

Music Recitals/Art Exhibits

            During the spring semester, the instructors and GCSA will coordinate a series of student recitals. Each instructor will determine the placement of his or her students on the recitals. Art students will be given a chance to display their works at the end of the year in an exhibit. More information about these events will be distributed as the time nears. We are pleased to have the opportunity to provide the time and place for our student to display their talents and abilities and to showcase their progress from the year.