The Charter Arts Giving Circle announced this year's grant award-winning projects!


Thank you to the following who have been EITC Donors over the past few years!

Peoples Security Bank & Trust

Capital Blue Cross

UPMC Health Plan

Amerisource Bergen Sourcing LLC

Embassy Bank

John Yurconic Agency

Michele M. Tanzella CPA EA LLC


The Charter Arts Foundation is an approved EITC Educational Improvement Organization.

The Charter Arts Foundation was formed in January 2012 to support the health, welfare and educational interests of the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts (Charter Arts).  The Foundation’s purpose is to operate exclusively for the support and benefit of the school and its affiliated or controlled organizations that are publicly supported charities.

The registered office of the Foundation is, 321 East 3rd Street, Bethlehem, PA  18015.

The Charter Arts Foundation EIN number is 45-3986393.

The Charter Arts Foundation is served by eleven active board members comprised of community leaders, business leaders, and current and former parents of a Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts student.  Marna Hayden serves as the Foundation Board President.


The Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC) authorizes tax credits (not deductions) for businesses that make contributions to Educational Improvement Organizations (like the Charter Arts Foundation). The EITC Program enables companies to support nonprofit educational foundations (like the Charter Arts Foundation) at minimal cost to the organization. Instead of sending tax dollars to Harrisburg, companies can reallocate them to support the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts through the Charter Arts Foundation.

Entities eligible to apply for EITC are operating business firms authorized to do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that are subject to the following taxes:

      • Capital Stock/Foreign Franchise Tax
      • Corporate Net Income Tax
      • Bank Shares Tax
      • Title Insurance & Trust Company Shares Tax
      • Insurance Premium Tax (excluding surplus lines, unauthorized, domestic/foreign marine)
      • Mutual Thrift Tax
      • Malt Beverage Tax
      • Retaliatory Fees under section 212 of the Insurance Company Law of 1921

      Businesses can significantly reduce their liability for Pennsylvania taxes while they support organizations, like the Charter Arts Foundation, which provide exceptional educational opportunities for students.  By participating in the EITC program, a business accrues the public relations benefits that occur when a company actively supports a charitable cause in the area in which the company resides.

      The tax credit is a 75% – 90% credit (against taxes owed). Tax credits equal to 75 percent of its contribution up to a maximum of $750,000 per taxable year. Tax credit can be increased to 90 percent of the contribution, if business agrees to provide the same amount for two consecutive tax years. To receive tax credits, businesses must be approved to make contributions to the Educational Improvement Organizations EIO) that are on the list of such organizations published by the Department.

      The Charter Arts Foundation is on this list.

      Pennsylvania businesses can begin applying for EITC credits through DCED’s electronic single application system.  For more information go to:


      The following programs have been accepted by the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program as innovative educational programs.  

      • Equipping the Facility to Create a Specialized Environment Integral to the Operation of the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts.
      • Learning from the Masters / A Pre-professional Performance Program
      • Creating STEAM – Igniting Passion for Math and Science through Art


      #1.      Equipping the Facility to Create a Specialized Environment Integral to the Operation of the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts.

      Groundbreaking to build a new school facility for the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts took place in June, 2013.  The new building is located in the heart of the art and cultural district of south Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  Students are within walking distance to the area’s prestigious arts and educational institutions including Lehigh University, ArtsQuest’s SteelStacks Performing Arts Center, Northampton Community College and eight other art, education and entertainment organizations.  The new 90,000 square foot building has doubled the size of the former school building allowing for an increase in student population, as well as classroom and studio space.

      Students who attend Charter Arts think differently and often learn differently than the average high school student.  They approach problem-solving in all classes with a creative point of view.  The new facility is designed to support active, hands-on learning in studios, classrooms, hallways and performance spaces creating a specialized environment unique to the needs of artistic students. Digital art studios drive innovation in artistic curriculum that includes film, sound, and graphics to provide opportunities for personalized learning across disciplines.  Academic classrooms support collaborative and connected experiences for students that interrelate with art instruction.  The use of space becomes adaptable and flexible so learning happens in all locations throughout the school.  The physical learning environment becomes an active partner in the students’ education.

      The specialized learning environment includes:

      • (10) Wenger sound isolation practice rooms for vocal and instrumental music students.
      • A small Black Box theatre designed to showcase intimate performances produced and directed by the student-run Second Stage theatre group.
      • A performing “green” roof that will engage the community as the sounds of students’ music reaches the streets of South Bethlehem. At the same time, the roof will be utilized to teach environmental conservation and science.
      • Digital audio and visual editing equipment will support film, recording and graphic arts curriculum.
      • Music composition and notation lab to be utilized for music composition curriculum.
      • Multiple performance spaces to be shared within disciplines and available for collaboration with community partners.

      Equipping the specialized facility with state-of-the-art studios, classroom spaces, flexible performing spaces, digital equipment, and technology is integral and necessary for the operation and growth of Charter Arts’ innovative educational program.


      #2.      Learning from the Masters / A Pre-professional Performance Program

      Students choose to attend the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts (Charter Arts) in order to experience an in-depth study of an art form and prepare for a professional career in the arts.  The goal within each major is to provide the student with complete pre-professional training that will enable the student to optimize his or her talent, future career or post-secondary educational choice.   The innovative “Learning from the Masters” Master Class program accomplishes this goal by exposing students to master artists and masterworks of art.  These innovative strategies prepare students to embrace their art, advance their skills, and learn as much outside of the classroom as they do in the classroom.

      It is this special relationship with visiting artists and master class teachers that defines the innovative curriculum at Charter Arts.  This program has proven to create partnerships with area colleges and artistic organizations and has fostered intimate relationships with master and professional artists from our community and beyond.  The Master Class program is created by tapping into the rich pool of artists who teach and reside in Pennsylvania and the New York area.  These Partnerships create synergies that are beneficial to both the student body and the master artists, many who teach at the collegiate level.

      The innovative educational program benefits students in many ways:

      • Working intimately with master artists exposes Charter Arts students to unique and valuable learning opportunities with dedicated professionals.
      • Students learn the value of hard work, preparation and dedication.  All qualities they will need to succeed.
      • Partnerships between Charter Arts and area colleges and universities continue to grow each year.  Exposure to collegiate level arts programs pushes students to work harder.
      • Students experience master artists performing at professional venues outside of school; these experiences shape their professional future.
      • Students have multiple opportunities to apply their performance skills in the community at some of the finest professional arts venues in the mid-Atlantic region.

      A few of the master artists who have worked alongside Charter Arts students are:

              Lawrence Juber – Guitarist virtuoso, composer and lead guitarist for Paul McCartney’s “Wings”.

              Doc Gibbs – Grammy Award-winning percussionist.

              Alyssa Monks – Professional New York visual artist.

              Scott Rosenfelt – One of Hollywood’s most successful film producers, “Home Alone” and “Teen Wolf”.

              Sam Hollander – Mega music producer and music producer for NBC’s “Smash”.

              Lori Belilove – Executive Director of the Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation.

      The internationally renowned Paul Taylor Dance Company.


      #3.      Creating STEAM – Igniting Passion for Math and Science through the Art

      It is common for students to enter Lehigh Valley Charter Arts deficient in math and science skills.  It is not their fault.  Artistic students naturally think creatively and can have difficulty learning math and science in the traditional academic setting.  Pair these concerns with students who do not recognize the value of math or science in their daily life, and it is easy to understand why intelligent, talented, artistic students are not succeeding in math and science. 

      Charter Arts has created a model program that draws upon the strengths of the arts curriculum and emphasizes technology, math, and science.   Based on Rhode Island School of Design’s innovative (RISD) STEM to STEAM model, the school’s new school math and science program incorporates the existing studio-based artistic education into a new model that prepares students for “creative problem solving, flexible thinking and risk-taking that are needed in today’s complex and dynamic world.” (Rhode Island School of Design STEM to STEAM website) This program combined with existing math and science curriculum advances understanding by taking traditional content and presenting it in a new innovative way adapted for artistic students.

      To succeed in this goal, educational content is “problem-based” and “technology-based”.   It incorporates structures in architecture, crossovers between music and math, human biology and figure drawing.  Creating problems based upon students’ interests and everyday life, integrated through art, has created a shift in interest, experience, and ultimately understanding of math and science for students who have so much to add to this important subject matter.  Technology through the use of iPad devices, electronic textbooks, online resources, supportive educational software, and updated textbooks support the learning modalities of students.  The outcome is increased understanding as creative students learn to embrace math and science as exciting and creative subject matter.