The Sweet Pea Cottage School of the Arts, located in the Queen Anne Baptist Church,  closed on Monday, June 24. Sweet Pea Cottage opened as a daycare in 1995, and founder Carmel Baird transformed it into a preschool of the arts in 2001. The following is an open letter to the community provided to Queen Anne News by the Sweet Pea Board of Directors:

It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we inform you that as of  June 24, 2019, Sweet Pea Cottage Preschool of the Arts is closing its doors.

This school started twenty-five years ago in the home of Carmel Baird and eventually flourished into three thriving campuses, with the Queen Anne campus as the epicenter.

Unfortunately, due to the challenges over the past year, we are unable to keep Sweet Pea operating.  We had a large graduating class and with Miss Cammie's extensive medical leave we did not have her experience and leadership to carry us through these challenges.

The Board only very recently made this decision by resolution. None of the staff knew until June 24th. Like the Board, the staff was operating in a positive place, trying to manifest a different outcome. We are grateful to our staff for their hard work and dedication.

It is difficult and emotional to write a message about the closing of a nonprofit whose sole mission was to create a unique learning environment for early education.

Amidst the sadness though there are many lights. Those lights are the Littles who graduated this past Friday June 21st, and all the Littles who graduated before, Littles who are now young adults and teenagers, carrying forward a passion for the arts, empathy, bravery, and a global-minded attitude that broadens horizons and unites communities. Those Littles are Sweet Pea’s legacy, and we are proud of them.

We are grateful for our time of service to Sweet Pea. We are grateful to our parents for sharing their children with us. We are grateful to the Littles, for their smiles, their courage, their funny faces, and their heart.

And, most of all, we are grateful to Carmel Baird for her over two decades of extraordinary leadership.

Sincerely,

Sweet Pea Board of Directors

board@sweetpeacottage.org