Arts in Education 2015/2016 Season

With the new school year fast approaching, have you considered how you will engage your students in lively and fun arts activities?

From the Black Violin’s merger of hip hop and classical music to the Very Hungry Caterpillar and Doktor KaBoom’s exploration of the fundamentals of electrical energy, we have something for everyone!

For more information, please view our 2015/2016 brochure below.

We are looking forward to seeing you at one of our shows!


School Time Series Teaching Artist Program

With National Arts in Education Week fast approaching (September 13-19, 2015), we are proud to announce that our School Time Series Teaching Artist Program has been featured in the New York State School Boards Association’s On Board. Arts Common Core from OB 7-20-15 Digital Edition (1)

“In Westchester County, Teaching Artists Aid Students in Common Core Push” – New York Times

The New York Times published an article about Arts In Education on April 4th and we couldn’t be more excited! Journalist Tammy La Gorce visited a second grade class at George M. Davis Elementary School while teaching-artist Galit Sperling “flopped, flailed, and chopped air” with the students.

Ángel Franco/The New York Times

While in the classroom at George M. Davis, La Gorce got to see teaching-artist Galit Sperling in action. By going to the classroom, teaching-artists encourage students to express themselves in a variety of ways, and with Galit, it was with movement. Galit and the students tapped into their imaginations and had fun- all while learning as a precursor to the show. In this particular exercise, La Gorce found that creating an environment of pure imagination and expression helped the students with critical thinking and problem solving.

La Gorce also visited with Arts In Education Programming Manager, Seth Soloway and Education Manager Ian Driver.

By the 2016-17 school year, Mr. Soloway and Ian Driver, education manager for Arts in Education, hope to extend their reach to at least 15 schools within an hour’s bus ride of Purchase.

Ángel Franco/The New York Times

Arts In Education’s goals look like they’re on the way to being achieved.

Neighborhood Bridges & Arts-in-Education

It is the second year that the Arts-in-Education Department at The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College was thrilled to host Neighborhood Bridges, made possible by The Frog Rock Foundation.

The Children’s Theatre of Minneapolis, created this program as a vision of an “arts integration residency that combines professional development, creative drama and storytelling to enhance 4th and 5th grade literacy and writing skills”. We had two teaching artists fly in from CTC to prepare classroom teachers, as well as teaching artists for a 10 week long endeavor to “team-teach classroom sessions, incorporating creative drama and storytelling to encourage, cultivate and refine student writing skills”.

Traphagan School and Pennington School of Mount Vernon, as well as Paideia School 15 of Yonkers were able to participate, with a total of 6 fourth grade classrooms, counting about 140 students. Throughout the process, the Arts-in-Education team was onsite and in constant contact with the teaching artists and teachers to document the progress of each classroom. We were hoping to find that the program encouraged students to explore their artistic side and look at reading and writing from a completely different, fun and engaging perspective.

After the 10 week in class program, we organized a Neighborhood Bridges Festival at The Performing Arts Center. Each class would read a creative piece and perform their own interpretation of a fairy tale on stage of The Pepsico Theatre, which holds up to 713 audience members! It was inspiring to see that the students came equipped with newly found theatrical voices, inventive costumes, and a ton of enthusiasm for the event!

It was an eye-opening experience and we decided to invite school administrators and the teaching participants to come together for a Neighborhood Bridges Reflection Session. We came to a mutual understanding that this program did meet and exceed our expectations. It was extremely helpful for every participating student and especially for some who were able to explore another realm of expression. Students, who had had difficulty paying attention or participating in class previously, started partaking, contributing and even delegating.

It was with great pride that we at The Performing Arts Center were able to host such engaged, talented and creative students and artists to realize such a wonderful program and event!

If you would like to learn more about the program, feel free to contact us at (914) 251-6232 or visit The Children’s Theatre’s website:

Hansel and Gretel at Arts-in-Education!

Purchase College Opera
We are so happy to have had the Purchase College Opera conservatory perform Hansel and Gretel for our audiences!

The set, the lighting, the voices, the costumes, the orchestra! Everything was marvelous! We had about 1200 students attend the performances! Some students got the chance to have in school residencies with teaching artist Natalie Kikkenborg, a Purchase College Alum and 2 Opera performers, Robin Clifford, who played Hansel and Bronwyn White, who played Gretel. The students were able to learn abut the fairytale, different types of voices, orchestras and got to ask the performers questions right at their school before watching the performances at our Center!
One of the most common observation was ofcourse that Hansel is actually a boy! This is actually because she has more of a boy like voice, industry term: mezzo-soprano!

For more info on the Purchase College Opera please visit

Mutual Strangers Parade!

Anyone following our blog this season will know that a centerpiece of our work in AIE this fall was the fantastic collaboration between Arm-of-the-Sea Theater, local schools, and ourselves in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of the river that bears his name. Director and teaching artist, Patrick Wadden spent many hours in-residency in George M. Davis School, Greenville School and Garrison UFSD, producing art works based on the history, culture and ecology of the Hudson River. The work culminated in a thunderous parade on November 16th ahead of Arm-of-the-Sea’s first performance of “Mutual Strangers: Henry hudson and the River that Discovered Him”. As the upper lobby thundered to the chants of 400 4th and 5th grade students it was a perfect example of education and celebration combining in artistic transformation.

Thanks to our Director, Wiley Hausam, the build up, climax and aftermath of the parade was caught on camera, and the video below captures the excitement and humor of the day for all who participated.



It is happening again! AIE is hosting PAWS!!

Students from grades 9-12 are joining us at our Performing Arts Workshops! We offer all kinds of different performing art classes ranging from acting to staging to Latin dance! We have over 350 students coming from Westchester, Rockland, and Connecticut to attend  our all day workshops at Purchase College. Paws can let you find your inner performer by exposing students to art that they would usually not be able to see or actually be a part of.

Students are going to be able to choose 3 workshops from a variety of classes that last 1h 15 min. They can experience what it is like to be a dancer, an actor and even improv on stage. It will be a day of laughter and joy filled with new experiences. We are really looking forward to our 2010 PAWS workshop!

-Dominique Schwenner administrative intern