Nancy Hanks Lecture 2013: Yo-Yo Ma.

“STEM without STEAM loses steam. STEM to STEAM will power our country forward.” -Yo-Yo Ma

STEM= Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
STEAM= Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS and Math.

Without the ARTS, we will lose steam, funding, education and immigration reform for the arts is just as important as for any other STEM division. We need creative thinkers who can look outside of the box with an innovative mind. Please listen to Yo-Yo Ma’s inspiring speech at the Nancy Hanks Lecture at The Americans for the Arts Convention of 2013.

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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, http://www.childrenstheatre.org/ 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: http://www.childrenstheatre.org/

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters

On Tuesday, November 1, we had two amazing performances of Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, NY. We were very happy to welcome the Dallas Children’s Theater, one of the largest not-for-profit family theater in the Southwest, to perform for hundreds of children ranging between 1st and 5th grade. Already when the doors opened, one could feel the excitement in the children. They were very attentive and the amazing production ended with a LOUD round of applause. While gathering with their classes to go back to their schools, one could hear lots of chatter and laughter about the best moments of the show. Overall it was an amazing day that combined learning with joy and artistry!

-Dominique Schwenner, ArtinEducation Assistant

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.

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PAWS!

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

New Season starts off with a Bang!

Jason and the Argonauts at AIE                                                                          

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There’s excitement in the air of the AIE office!                                        Our new season is about to begin on Monday and we are really ecstatic! This season is going to start off with a bang! Imagine action figures, monsters and villains! Jason and the Argonauts is an action filled retelling of the famous Greek myth that we are thrilled to have as a part of our season. We are excited to see the children’s reactions to this unique story telling and can’t wait to see their smiling faces! This year is going to be a great season with wonderful shows, children from all age ranges and new schools. Other shows that we will be having include the ever popular “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Mutual Strangers” and “The Cultural Influence of Latin Jazz”. Our PAWS Program this year gives students a taste of different types of dance, acting and music. There are many different excellent workshops available  and we are pleased to host this wonderful season. Simply said: we are excited!

-Dominique Schwenner administrative intern