The Broadway League Announces 2015 National Education and Engagement Grant Recipients The Broadway League is proud to announce the recipients of its twentieth annual National Education and Engagement Grants. These grants support inspired and inventive programs for a wide range of participants to experience and understand Broadway performances as a form of artistic expression and a powerful educational tool. The National Education and Engagement Grants program presents ten organizations with grants of $5,000 each to help them develop and maintain programming associated with touring Broadway productions. “We applaud the performing arts centers across the country and their commitment to providing arts-based learning experiences for future Broadway professionals and audiences,” commented Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “These programs successfully continue to help students become ambassadors and lovers of the Broadway mission and legacy." The recipients of this year’s grants will engage in a range of activities to educate young minds on theatre tradition. From arts-based workshops to creative writing and choreography classes, students will learn about all facets of the theatre industry. Some programs will directly interact with the storyline of the musicals and the book it was based on, such as Matilda the Musical. Students will meet the wardrobe crew backstage at The Sound of Music and design costumes for their characters. Touring Broadway shows represented in this year’s grant recipient list include The Bridges of Madison County, Kinky Boots, Matilda the Musical, Motown the Musical, Newsies, and The Sound of Music. This year’s grant recipients are from the following cities: Baltimore, MD; Des Moines, IA; East Lansing, MI; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Greenville, SC; Las Vegas, NV; New Haven, CT; Orlando, FL; Schenectady, NY; and West Palm Beach, FL. Since it was founded in 1996, The Broadway League’s Education and Engagement Grants program has awarded $1,025,000 in grants to support the education efforts of Broadway presenting organizations. The League administers this program with generous additional financial support from the Theatre Development Fund. During the past year, theatre professionals at organizations that present Touring Broadway productions have worked closely with local teachers and community organizations to create activities that engage young people with theatre and enhance their academic experiences. This year, the ten programs that were awarded grants of $5,000 each are as follows:
2015 - 2016 National Grant Recipients
Hippodrome Foundation Inc. – Baltimore, MD Baltimore students will use The Sound of Music as an inspiration for discussions on costume design, character development, and the role of historical accuracy in theatre. Students will attend a performance of The Sound of Music at the Hippodrome Theatre and meet the wardrobe crew backstage to view costumes. Students will choose a historical period, create a well-developed character with an accompanying story, and design a costume for their character. Students will construct models of their costumes and make a final presentation. Des Moines Performing Arts – Des Moines, IA In support of The Bridges of Madison County engagement, Des Moines Performing Arts will curate “Building Bridges,” a multi-component project designed to engage Iowans with the unique elements and themes of this Tony Award-winning musical set in their home state. The project will include three components: Engaging immigrant women in conversations about their experiences making a home in Iowa, paired with the creation of public art reflecting their stories; a competition in which Iowa musicians will interpret songs from the show’s lauded score; and an exhibit featuring Iowa photographers, whose images celebrate the beauty of Iowa’s landscapes and the historic bridges of Madison County. Wharton Center for Performing Arts – East Lansing, MI Using the themes of imagination and resiliency from Matilda the Musical, this project builds literacy and language arts skills through the art of storytelling and reader’s theatre. Wharton Center will partner with fifth and sixth-grade students from Lansing schools, storyteller LuAnn Adams, local teaching artist Sarah Hendrickson, Capital Area Districts Libraries, and screenwriter Lucy Dahl. Students will read the book Matilda by Ronald Dahl, discuss themes such as bravery and imagination, learn the art of storytelling, and distill the story of Matilda to younger children within their school and/or at local libraries. The project concludes with a presentation with screenwriter Lucy Dahl, a pre-performance pizza party with cast members, and attendance at Matilda the Musical at the Wharton Center. Broward Center for the Performing Arts – Fort Lauderdale, FL The Broward Center for the Performing Arts will partner with Parkway Middle School, a local Title One school, to present an in-depth, art–art-integrated learning opportunity for underserved youth based on the themes found in the touring Broadway production Newsies. With the help of teaching artists and cast members, 25 eighth-grade students will use the arts to explore how one voice can change the course of history. They will be empowered to find their voice through the creation of an original 50-minute musical theatre production that will be performed as an educational piece for more than 2,400 of their peers. The Peace Center for the Performing Arts – Greenville, SC The Peace Center will partner with 100 eighth-grade English students and the League Academy for the Arts for “When I Get to Be…” with Matilda the Musical, an educational project that uses Matilda as a platform to explore themes of growing up and a child’s ability to change his/her destiny. Through various workshops designed around the music and themes of Matilda, students will collaborate with teaching artists and one another to analyze literature, write poetry, and produce original dramatic scenes that express their goals for becoming who they want to be in life. Students will attend the production of Matilda the Musical at the Peace Center and experience a post-show discussion with cast members. The Smith Center for the Performing Arts – Las Vegas, NV First-time recipient! The Smith Center for the Performing Arts will partner with the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health to offer arts-based workshops for patients with neurodegenerative diseases and their caregivers based on the themes, story, and music of The Bridges of Madison County. “The Arts as a Bridge to Madison County” will engage approximately 150 patients and caregivers over a series of workshops. Those participating in multiple sessions will have the opportunity to attend a performance of The Bridges of Madison County –The Musical. Connecticut Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) (Shubert Theatre) – New Haven, CT CAPA will work with Co-Op High School’s Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) to create a workshop built around the Kinky Boots theme, “You change the world when you change your mind.” The workshop will be presented at the TRUE COLORS Conference in Hartford, CT in March 2016. In June 2016 CAPA will host a GSA Summit for all New Haven high schools and the workshop will be presented again. Those schools will then be invited to bring students to a matinee performance of Kinky Boots followed by a post-show discussion for all students in attendance. Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Center - Orlando, FL The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will partner with two sections of six Maitland Middle School seventh-grade classrooms to integrate Broadway themes into the curriculum of Language Arts and Civics classes. Participating students will be highly engaged in their Florida State Sunshine Standard benchmark learning through rigorous study of the themes, historical settings, and characters of The Sound of Music. This project will integrate core study with the performing arts and address measurable learning standards in Social Studies, forms of government, government structure, technology, story analysis, and biographical character creation and development. Arts Center and Theatre of Schenectady, Inc. – Schenectady, NY Proctors Theatre will provide a professional choreographer for students at Schenectady’s Wildwood School. They will use the music of Motown the Musical to deliver a dance curriculum to students with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities. “Motown Moves” will improve motor skills, build collaborative learning and social skills, and help students to better integrate into the community. The Wildwood School faculty will additionally provide training and guidance to Proctors towards future collaboration and expanding Proctors’ capacity to serve individuals with special needs. The program culminates in a public performance at Wildwood School, a reception at Proctors, and attendance at Motown the Musical. Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts – West Palm Beach, FL “Superpowers 101: Matilda’s Guide to Overcoming Pernicious Parents, Treacherous Teachers, and Otherwise Adverse Adults” will engage fourth and fifth-grade immigrant students who attend Palmetto Elementary’s afterschool program in a creative writing and theatre-based program inspired by Matilda, the novel and the musical. In line with the approach of the story, the project will explore the dark comedy of life situations through improv, tableau, and creative writing. The youth will engage in an international collaboration with a group of students from London, England. The Project will culminate with the publication of a student anthology and a digital web-based presentation of the collaboration.