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The Broadway League
729 Seventh Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10019
CONTACT: Elisa Shevitz
Telephone: 212-764-1122
Email: EShevitz@broadway.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Broadway League Announces 2012 National Education Grant Recipients
September 14, 2012
Programs Support Arts-in-Education and Audience Development

The Broadway League is proud to announce the recipients of its seventeenth annual National Education Grants.  These grants are intended to support inspired and inventive programs for a wide range of students to experience and understand Broadway performances as a form of artistic expression and a powerful educational tool.  

The 2012 National Education Grants program presents ten companies with a grant of $5,000 to help them develop and maintain educational programming associated with Touring Broadway productions.  

Touring Broadway shows presented in this year’s grant recipient list include: Billy Elliot the Musical, Blue Man Group, Les Misérables, The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert and War Horse.

This year’s grant recipients come from the following cities: Appleton, WI; Buffalo, NY; Des Moines, IA; East Lansing, MI; Nashville, TN; New Haven, CT; Philadelphia, PA; Sacramento, CA; Seattle, WA; and West Palm Beach, FL.

The Seattle Theatre Group is a first-time grant recipient.

Since it was founded in 1996, the League’s National Education Grants program has awarded $850,000 in grants to support the education efforts of Broadway presenting organizations. The League administers this program with generous additional financial support from Theatre Development Fund.

During the past year, theatre education 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.  
 
“We salute our member organizations’ dedication to teaching impressionable young minds inclusivity, literacy skills, community advocacy, self-awareness, and more through the magic of Broadway,” commented Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League.  “Lessons learned through theatre not only educate students about the world at large, but an introduction to live theatre creates a lifelong habit of theatre-going."

This year, the ten programs that were awarded grants of $5,000 each are as follows:

Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Inc. – Appleton, WI
Using Disney’s The Lion King as an example of a positive coming-of-age story and a hero’s journey, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will enlist the help of nationally recognized teaching artist Stuart Stotts to work with 55 sixth grade students at Lincoln Elementary School during a three-week project known as “Story Safari.” Designed to enhance their literacy skills, specifically strengthening reading and writing, the project will culminate with the students experiencing Disney’s The Lion King and creating their own hero stories.
Contact: Amy Gosz, 920-730-3738 or agosz@foxcitiespac.com

Shea’s Performing Arts Center – Buffalo, NY
This free program will allow students in grades 9-12 to explore the various performance elements presented in Blue Man Group, combining visual, musical and performing arts. Just as Blue Man Group combines various elements to create a thought-provoking theatrical performance, the focus of Shea’s program will be on creating non-linear narrative by uniting a series of art forms to tell a story or relate a theme.  Participating students will present their original work and attend a performance of Blue Man Group at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in February 2013.
Contact: Jennifer Fitzery, 716-829-1152 or jfitzery@sheas.org

Civic Center of Greater Des Moines – Des Moines, IA
The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, partnering with Findley Elementary School, will conduct multi-curricular workshops and residencies around War Horse focused on literacy and theatre arts. WAR HORSE UNBRIDLED will enable fifty fifth grade students from Findley Elementary to attend a performance of the Touring Broadway production of War Horse and participate in a variety of engaging arts experiences that reinforce literacy and 21st century skills objectives. These include a drama residency based on the source novel, a puppetry-design residency, and a culminating written theatre review project.
Contact: Todd Fogdall, 515-246-2351 or tfogdall@civiccenter.org

Wharton Center for Performing Arts – East Lansing, MI
Using the storytelling and puppetry found in War Horse, this multi-tiered project weaves core content standards with arts integrated learning. Wharton Center for Performing Arts will partner with fourth and fifth grade students from Williamston Explorer Elementary School, community equestrians, and guest artists. Students will learn about World War I and England in the 1910-1920s, writing short stories, storytelling through movement, puppet construction, and English folk music. After completing a sharing event at their school, the project concludes with a trip to Wharton Center to attend a matinee performance of War Horse and a Q & A with members of the cast and crew.
Contact: Dana Brazil, 517-884-3140 or brazilda@msu.edu

Tennessee Performing Arts Center – Nashville, TN
Tennessee Performing Arts Center will explore themes from Disney’s The Lion King with 30 at-risk elementary students from Nashville’s Preston Taylor afterschool program with a focus on how the arts of puppetry, acting and costuming meet to create the magnificent animal characters.  Students will examine the concept of the “Circle of Life” and how choices affect the environment and their own personal relationships. Activities include two workshop sessions at the Preston Taylor Community Center, one workshop session at the Nashville Zoo and a final workshop session exploring puppets with The Lion King cast members prior to their attendance of the show.
Contact: Holly Noble, 615-687-4304 or hnoble@tpac.org

Connecticut Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) – New Haven, CT
This grant will support the program Art in Action: Les Misérables. High school students identified by the New Haven Board of Education will be given the opportunity to use this award-winning musical to discuss social issues and create a statement and art instillation to support a cause in their community. Throughout the program, students will learn about social issues including poverty, political activism and social economics.  The program culminates with participants attending a performing of Les Misérables at the Shubert Theater in April 2013.
Contact: Elizabeth Verrastro, 203-624-1825 or everrastro@capa.com   

Kimmel Center, Inc. – Philadelphia, PA
The project is an intergenerational educational experience for members of Philadelphia’s LGBT community focused on issues of LGBT identity at the core of the musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Young members of the LGBT community will be drawn from local organizations and paired with older mentors and LGBT community leaders to engage in a pair of workshops with teaching artists to creatively explore the themes of the show. This group will participate in a talkback following a special performance of Priscilla at the Kimmel Center, promoted as LGBT night, which will open the dialogue further into the Philadelphia community at large.
Contact: Mitchell Bloom, 215-790-5833 or mbloom@kimmelcenter.org

California Musical Theatre – Sacramento, CA
A collaboration between the Broadway tour of Billy Elliot, California Musical Theatre teaching artists and Natomas Charter School Performing and Fine Arts Academy, “Mining for Your Inner Billy” will target the full cohort of 120 students in the 2012-2013 freshman class whose English department thematic focus is the question “Who am I?” Two teaching artists, together with the ninth grade English teacher and members of the touring production, will guide the participants in five workshops, a pre-show assembly, a performance of the show, post-show actor talkback, and a final evaluative session. Throughout the process, students will use writing, speaking and critical analysis skills based on English/Language Arts Standards for California Public Schools to better understand the potential challenges encountered by performing artists and to experience the “mining of their own inner Billy.”
Contact: Allison Cagley, 916-446-5880 or allison_cagley@calmt.com

Seattle Theatre Group – Seattle, WA
Seattle Theatre Group will partner with non-profit organizations Deaf Spotlight and Little Bit (a therapeutic riding center) to explore the themes of War Horse with deaf teens and adults. The program will focus on the power of riding horses; the power of theatre through puppetry; and the power of storytelling in American Sign Language. It culminates in attending the ASL interpreted performance of War Horse at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre in February 2013.
Contact: Vicky Lee, 206-467-5510 or vickyl@stgpresents.org

Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts – West Palm Beach, FL
The Kravis Center will partner with Blue Planet Writers’ Room to collaborate with 4th and 5th graders from U.B. Kinsey Elementary to mine and shape family oral histories for both performance and publishing purposes. The musical Mary Poppins conveys life lessons to the children through song. Likewise, the elementary students’ stories will reflect their cultural heritage and be celebrated through a storytelling performance and illustrated anthology. The participating students will attend a performance of Mary Poppins at the Kravis Center as part of the program.
Contact: Tracy Butler, 561-651-4243 or butler@kravis.org