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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


The Broadway League Announces 2010 National Education Grant Recipients
September 02, 2010
Programs Support Arts-In-Education And Audience Development

The Broadway League announced today the recipients of its fifteenth annual National Education Grants. These grants support innovative programs that enable students from coast to coast to experience touring Broadway as a form of artistic expression and as an educational tool.

The 2010 National Education Grants program bestows $5,000 to ten presenters of touring Broadway shows across the U.S. for the development or support of education programs associated with touring productions.

A significant number of touring Broadway shows are featured in the various programs: 9 to 5, Dreamgirls, In the Heights, Mary Poppins, Next to Normal, Shrek the Musical, The Lion King, and West Side Story.

This year, organizations were selected from the following cities: Atlanta, GA; East Lansing, MI; Greenville, SC; Nashville, TN; Philadelphia, PA; Sacramento, CA; Schenectady, NY; Seattle, WA; Tampa, FL; and West Palm Beach, FL.

The following three venues are first-time grant recipients:
Kimmel Center, Inc. – Philadelphia, PA
5 th Avenue Theatre – Seattle, WA
Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts – West Palm Beach, FL

Since it was founded in 1996, the League's National Education Grants program has awarded $750,000 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 tolerance, literacy, peace, tradition, cultural identity, and more via the performing arts,” commented Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. “Stories told through the pinnacle of plays and musicals not only educate students about the world at large, but exposure 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:

The Fox Theatre – Atlanta, GA
The Fox Theatre's “No Place to Hate: Teaching Tolerance Through the Arts” program is a new project to increase students' awareness of the arts, help students understand tolerance for other people's beliefs and culture, and enhance the students' critical thinking skills. Two different student groups will attend performances at The Fox Theatre and engage in associated activities. The program will introduce 120 high school students to West Side Story who will participate in workshops dealing with gang violence, prejudices, and respect for others, culminating in the creation of their own play. Sixty-five elementary students will be introduced to Shrek, the Musical and learn about tolerance, improvisation, and storytelling, resulting in a book filled with stories they have written.

Wharton Center for Performing Arts – East Lansing, MI
Wharton Center for Performing Arts, partnering with Bingham Elementary, will conduct literacy workshops on writing reviews and short plays centered around Mary Poppins . “ Mary Poppins Preview/Review Literacy Project” will enable 90 fifth grade students to attend a performance of the touring Broadway production of Mary Poppins and participate in workshops dealing with analyzing live theatre, previewing and reviewing a show, and modernizing classics.

Peace Center Foundation – Greenville, SC
Using content from West Side Story to promote awareness of gang violence and alternative means of social engagement, the Peace Center will provide 40 teenagers from Greenville's West End neighborhoods with the opportunity to attend West Side Story at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts, and to participate in Greenville's “West End Story” program. This initiative includes a series of workshops with teaching artists, master classes with professional artists, facilitated discussions with community leaders, and a week-long summer camp exploring themes and various art forms found in West Side Story .

Tennessee Performing Arts Center – Nashville, TN
The Tennessee Performing Arts Center will give 48 high school students the opportunity to explore major themes from the musical In the Heights as well as develop an artistic work based on their own personal life experience in their program, “In the ‘cliff.” Students will attend a performance of In the Heights , engage in workshop sessions dealing with tradition, cultural identity, and internal and external expectations of self, take a backstage tour of the show, and participate in a question and answer session with the cast.

Kimmel Center, Inc. – Philadelphia, PA
In the Heights : Beyond the Performance,” a program from the Kimmel Center, is an interactive, educational experience for high school students focused on the themes of multi-cultural identity, immigrant communities, and sense of self and family. Students will attend a performance of In the Heights , engage in a question-and-answer session with the cast members, and participate in a workshop with a teaching artist to explore the relevance of the themes in their own lives. They will then create their own creative writing project to be presented at the Kimmel Center's Commonwealth Plaza stage.

California Musical Theatre – Sacramento, CA
“Scribblin' in the Margins” is a literacy-based theatre education project for 105 culturally diverse sixth-through-eighth grade students. Using In the Heights as a model, they will learn how to write monologues about life in their communities and will perform these monologues in English and Spanish for kindergarten through fifth grade students and their families. The monologues will be compiled and published, and the program culminates with students' attendance at a performance of In the Heights at the Sacramento Community Theatre.

Proctors (Arts Center and Theatre of Schenectady, Inc.) – Schenectady, NY
With Disney's The Lion King in mind, Proctors has developed a year-long project focused on African studies, diversity, and life cycles. Four hundred and seventy pre-K through fifth-grade students will participate in multiple, guest artist driven lectures including: African storytelling, Tribal mask making, Adrinka symbol and cloth design, and African dancing and drumming. They will then teach their skills to another grade, continuing the circle of education. After attending a performance of The Lion King , they will also participate in a post-performance discussion with the cast.

5 th Avenue Theatre - Seattle, WA
The 5 th Avenue Theatre will present three “Fridays at the 5 th ” workshops for high school students with a strong interest in musical theatre in conjunction with upcoming tours of In the Heights , Next to Normal and 9 to 5 . “Fridays at the 5 th ” provides opportunities for students to work with professional artists, develop performance skills, and gain meaningful insight and connections to each show. Workshops include a two-hour practicum with a teaching artist, pizza dinner, pre-show discussion with a member of the technical crew, ticket to that evening's performance of the show, and post-show talk back with the entire cast.

Straz Center for the Performing Arts - Tampa, FL
The Straz Center for the Performing Arts's new program “ Shrek Broadway Education Project” will engage 75 kindergarten through eighth-grade students from three schools in a multi-week, in-class journey exploring the evolution of a story from the pages of a book to the big screen and to a Broadway stage. Students will learn the differences between each art form and will be introduced to elements of storytelling, character development, and design. With these tools, they will create an original character that will be used in a final classroom project. The program will culminate in the students seeing the touring Broadway production of Shrek, the Musical at the Straz Center.

Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts – West Palm Beach, FL
Dreamgirls will be the focal point for the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts's program “Young Women Pursuing Dreams Through Performance Discovery.” Middle and high-school aged young women will attend the touring Broadway production of Dreamgirls , engage in a talk-back with the cast, and participate in resident artist seminars and workshops focused on lyrical dance, scene improvisation, lyric writing, and vocal performance to create their own public performance for the community.