The Broadway League Announces 2017 NYC Education and Engagement Grant Recipients
The Broadway League has awarded the New York Education and Engagement Grants to the Broadway productions of Come From Away and August Wilson’s Jitney. Each production received a $5,000 grant towards its 2017 educational and engagement initiatives. The grants aid the growth and development of theatre education in the city in an effort to encourage Broadway productions to create more opportunities for young people.
The Broadway League established the New York Education and Engagement Grants in 2002 to recognize education initiatives and to support related programs for Broadway shows. As the national trade organization for the commercial theatre industry, the League also sponsors a grant program supporting education and engagement programs for Touring Broadway productions. The two programs combined have to-date awarded over $1 million to theatres in New York and across the country. Both grants were established by the League with generous additional financial support from Theatre Development Fund.
“The Broadway League is proud to award Come from Away and August Wilson’s Jitney with the 2017 New York Education and Engagement Grants, awards that were designed to inspire professional and personal development. Outstanding programs such as these are crucial for the growth and survival of Broadway as they educate students and motivate a lifelong appreciation of the arts,” said Charlotte St. Martin,President of The Broadway League. “These two shows especially reflect how theatre can be inspired by world events to tell a story. Innovative programs that educate about the craft of theatre, motivate social awareness, and instill a deep appreciation of the arts are crucial for the growth and survival of Broadway, and we applaud and thank these recipients."
COME FROM AWAY
The “I Am an Islander” project is a multi-session cultural exchange program that connects students from New York City and Newfoundland. With the help of the New York City Department of Education and six Newfoundland towns, the project fosters Collaborative Classroom partnerships to boost cross-cultural learning. Similar to how stories were gathered and shared in the creation of Come From Away, students in Collaborative Classrooms conduct interviews using email or video conferencing to learn about each other’s neighborhoods, families, friends and experiences growing up in their respective communities. Students will then use these stories to create an art installation that will be shared with their partner classrooms. Each New York City student will be invited to a performance of Come From Away. In addition to the Collaborative Classroom component of the project, students in schools across the city are able to digitally engage with “I Am an Islander.” A section of Come From Away’s website encourages visitors to share an online message of gratitude via a digital map which includes pinpointed Collaborative Classroom locations.
AUGUST WILSON’S JITNEY
The Manhattan Theatre Club engaged a class of about 20 students at Pathways to Graduation, a program in the Bronx that helps students aged 18-21 earn a high school equivalency diploma. MTC worked with these students through WrOTE (Write on the Edge), a playwriting residency built around August Wilson’s Jitney. During the eleven session program, an MTC teaching artist led the class through a series of workshops to prepare students to attend a performance of the play, and then guided them in the development of original short plays inspired by the themes and motifs of Jitney. The unit included attending a performance of Jitney at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre and performances of the students’ plays by professional actors for an audience of classmates, school staff, and family members.