State Theatre New Jersey's Educational Impact
Posted on 06/14/2019
Now that schools are finishing up for the year and families are making their vacation plans, our Education & Community Engagement team has a chance to take a breath at the end of a busy season. This past year we reached over 35,000 children and their families, with many programs offered at little or no cost. Among the nearly 170 events we presented were Milk & Cookies, our family storytelling and music series designed to introduce young children to live theater; a sold-out performance of STOMP just one of our 21 Performances for Schools; our beloved Family Day festival; and Symphony Scholars, a free program in partnership with the New Brunswick school district that introduces middle-school music students to live classical music, with preparatory classes prior to attending a symphony concert at the State Theatre.
The highlight of our spring season was without a doubt the arrival of Poet-in-Residence Glenis Redmond. Celebrating her 11th year as State Theatre New Jersey Artist-in-Residence, Glenis reached a milestone this year, having presented more than 740 free performances and workshops reaching children and adults in schools, senior centers, halfway houses, youth shelters, corporate offices, and a variety of other settings throughout Central Jersey. In the brief six weeks that Glenis was with us this year, she shared her talents with over 2,500 people through performances and writing workshops—all at no cost to the host sites. In the residency’s culminating event, Glenis and 33 of her workshop participants shared their poems in a Community Reading. Among the readers were middle and high school students, seniors, adults in addiction recovery, and participants in our public writing workshops.
This spring, we significantly expanded our career education program, connecting students with professionals working in the arts. Our Career & Industry Tours bring high school groups to the theater for a backstage look at the history and physical makeup of our historic venue, followed by a chance to meet with staff from a variety of departments to learn about the wide range of career opportunities in the arts. On one of these tours, students from the Elizabeth Youth Corps had a chance to meet tap dancer and choreographer Savion Glover, who spoke about his career as a performer and demonstrated some of his signature dance moves before heading off to do a sound check for his performance that night (both events the students were invited to attend). We also presented our first-ever masterclass, where three aspiring flutists—two high school students and one studying at the conservatory level—had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play for and learn from internationally-renowned flutist Sir James Galway.
With next year’s Performances for Schools already on sale and preparations well underway for our other education programming, we can’t wait for you to join us for our exciting 2019-2020 season!
Want to learn more about State Theatre New Jersey’s education programs? Contact our Education & Community Engagement Department at firstname.lastname@example.org / 732-247-7200, ext. 545.