The Smith Center education department is housed in the Elaine Wynn Studio for Arts Education inside the Boman Pavilion.  

Most of us can recall a childhood encounter with the performing arts, and for many of us it was a powerful and moving experience.  This is what we refer to as “goose bumps”: the feeling of awe and joy that accompanies memorable arts experiences and inspires creativity and bigger dreams.

Creating experiences that give children goose bumps and change the way they view the world is a central part of The Smith Center’s mission and the passion of our board and staff.

Thanks to funding from generous donors, we are now touching the lives of tens of thousands of local students each year through a wide variety of programming:

  • buses at AileyThousands of students enjoy field trips to world-class matinee performances, with tickets provided free of charge.
  • As part of their appearance at The Smith Center, many touring performers visit local classrooms to teach and inspire.
  • Through a partnership with the internationally renowned Wolf Trap Institute in Virginia, we train preschool teachers to use the arts to enhance preschoolers’ learning.
  • Through a partnership with the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., we provide professional development training for K-8th grade teachers in using the arts to increase learning in all subjects.
  • In conjunction with Jazz Roots Series performances, 125 high school music students are invited to attend not only the concerts, but also the sound check and Q&A sessions with the artists.
  • Camp Broadway brings kids on campus for week-long performance training in the summer.
  • The new Nevada High School Musical Theater Awards–debuting in 2013 with a community-wide competition and a culmination event at The Smith Center–celebrates and raises the profile of theater students, educators and local high school arts programs.
  • Outreach with partners like St. Jude’s Ranch for Children helps us use the arts to engage children throughout the community.

Exposure to the arts has an impact that goes far beyond the obvious.  It has been proven to enhance children’s mental and cognitive abilities, increase cultural understanding, improve performance across all curriculum areas and develop social skills. Click here to read research findings about the importance of the arts in education.

Interested in learning more about our programs and professional development workshops? Please send us an email or contact the Education and Outreach department at (702) 749-2538.

For more information about supporting our educational programming through the Annual Fund or through a major gift to underwrite a program, please call our Development Office at (702) 749-2358.