Invitations to student matinee performances are sent to school principals by the Clark County School District’s School Community Partnership Office, and participating schools are confirmed on a first-come, first-serve basis. For information about upcoming programs and professional development workshops, please send us an email or contact the Education and Outreach department at (702) 749-2538.
NEVADA HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL THEATER AWARDS
The Smith Center was the regional site of the National High School Musical Theater Awards, enabling the state of Nevada to participate in this event for the first time ever. The Nevada High School Musical Theater Awards was open to all high schools in southern Nevada who put on an eligible musical theater production during this past school year. The Nevada High School Musical Theater Awards was judged by Susan Anton, Brent Barrett, Olympia Dukakis, Bruce Ewing, and Graham Fenton and will send Best Actor Ray Winters and Best Actress Maddison Turner to the national competition in New York City where they will participate in a week-long program with training in dance, singing and acting taught by Broadway professionals, culminating in a performance competition on a real Broadway stage.
STUDENT MATINEE PERFORMANCES
As student matinee performances began in March, we were thrilled to see buses lined up around the park and down the sides of the buildings…with students on field trips streaming in from all directions!
During our grand opening week, 1,500 third graders from across the Valley attended performances of “Frindle”–a wonderfully creative play about a boy who makes up a new word. The kids learned about the dictionary and the origin of words without even realizing it! Thank you to Lark McCarthy and Dr. Michael Thomas, M.D. for underwriting the performance.
Also that week, we hosted our first on-site professional development workshop for local teachers. Through our partnership with the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., teaching artist Marcia Daft came in for several days to show teachers how to use arts strategies to fully engage students in learning math concepts. Marcia also demonstrated her “Moving in Math” techniques with hundreds of students in the teachers’ classrooms.
In March, more than 1,700 local middle school students attended a special matinee performance by the internationally renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Prior to the performance, Bernard Gaddis, an Alvin Ailey alumnus who is now a local performing artist and founder of the Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater, worked directly with many of these students at ten schools.
In April, approximately 1,700 middle school students attended a morning performance by MOMIX and were inspired by the company’s creativity. College dance students and dancers affiliated with local arts organizations also attended a special master class.
In June, 125 high school music students joined Al Jarreau for his sound check and a student-only Q&A before attending the evening performance. A couple of students even had the once-in-a-life opportunity to join him on stage!
For two weeks in June, students took over every space in the Boman Pavilion for an Camp Broadway experience that immersed them in choreography, vocal training, script writing, staging and set design to prepare for the finale at the end of the week: a two-hour performance for their families. They also had a dialogue and autograph session with the Broadway performers from Million Dollar Quartet!
In August, Kennedy Center teaching artist Deb Brzoska presented a workshop, “The Art of Teaching Artistry” to encourage local teachers to use their talents and favorite art forms in their classrooms.
In September, Wolf Trap Institute teaching artist Steve Elm provided week-long residencies focused on interactive storytelling at two local preschools. In addition, he provided several professional development workshops to help preschool teachers engage their students as they listen to stories. This program was presented in partnership with United Way of Southern Nevada, Success By 6® with funding from Citibank.
Through our national partnership with the Wolf Trap Institute in Virginia, we continue to train local preschool teachers in how to use music, drama and creative movement to enhance preschoolers’ learning and kindergarten readiness. Shown here: teaching artist Krissy Marty at Hill & Dale Preschool. This program is presented in partnership with United Way of Southern Nevada, Success By 6® with funding from Citibank.
Also as part of the Southern Nevada Wolf Trap program, we offered Family Engagement Workshops at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum and Lied Children’s Discovery Museum. These were wonderful opportunities for parents to learn about creative ways to interact positively with their children and to have a special outing together. Pictured here: teaching artists Lisa Davis and Jennifer Hellewell at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum. These programs were presented in partnership with United Way of Southern Nevada, Success By 6® with funding from Citibank.
Through our community residency program, we provide arts-based workshops for children and families at off-site locations like schools, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children and Candlelighters.