Classroom Connections goes beyond exposing students to performing arts – it brings professional performing artists into local elementary classrooms to introduce professional artists who demonstrate the process of making their art, then welcomes the students into the theatre to see their finished product, a full performance. Students are given the opportunity to experience theatre from the audience, and to interact one-on-one with the artists in their own classrooms.
For more than ten years, artists such as Lula Washington Dance Company, Pilobolus, the Children of Uganda, Josh Kornbluth, Oberlin Dance Company, Ramaa Bharadvaj, and the Hobart Shakespeareans have visited classrooms to meet students and explain their love of their art. Students have played sitars, created African dance costumes, and practiced traditional Indian dance movements. They have learned the five basic positions of classical ballet, and where hip-hop dance began. They’ve learned jazz rhythms, and why we say bravo at the end of an opera aria. Most importantly, they have met many, many artists and discovered that art is not something ‘extra,’ but an essential part of our shared culture.
The Carpenter Center is honored to use its access to artists, and its remarkable theatre, to provide these programs to local elementary classrooms at no cost to the schools.
More than 10,000 students participate in Classroom Connections each year, funded through the generosity of:
Arts Council For Long Beach, Bess Hodges Foundation, Carpenter Family Foundation, Dwight Stuart Youth Foundation, Employee Community Fund of Boeing, LA County Supervisor Don Knabe, LeBurta Atherton Foundation, Long Beach Rotary Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, Kenneth T. & Eileen L. Norris Foundation, WESTAF, and many generous individual donors.
For information about upcoming events or to include your school in the Classroom Connections program, please call (562) 985-4274.