By Dulcie Willis
This is a record-breaking year for the Lincoln Center Arts Education and Community Outreach program! During the 2017-2018 season, we connected 4,689 students and community members with world-class professional artists at 17 different events. These included:
– Dance Company masterclasses at CSU – 120 students and community members
– Classical Convergence Music Performance masterclasses at CSU – 217 students and faculty
– Music masterclasses at PSD middle and high schools – 73 students and teachers
– Elementary and Middle school field trips to Lincoln Center presentations – 3,204 students and teachers
– PostSecret: The Show Mental Health Awareness Week – 1,075 community members
Some of our favorite moments included an improvised jam session between legendary blues musicians Bobby Rush and William Bell with high school students at Polaris Expeditionary School on October 27, 2017. These Grammy-Award winning musicians were on tour with the multimedia presentation of Take Me to the River and stopped into the school the morning after their performance at the Lincoln Center. They spent time sharing their wisdom, humor, and legacy of stories with more than 30 students and graciously extended the visit time to play instruments and sing with the school’s rock band.
Another outreach highlight occurred on February 12, 2018, when more than 1,000 3rd grade students from area elementary schools filed into the Lincoln Center Performance Hall for Bill Blagg’s special presentation of The Science of Magic. More an educational presentation than a traditional magic show, Bill Blagg shared some of the physics and chemistry behind preparing and performing illusions of magic — he still awed every student by making one of their teachers “float” in mid-air. (Click here to watch a video of the kids begging Bill Blagg to pick their teacher.)
Finally, our PostSecret: The Show outreach efforts in February 2018 offered four-panel discussions along with a Mental Health Awareness Fair on the Friday before the performance. The entire week’s events provided more than 1,000 attendees with resources from a dozen organizations supporting mental health in our community.
There are so many meaningful, touching, and educational moments that happen during our Arts Education and Community Outreach programs. There is magic in connecting highly accomplished performers with students of all ages. From the intense, individual attention of the master teacher in the dance studio to the astonished faces of students seeing the Lincoln Center Performance Hall for the very first time, we are so pleased and proud to have a strong and ever-growing outreach program here at the Lincoln Center.
You can help us continue our education and outreach efforts by supporting the Lincoln Center Support League with your time, talent, or treasure. Their next fundraising event is April 18 from 4p.m. to 9 p.m. at CopperMuse Distillery, where 15% of sales that evening will be donated to the Lincoln Center Support League.