This has been an exciting year at my new school. It is currently a STEM school, but there are rumors among the related arts folks that we are turning it into a STEAM school to include the arts. The collaborations among the art, music, P.E., computer, and library teachers (me) have been clever and creative. Now, we have a chance to truly shine.
Thanks to the hard work of our music leader David Nooe, our school is participating in an exciting theater opportunity with the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) and “Disney Musicals in Schools”. We will help our students produce the Disney musical for 101 Dalmatians. This is part of the new pilot program Disney is testing before implementing nation-wide. Who will be next? I wonder.
Unfortunately there is no re-release of the video/dvd to come so finding 101 Dalmatians books and memorabilia is tough. Anyone have some extras? I’ve written to Disney/Hyperion, but they don’t have this many books on hand. I am still trying to find a way to put one copy of the book in every child’s hands. I did find their website where they allow us to use their buddy icons or avatars. I’m still looking for the disclaimers on what we can and cannot post from http://disney.go.com/disneyinsider/extras/101dalmatians Ideas?
From the press releases:
The Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) has announced the five Metro Nashville Public Schools selected to participate in “Disney Musicals in Schools,” an outreach initiative formerly only available to New York City public schools. As announced in September, TPAC Education was selected by Disney Theatrical Group to pilot the project to lay the foundation for expansion in school systems nationwide.
Participating Nashville Schools are: Glengarry Elementary School; Hattie Cotton STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Magnet Elementary School; Hull-Jackson Montessori Magnet School; Kirkpatrick Elementary Enhanced Option School; and Percy Priest Elementary School. They were selected from a field of 12 applicants.
“The applications from all of the schools were extremely thoughtful, with contributions from all corners of each school. Music teachers were generally the prime contact, but principals, parents, and educators outside of arts disciplines all expressed interest in being a part of the project. They saw the opportunity to involve their entire community, to use the musical as a vehicle for improved communication between stakeholders in the school, and to strengthen English language initiatives. They want to put on a fun, engaging and educational Disney musical and leverage all of the good that comes out of this,” said Roberta Ciuffo-West, TPAC’s executive vice president for education and outreach.
“I was struck by how well faculty, principals and parents had prepared themselves for the site visits. They had thoroughly investigated the possibilities, drilling down to specific benefits and the potential for long-term impact of Disney Musicals in Schools. Many saw the program as a way to stretch their skills, to draw attention to their work, and to increase public understanding of what they are achieving,” she said.
At no cost to them, the five elementary schools will receive a performance license to the Disney KIDS musical of their choice, comprehensive resource materials, and in-school support from two TPAC teaching artists for 15 weeks. Rehearsals will begin in January, with up to 60 children from each school taking part in the production, both on and off the stage. Following performances at their schools in the spring, each will present one musical number at a “Student Share” event for the general public at TPAC on May 17, 2012.
“We could not have dreamed that the first five schools to participate in Disney Musicals in Schools would be so diverse, representing a cross-section of Nashville. It’s incredible—Montessori and STEM magnet schools, one enhanced-option school, one suburban school and one school with a high percentage of English language learners,” said Ciuffo-West.
Disney Theatrical Group provided TPAC Education with an assessment tool that detailed a combination of factors to help identify which schools were the best match for the logistics and goals of the program. The specific categories in the assessment, each holding equal weight, were: logistics, opportunity to develop/strengthen theatre program, school leadership and school team commitment to program, commitment to community development, opportunity for cross curricular applications, and appreciation/understanding of the importance of arts in education.
Disney and TPAC’s goals include developing awareness and appreciation of musical theatre as a collaborative art, connecting the project to curriculum standards, and strengthening the school community, which includes students, families, faculty, staff and neighbors.
“Although individual methods vary, each school is a great match for the goals of Disney Musicals in Schools, involving music, art, physical education, and classroom teachers, along with librarians, principals, parents, and other faculty. That’s a reflection of how arts education engages children across all subjects and serves students from all backgrounds and neighborhoods. The arts cross cultural and academic borders. The arts strengthen communities,” she said.
Disney KIDS musicals, created in partnership with Musical Theatre International (MTI), are about 30 minutes in length, and have been adapted from classic Disney films including 101 Dalmatians, Aladdin, The Aristocats, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Sleeping Beauty, and Winnie the Pooh.
In December, staff from Disney Theatrical Group will come to Nashville to train local teaching artists, who already are participating in one of TPAC Education’s four programs for learners of all ages.
“We honor what educators are doing in the schools and this is a true partnership for TPAC Education. The experience of working with them in this sort of laboratory setting over 15 weeks is an extraordinary opportunity for our teaching artists and staff,” said Ciuffo-West.
I can’t wait til January when we begin working with students.