Five schools in Greater Newark area participated in Disney Musicals in Schools as part $100,000 Disney grant awarded to NJPAC
[Newark NJ – February 9, 2016] – Newark Public Schools (NPS) elementary students, along with students from the greater Newark area, performed at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) today on the world-class Prudential Hall stage. The students performed selections from The Lion King and Aladdin. The students’ performance was part of “Disney Musicals in Schools”, a national initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Group to create ongoing theater programs in under-resourced public elementary schools. Disney awarded the Arts Center a $100,000 grant last year to bring the program to Newark area public elementary schools.
“I was delighted to watch so many talented young children from Newark Public Schools and the greater Newark area perform on stage in front of their peers, family and friends,” said NPS Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf. “Thanks to NJPAC and the Disney Musicals in Schools program, our kids had the extraordinary opportunity to participate in this fantastic program and we are grateful our schools were selected to participate in the program’s inaugural year.”
NJPAC chose five Newark area public elementary schools including Branch Brook School, Luis Muñoz Marin School and Mount Vernon School from NPS for the pilot year of the program. Each school participated in a 17-week musical theater residency that began in September 2015, and concluded with students performing a 30-minute “Disney KIDS” musical based on a classic Disney film at each school. During the residency, students worked collaboratively, developing self-confidence and strengthening communication skills, all while learning and discovering the joy of creating a musical theater production.
The $100,000 grant awarded to NJPAC supports two years of programming and another five schools will be announced later this year for the 2016-2017 school year.
About Disney Musicals in Schools
Disney Musicals in Schools is a free outreach program offered to a limited number of public elementary schools each year. Through the program schools receive free performance rights and ShowKit materials to a 30-minute Disney musical written for elementary school performers. Over the course of a semester, professional Teaching Artists guide school teachers through the process of mounting a musical with student performers. The goal is to provide the training necessary for teachers to continue a tradition of theater education for years to come. For more information visit: disneymusicalsinschools.com
About New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey – where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted more than 9 million visitors (including over 1.5 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. Visit njpac.org or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC for more information.
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