Kravis Center awarded nearly $112,000 in grants for student arts education

The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts was recently awarded two grants totaling more than $111,000 to support arts education programs for students enrolled in Title I schools and afterschool programs in Palm Beach County.

Kravis Center CEO Judy Mitchell and Community Foundation President and CEO Brad Hurlburt with banners highlighting the 2015-2016 Kravis Center performances linked to children's arts education programs supported by the Community Foundation's Broadway Reach grant.

Kravis Center CEO Judy Mitchell and Community Foundation President and CEO Brad Hurlburt with banners highlighting the 2015-2016 Kravis Center performances linked to children’s arts education programs supported by the Community Foundation’s Broadway Reach grant.

The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties awarded the Kravis Center $106,500 to be used over a three-year period to expand its Broadway Reach program, designed to provide sequential arts education and exposure to live Broadway touring productions to 145 underserved children from neighborhood after-school programs. Students from Coleman Park, UB Kinsey Elementary School, Lantana Elementary School, Pleasant City’s Urban Youth Impact and Faith’s Place will be enrolled in the program.

In addition, the Broadway League, a national trade association for the Broadway industry founded in 1930, awarded one of its ten annual $5,000 National Education and Engagement Grants to the Kravis Center for its program “Superpowers 101: Matilda’s Guide to Overcoming Pernicious Parents, Treacherous Teachers, and Otherwise Adverse Adults,” designed to engage fourth- and fifth-grade immigrant students who attend Palmetto Elementary’s afterschool program in a creative writing and theatre-based project inspired by Matilda, the novel and the musical.

The Kravis Center is truly honored to have received these important grants from the Community Foundation and the Broadway League,” said Judy Mitchell, CEO of the Kravis Center. “The grants allow the Kravis Center to provide disadvantaged youth with meaningful arts education and exposure to live performances, education-enriching experiences they might otherwise not receive.”

In selecting the Kravis Center for its grant, the Community Foundation noted that Broadway Reach not only offers students the opportunity to experience the professional world of a Broadway production, it also presents ideas for future career goals beyond their immediate community.

“We support the Kravis Center’s arts education mission,” said Brad Hurlburt, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “We agree that Broadway Reach challenges students to change the limitations they may have for themselves, expand their view of the world and others and, ultimately, envision a course for their future success in life. By supporting this program for the next three years, we are supporting the difference arts in education can make to the lives of local children.”

During the 2015-2016 performance season at the Kravis Center, the Community Foundation grant will allow students involved in Broadway Reach to experience three diverse Kravis On Broadway presentations: Blue Man Group, Motown The Musical and Matilda The Musical. This accounts for two more productions than last year’s Broadway Reach program.

The 145 students will experience a series of intensive, interactive arts education sessions leading up to experiencing a live performance of the productions. Students will explore the themes of the productions under the instruction of professional teaching artists from the community, honing their writing, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) and performing arts skills. As part of their sessions, the students will also perform or exhibit their work and will be able to invite a parent, grandparent or guardian to join them for the Kravis Center performance, where they will have lunch and take part in a special meet-and-greet with the cast.

Similarly, the “Superpowers 101” project inspired by Matilda and supported by the Broadway League grant will engage critical thinking skills by helping students explore the dark comedy of life situations through improvisation, tableau, and creative writing. The Palmetto Elementary students will also engage in an international collaboration with a group of students from London, England. The project will culminate with the publication of a student anthology and a digital web-based presentation of the collaboration.

To learn more about the Kravis Center’s educational programming, please see the Kravis Center’s 2015-2016 education brochure by visiting: http://www.kravis.org/educationbrochure

Centrally located in West Palm Beach, the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is one of the premier performing arts centers in the Southeast with a renowned national and international reputation. Established as a leading force in the social fabric of the community, its many outreach programs are as broad and varied as the community itself. To date, the Center has opened the door to the performing arts for approximately 2 million school children.

Did You Know?
  • More than 2 million students have come through the doors at the Kravis Center since the program started.
  • Kravis Center, a non-profit organization, provides $100,000 in field trip bus transportation for students each year.
  • 70 percent of students who attend productions at the Kravis Center receive Admission waivers.
  • 60,000 students per year see an average of 30 productions
  • More than 900 teachers in Palm Beach, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie Counties participate in the Kravis Center’s S*T*A*R Series.
  • Last season, 6,000 students saw Kravis-On-The-Road Series.
  • Last season, 3,000 Kravis Center patrons attended the various ArtSmart classes and lectures.
  • Last season, more than 7,000 students participated in 79 Student Arts Enrichment events, which include various Master Classes, Beyond the Stage performances and various training opportunities such as The De George Academy for Performing Arts, The Broadway Artists Intensive and ArtsCamp.