Saratoga Performing Arts Center announces SPAC School of the Arts



The Saratoga Performing Arts Center announced the launch this month of the SPAC School of the Arts, a multidisciplinary school dedicated to dance, music and theater as well as literary, visual and media arts. PSPC also announced that Presidential Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco will be the first visiting artist to the PSPC School of the Arts and mentor for the 2022 Adirondack Trust Company Young Artists Festival.

The SPAC School of the Arts builds on the legacy of Lewis A. Swyer, Marylou Whitney and Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney who founded the National Museum of Dance and School of the Arts in 1987. The new School of the Arts will prioritize to multi-cultural, multi-gender education for children and adults, while pursuing PSPC’s continued mission to facilitate inclusion, equity and access to arts education. The school will operate in the Lewis A. Swyer Studios, a state-of-the-art facility that opened in 1992 and is located behind the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, NY. It will include introductory and exploratory arts instruction for children of all abilities ages 4-18 – all designed to complement PSPC’s extensive education program, which currently serves 49,000 students across the region. the capital.

“Dedicated to year round arts education, the SPAC School of the Arts is an exciting addition to our growing education programs,” said Dennis Moench, PSPC Senior Director of Education and Director of school.a ?? ”With this new venture, we look forward to providing a creative space where students can access and explore multiple art forms; make lasting connections with the world and with each other; and discover their own passions for artistic creation in a joyful, engaging and welcoming learning environment for all. ”a ??

The inaugural presidential poet RICHARD BLANCO will be the first guest artist of the SPAC School of the Arts. Driven by a desire to examine the essence of place and place, Blanco explores through his work his cultural identity as a Cuban American and how we are shaped by our experiences, memories and complex histories. As President Obama’s inaugural poet and the first education ambassador for the Academy of American Poets, Blanco will bring to the SPAC School of the Arts his passion for inspiring students through reading, writing and writing. interpretation of poems. In collaboration with the faculty, he will infuse poetry into the School’s multi-genre arts program to deepen students’ bonds with each other and with the world around them.

To celebrate the opening of the School on September 18 at 10 am, Richard Blanco will recite “Declaration of Interdependence” and “In Search of the Gulf Motel”, two of his poems which will serve as inspiration for the winter semester. 2022. Blanco will lead workshops at the school throughout the semester, mentoring and guiding students to create a collaborative ‘Where Do We Come From’ poem about their own cultures, communities and experiences. Students will engage their creativity, learn to become better poetry writers and readers, while discovering its life-affirming power, especially when it comes to issues of diversity, inclusion and intersectionality. As a literary arts mentor for the 2022 Young Artists Festival, Blanco will select the poetry submissions that will be featured in the festival. He will also be the mentor of three poetry finalists.

“Richard Blanco is one of the most moving and insightful poets today and we are delighted to bring him to Saratoga as our first guest artist,” said Elizabeth Sobol, President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center, which is also an Academy of American Poets. Crew member. By guiding an exploration of the larger questions of ‘where do I belong’ and ‘what’s home’, it will help us examine deeper issues that spark conversation and understanding. cultural identity and diversity – teaching our budding poets how to connect to the heart of the human experience. “

About Richard Blanco

Born in Madrid to exiled Cuban parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterizes Richard Blanco’s work. He is the author of the poetry books Looking for the Gulf Motel, Directions to the Beach of the Dead and City of a Hundred Fires; the books of poetry Matters of the Sea, One Today and Boston Strong; a children’s book of his inaugural poem, “One Today”, illustrated by Dav Pilkey; and Boundaries, a collaboration with photographer Jacob Hessler. His latest collection of poems, How to Love a Country (Beacon Press, 2019), questions both the American narrative, past and present, and celebrates the still unfulfilled promise of its ideals. He is also the author of the memoir The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey. Blanco’s many honors include the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize for Poetry from the University of Pittsburgh Press, the PEN / Beyond Margins Prize, the Paterson Prize for Poetry, a Lambda Literary Prize, and two Maine Literary Prizes. Blanco continued to write occasional poems for organizations and events such as the reopening of the United States Embassy in Havana.

About PHAC’s education programs

Each year, PSPC’s free education programs reach more than 49,000 young people, offer more than 400 classes, presentations, shows and events, and partner with more than 120 schools and non-profit organizations in the greater region. from the capital. PSPC’s flagship educational offerings include the “Classical Kids” music and dance program at school; “Ballet in Fifth” with dancers from the New York City Ballet; dance residencies at school with teaching artists from PSPC; and its signature annual event “The Adirondack Trust Company Young Artists Festival,” which celebrates hundreds of student dancers, singers, musicians, poets and visual artists. In 2020, the PSPC education program created free online content for students, families and educators at a time when previously scheduled school presentations and classes were not possible due to the pandemic. of COVID-19. Ongoing virtual platforms include “The Young Artists Festival Online Gallery” and “The SPAC Learning Library”.

The launch of the SPAC School of the Arts is made possible through the support of Stewart’s Shops and the Dake family. Additional funding from the Charles R. Wood Foundation will go to help with tuition, supplies, instruments and transportation. Online registration for fall courses begins August 18. For more information or to find out how to register for courses, visit a??


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