Society for the Performing Arts hits the 'hood
Society for the Performing Arts is taking its hotbed of talent and bevy of blue chip performances beyond the Theatre District and into the city's communities with a new, major partnership with Neighborhood Centers, Inc.
The team-up takes place immediately with the kick-off of SPA's 2010-11 season.
""It's a natural fit," SPA executive director and CEO June Christensen said in a statement. "With SPA's diverse roster of performance artists and Neighborhood Centers' diverse communities, we can work together in taking the arts and renowned artists directly to Houston's neighborhoods."
With its new initiative, the 40-year-old SPA aims to connect families with specific cultural ties with artists from those cultures, create dynamic places for interaction between classically-trained dancers and musicians and new audiences at Neighborhood Centers locations and provide access to Houston's local dance and music groups by presenting these groups at the centers.
"We are building on what SPA began several years ago when we presented children's music group Dan Zanes & Friends," Christensen added. "Zanes and his band members participated in a sing-along with children and their families at Ripley House, the Neighborhood Center in Houston's East End." Describing that event as "incredibly touching," Christensen said SPA is now taking such programming to the next level.
Expect a focus on Houston's most diverse neighborhood, Gulfton, where "the performing arts have the potential to bring people together like nothing else," said Angela Blanchard, Neighborhood Centers president and CEO. She anticipates SPA and the community reveling in the "shared language of the arts."
Be on the lookout for a kick-off event with a lecture and demonstration by cast members of Drumline LIVE. After that, the program includes visual arts instruction by local art teachers to five Neighborhood Center after-school programs in conjunction with SPA's 13th Annual Student Visual Arts Contest and a trust workshop led by members of Diavolo Dance Theater for an after-school program at Baker-Ripley Neighborhood Center.
The season's crowning event is sure to be an exhibition of artwork from SPA's 14th annual Visual Arts Contest at Baker-Ripley Neighborhood Center.