We attended the Houston Arts Partners conference last weekend. We actually only signed up for it a week before and through some sort of luck, we got it together in time, made 500 brochures, a sign, and decked out our station. Houston Public Media donated their booth to us (thanks HPM!) But, the fun of this was chatting with teachers who are interested in using Take the Stage.
Organizing this is no small task when you have hundreds of people, keynote speakers, and everything else involved. Troy Scheid brought all of these forces together which is pretty amazing.
From the HAP website,
“The Houston Arts Partners collaboration was created in response to a specific request from Houston area education administrators for a more efficient and effective method to access arts educational resources in Houston. Young Audiences of Houston convened fine arts administrators and arts organization administrators to collectively tackle broad arts education issues. These founding partners of Houston Arts Partners were mobilized into collaborative working committees, and by creating a unique partnership that would provide the level of service educators and administrators of Houston were requesting.”
Over this past year, Take the Stage launched on PBS LearningMedia which is a truly awesome online destination for teachers that offers free access to thousands of classroom-ready resources. What is particularly helpful for teachers that use this online PBS platform is that each video and lesson plan is automatically aligned with the national and state curriculum standards so every Take the Stage lesson can easily be incorporated a teacher lesson plan.
Adding to its accessibility and ease-of-use, this platform is compatible with the tools teachers use most, such as Google Classroom, and contextualized with supporting materials.
Since we launched Take the Stage on PBS LearningMedia in February, our analytics reports that thousands of teachers and students from all over the country have been benefiting from using Take the Stage and there’s been growing use internationally as well.
A school in California e-mailed us the other day and they were telling us that they were so inspired by Take the Stage videos that they suggested that their performing arts students and other interested students, use our videos as examples for creating their own “Take the Stage” lessons. When we can inspire other students to create, we can see we have fulfilled our mission.
We had a really wonderful event on April 7th! The kids stole the show with their charming personalities, as per usual, but they were definitely rivaled this time by our truly amazing co-hosts, Lauren Anderson and Chester Pitts.
If y’all don’t know, we’re lucky these two stars joined us and support Take the Stage!
Lauren Anderson is the first African American ballerina to become a principal for a major dance company. She danced around the world and with the Houston Ballet from 1983-2006, and well, she even performed this year in 2016 in Sleeping Beauty. In 2007, Ms. Anderson assumed her new role of outreach associate in Houston Ballet’s education department where she teaches ballet classes at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, conducts master classes at area schools, and lectures to students on dance and her historic career as one of America’s most distinguished African-American ballerinas. She is charismatic, fun and a beyond talented artist who is just wonderful with children. More here.
And, Chester Pitts, as you may have seen, was in our “how-to saute” video with Andrew Murphy and Patrick Beverley. You may now see him frequently on the news as a sportscaster for KPRC. Chester Pitts was drafted by the newly formed Houston Texans in the 2nd round of the 2002 NFL Draft, becoming an original member of the Texans franchise. During his time with the Texans he started every game he played – the first player in the team’s history to accomplish this. Like Lauren, Chester is also now very devoted to giving back to the community helping youth and promoting the arts. More here.
And, here are a couple moments from the evening: