As schools across the region are settling in for several months of online instruction, The Kimmel Cultural Campus transformed its education programs, offering teachers access to the Kimmel’s signature “Creative Stages” free education programs in this new online teaching environment. The goal is 50 classes with 30 students in each class.
“The Kimmel Cultural Campus’ decision to transform their education programs for our teachers during what has been a challenging period for our students and staff is invaluable to the School District of Philadelphia. We are excited to have a partner to help provide a much-needed creative outlet for thousands of children who could benefit from additional exposure to arts education” says William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D., superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. “I am excited by the fact that our children will have the opportunity to explore a range of musical & artistic genres, including jazz, musical theater, and creativity using technology. Studies show engagement in the arts enhances performance in core subjects like reading, and mathematics, so we are grateful for this enhanced learning opportunity being provided by the Kimmel Center.”
“I am grateful for the work of the Kimmel Cultural Campus and their willingness to honor their commitment to their mission of educating Philadelphia’s most vulnerable citizens, our children,” says Mayor Jim Kenney. “In a lot of ways, this pandemic has stifled our creativity and both children and adults need the arts to be inspired and to enrich learning and their lives in general. A zoom class teaching a song, dance, or musical instrument might just be the flicker to ignite some child’s lifelong passion for the arts.”
“In spite of the devastating financial impact of COVID19, the Kimmel is thrilled to be able to honor our commitment to the city’s youth in a transformative way. The decision to prioritize our arts educational offerings was easy. We are all going through collective trauma, and these programs will not only help children process their worries and fears, they will also draw them closer together in a sense of community,” said Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “We are grateful to our donors, sponsors, and community, who have made this possible. Together, we will continue to sow seeds for young artists and arts lovers that can grow for a lifetime.”
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and in compliance with city and state ordinances, the Kimmel Cultural Campus has been closed since March 12, 2020, canceling and postponing all productions, concerts, classes, and events across our campus. With 93% of the Kimmel’s revenue driven by ticket sales and venue rentals, the negative financial impact of COVID-19 has been dire with projected losses of $29-million dollars in gross revenue through the end of this year. As a result, the Kimmel has launched an aggressive Road to Reopening Relief Fundraising Campaign.
The Kimmel’s “Creative Stages” education programming is 100% free to schools thanks to the generosity of donors and serves students in Title I schools in the Philadelphia Public Schools, Public Charters, and the Archdiocese. The education programs are designed to provide a broad performing arts experience to 4th, 5th, and 6th graders and give special opportunities for older students with higher levels of interest.
The “Creative Stages” programs being adapted for online learning include: Jazz4Freedom, a program developed for 4th graders linking jazz to Black History & social change; One Musical Philadelphia, for 5th graders which explores the unique American art form of musical theater, while building community and encouraging teamwork; #PhillyBeatz, a technology-based creativity celebration designed for 6th graders to create new music; KinderJazz, a bop and swing interactive class that teaches preschoolers music.