Today, The Broadway League, the national trade organization for the commercial theatre industry, announces the 2012 "League Educator Apple Awards" recipients. The awards acknowledge the efforts of local schools and community groups that support programs relating to Broadway or touring Broadway shows, promoting further development of theatre education.
The League is committed to working with its members to develop new audiences and model projects by supporting education initiatives across the country. Now in its eighth year, the League's Education and Community Engagement Committee has honored educators, administrators, and school district leaders from around the country for their commitment to arts education and their work in collaboration with League-member venues that present touring Broadway shows. Through this award, the League encourages the development of theatre education programs nationally while helping to build a future generation of theatregoers.
"We are honored to present four awards this year," said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. "These teachers and administrators celebrate and foster the relationship between schools and Broadway League member venues around the country as well as continuing the tradition of quality arts education for our children."
The 2012 recipients are Trenton Price, Manager of Operations at Harlem Village Academy Leadership in New York City; Charles "Chuck" D'Imperio, Principal of Livonia Middle School in Livonia, NY; Mr. Eric Staib, Art Teacher at Kinawa Middle School in Okemos, MI; and Katrina Stevens, Supervisor of Secondary English Language Arts with Baltimore County Public Schools in Baltimore, MD.
Trenton Price, Manager of Operations at Harlem Village Academy Leadership in New York City
Over the past year, Mr. Price collaborated with the producers of Memphis the Musical to form the "Inspire Change" program, which allows the opportunity for arts-poor schools to attend the production with supplemental discussions guided by performers and teaching artists. Through the partnership, students gain further insight into the subject of segregation in America via an artistic context. While Mr. Price's program started out with 160 students within Harlem, it has expanded to thousands across New York City.
Charles "Chuck" D'Imperio, Principal of Livonia Middle School in Livonia, NY
Mr. D'Imperio, Principal of Livonia Middle School, formed a collaboration with the Rochester Broadway Theatre League incorporating The Lion King into an academic program involved with the arts. The educational program, based around the musical's prominent question, "Who lives in you?" teaches students about themselves as well as others. It engages students in realizing the interconnectedness of various factors such as family, culture, art, language and tradition, which serves as a central theme in the Disney production.
Mr. Eric Staib, Art Teacher at Kinawa Middle School in Okemos, MI
Due to his collaboration with the Wharton Center for Performing Arts, Mr. Staib has incorporated Broadway into classroom settings through the program "Eye for Broadway." The student-created Broadway-focused art reinforced curriculum benchmarks with the school district while enhancing core academic projects. Through working with art, his students gain further knowledge and insight into the world around them.
Katrina Stevens, Supervisor of Secondary English Language Arts with Baltimore County Public Schools, Baltimore, MD
Supervisor of Secondary English Language Arts with Baltimore County Public Schools, Ms. Stevens partnered with Hippodrome Foundation, Inc. to highlight the importance of literature in high school students through the arts. Her program, "West Side Story on Baltimore's West Side," utilized the arts as a means for students to become motivated while introducing them to the world of theatre. Students compared and contrasted themes of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet with the musical, saw a live production, performed scenes in the classroom, and wrote a creative writing piece based on a character.