Straz Center Takes Arts To Tampa Schools, Students

The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa offers high quality arts instruction to K-12 schools through a new Conservatory-To-Go initiative. Instructors from the Center offer on-site curriculum on a fee basis, allowing for a custom package designed to meet the needs of each individual school.

"They're getting a fully catered ongoing palate of arts education,'' says Wendy Leigh, VP of education for the Straz Center.

Subjects offered through the program include music classes such as string, percussion and woodwind instruments, theater and musical theater, and dance classes such as ballet and hip-hop. Most classes that are taught on site at the Center are also taught though the traveling program, which is meant to supplement arts programs currently in place in schools.

"In Hillsborough County in particular, the arts are very well served,'' says Leigh. But, most schools don't offer programs in dance or musical theater, allowing Straz to fill the gaps and provide additional enrichment for the students.

The pilot program at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic School provides theater and/or music classes to students in kindergarten through eighth-grade, serving more than 230 students since it began in September.

The program is in Tampa initially, but the goal is to eventually expand regionally.

"Not everyone can get downtown [for our onsite courses], so the more we can get these models to work the more we can serve the community all over the Tampa Bay region,'' says Leigh.
The Straz Center is participating in the Great American Teach-in on November 15. Schools interested in getting a sampling of this program can contact: (813) 229-7827.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Wendy Leigh, Straz Center

Read more articles by Megan Hendricks.

Megan Hendricks is a feature writer at 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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