P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2003
October 24, 2003
Mayor's Office Provides Funding for Students to See and Study Performing Arts at MASS MoCA
(North Adams, Mass.)The Mayor's Office has provided an opportunity for North Adams students to see a specially conceived roster of performing arts events at MASS MoCA. The support allowed more than 650 students to see a performance on October 10, 2003, by the modern dance troupe Philadanco; will allow more than 300 students to learn about music with recording artists from the Putumayo label in January, 2004; and more than 600 students to participate in an event titled Hangin' with the Giants in April 2004, which teaches children about the history of jazz. In-class curricular support materials providing history and background on the events in advance of the performances ac-company each of the performing arts events.
"We are delighted that we could provide funding for local students to see these exceptional shows by world-class performers," commented James E. Montepare, North Adams Public Schools Superintendent. "These are remarkable creative opportunities that children in many larger communities do not have the benefit of seeing. I am thrilled that our students will be fortunate enough to witness these amazing artists."
Joseph Thompson, MASS MoCA's director, said "This was a home run idea by the Mayor and Superintendent. We already have a strong track record of creating and presenting specially tailored performances for students of all ages through our "Art Assembly" series. Although the series has been well-received by teachers and students -- the kids truly love these high-quality shows -- with funding so painfully tight these days, many local schools were simply not able to take advantage of the program. We are always delighted to count local students among MASS MoCA patrons: the steady flow of yellow school buses livens up our day."
Altogether in 2003/4 MASS MoCA will welcome more than 1,600 local students to a variety of performances. In addition to Kidspace, which brings every North Adams elementary school student to MASS MoCA, the "Art Assembly" series helps fill the hole that funding cuts have left in arts education for local schools.
On October 10, the dancers of Philadanco provided an Introduction to Modern Dance class for pre-K through 6th-graders in two perform-ances, at 9:30 and 12:30. Characterized by exciting young talent, vivid choreography and costumes, and a history of dramatic technical innovations, Philadanco performed three works from their widely acclaimed repertoire, including "Rosa," a modern dance tribute to the '60s civil rights activist Rosa Parks, and "Suite Otis," introducing students to the music of Otis Redding. The performance included an interactive lecture/demonstration with members of the company.
Tuesday, December 9, features talented Putamayo recording artist Mamadou Bayate and his band at 9:30 and 12:30 in Putumayo's World Playground, an engaging, audience participatory presentation that introduces students to songs and stories from around the world. Under the Putamayo Cross-Cultural Initiative, a non-profit organization, Putumayo uses world music and the arts to inspire children to explore and con-nect with diverse cultures that they might not otherwise experience.
On Tuesday, April 27, JazzReach returns to MASS MoCA with a brand new audience participatory program introducing students to the lives and music of Jazz greats Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and more. Featuring computerized 3-D animation, Hangin' with the Giants is hosted by an engaging narrator and includes live music performed by the JazzReach Quintet.
The largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the country, MASS MoCA is housed on a sprawling 19th-century factory campus. MASS MoCA is located on Marshall Street in North Adams, Massachusetts. MASS MoCA's galleries are open 11- 5, closed Tues-days. For additional information, call 413 662 2111 or visit www.massmoca.org.
For Immediate Release