Jennifer Muller / The Works
The Works' arts-in-education programs seek to introduce New York City school students and other deserving youth to dance and the power of creativity in everyday life, with professional dance artists providing students with tools that foster a deep and lifelong engagement in the arts. These programs reach over 4,000 students throughout the Bronx and Manhattan each year.
Faces of Wonder is a two-phase program, that begins with a 45-minute lecture-demonstration and student/artist discussion on-site in participating schools, led by The Works' professional company members. The program culminates with a professional dance performance at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture in the Bronx. Focusing on the relevance and expressive range of dance, and the discipline and vision of the life of an artist, Faces of Wonder in-school activities stress the importance of a creative outlet or passion and the practice and determination needed to succeed. The final performance is performed by The Works' dancers, and provides inner-city school children the opportunity to see live professional dance on stage, with all of its attendant production values. Throughout the program, students are encouraged to reflect on and discuss their experiences through questionnaires, journals, letter and pictures, which, along with feedback from teachers and principals, provide valuable insight for evaluation purposes.
The Works' visits 14 schools each year with Faces of Wonder, all over New York City. The company's objectives are to waken students' interests in the arts and contemporary dance, not just as future artists but as the next generation of audiences and to communicate a respect for all people, reflected in The Work's cross-cultural membership.
Imagine That!, is an in-depth classroom training program in movement, non-verbal communication and the use of the imagination in everyday life, with The Works' dancers in an extended residency. It consists of twelve (12) in-school classes, each running approximately 55-minutes, over the course of a three-week period (two sessions per week each, for two classrooms of students); the program offers long-term exposure to professional artists, presents opportunities for students to perform and provides a continued in-school forum for arts discussion.
Drawing upon Jennifer Muller's Creative Mind Workshops, Imagine That! strives to promote the importance of imagination, creativity and personal expression, and ultimately to empower each student to believe in the validity of their own expression. The classes are tailormade for the grade level and taught at a gradual pace to ensure that each student benefits from the exercises. Each exercise is in a logical progression leading to the final construction of “non-verbal movies” to be performed for their classmates. Through this type of evaluation, growth is exhibited through increased confidence, clarity, believability, expressive capacity and range of imagination during performances and discussions. Imagine That! students are also invited to attend the annual performance at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture.
Imagine That! is one of the only programs of its kind offered by a professional dance company in New York, working primarily with students K-5. The overwhelming feedback from participating schools – from principals, teachers and students – confirming that these programs make a significant difference in the lives of the children; opening new doors, offering new options in ways to think and feel, and bringing new understanding of the validity of individual expression. By using dance as a vehicle, The Works provide students with self-esteem tools and skills that can be applied throughout their lives.
- Offers multiple exposures to dance artists
- Teaches the power of the imagination and self-worth through creativity
- Provides a forum for personal expression
- Increases communication skills (verbal and non-verbal)
- Presents opportunities to perform
- Enhances self-confidence
- Creates enthusiasm for dance
- Inspires future artists and audience members
- Provides an in-school forum for arts discussion