Notifications

New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York’s theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we’re passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.

Creativity SeminarWe at the New Vic believe in working closely with New York school teachers to cultivate their skills so they can bring the performing arts to their classrooms. New Victory Teaching Artists and Education staff provide multiple opportunities, like Creativity Seminars every summer, for educators to grow professionally through all types of art forms, including puppetry, circus, dance and theater.

Participants engage through art making, skill building and reflecting and discussing the practical strategies of art form-based teaching and learning. The ultimate goal of Creativity Seminars is to build a bridge between artistic experiences and academic curriculum.

This summer, over fifty teachers and education professionals took part in two Creativity Seminars—Theatrical Play in the Classroom and Puppetry in the Classroom. Check out what participants learned!

"I was very nervous coming into this course, as I've always been afraid of performing in front of any audience. At the same time, I know just how valuable theatrical play is for teaching all kinds of learners. With this in mind, I wanted to take this course in order to learn how to overcome my own fear of performing in front of others in order to better teach my own students.

This course has completely blown me away. I have never felt so comfortable performing with and for others. One of the most important aspects of this course was that the instructors created a safe and respectful environment where I felt free to be silly and play with my optimistic and positive colleagues.

I will never forget when Carolyn, the Teaching Artist, encouraged us to cheer for anyone who made an error. It completely changed the class' reaction to making mistakes, because all of the potential embarrassment that comes with making a mistake disappeared.

I had an absolute blast taking this course and can't wait to incorporate all that I have learned within my own classroom!" — Sarah

Puppetry

"We explored creative methods that could easily be brought to the classroom and adapted to many classes. Our instructors' enthusiasm was contagious. The bold and confident way they presented ideas and exercises helped to dispell any awkwardness that could ensue. I thoroughly enjoyed the class and have learned so much. It forced me to get out of my comfort zone and showed me I could be bolder as well." — Miao

"This was truly a fun, hands-on and engaging course. I learned new skills that I would definitely use in my classroom. Gaining new knowledge to bring to our students couldn't have been done without our amazing teaching artists. I learned so much and I feel extremely prepared to pass it on this school year. Thank you for making this the best summer ever!" — Darlene

Theatrical Play

"This seminar made performing really fun and non-intimidating. I went into the workshop really anxious about having to act in front of people. Usually, I don't like attention, but the Teaching Artists made me feel safe to take risks. I feel like I've discovered another side of my personality." —Meisi

"​As someone who has no background in any kind of theater, having the opportunity to work professional artists was beyond measure." —Susan

"I can't wait to apply what I learned in the workshop to my classroom! These lessons will teach my students collaborative skills and critical thinking strategies, as well as self respect and confidence." — Monique

 
 
The New Victory Theater Interested in learning more about our Professional Development Programs? Check out our resources here

 


Thanks to the generosity of The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, we've created New Victory SPARK, or "Schools with the Performing Arts Reach Kids," an innovative and robust multi-year arts program specifically designed for schools underserved in the arts. With the esteemed research firm WolfBrown, we're also measuring and analyzing the "intrinsic impact" of this program. The following is the final piece in a four-part story about our initial findings. 
 
Contributed by Alan Brown and Sean Fenton, WolfBrown

SPARK SchoolIn the SPARK project we ventured into new territory—we asked students as young as 8 to respond to in-seat surveys about the impact of a performance they had just seen. We wanted to know if young people could help us to develop a deeper understanding of the impact of live theater experiences.

Our survey instrument includes quantitative measures of emotional response, anticipation and impact, as well as open-ended questions pertaining to students' curiosity and feelings about the performances. To make this work, house staff distribute the printed surveys and special pencils during the Q&A session following each performance. Then staff collect the student responses, and everyone heads out to their school buses waiting on 42nd Street within 10 minutes. As of the end of the 2017 school year, we will have collected approximately 2,000 surveys for nine shows. As completed surveys come in, we clean, code and upload the data to an interactive dashboard through which New Vic staff can query the results.

So far, the results paint a picture of distinct "impact footprints":
  • Shows featuring acrobatics, circus acts and other spectacles tend to spark interest in the artists themselves and their training;
  • Story-based productions tend to elicit more questions about characters' emotions and production design choices;
  • Shows with more complex narratives and character arcs evoke a greater mix of positive and negative emotions in students, which may be evidence of empathy development;
  • Both spectacle-based and story-based productions can produce powerful social bridging (i.e., learning about other people and cultures) and aesthetic growth outcomes (i.e., exposure to new art forms).
Survey Results

These results suggest that an artistic director is curating impact, as much as specific works. A season is a tour through a varied emotional landscape—an opportunity to explore a magnificent range of human emotions, ideas and histories. Our work with New Vic has underscored the idea that "challenging" artistic work—work that draws on a wide emotional range, including feelings of sadness or disappointment—has an integral place in a well-curated season, alongside works that elicit feelings of joy and wonder.

The results from this study open a new chapter in our journey to understand the immediate effects or intrinsic impacts of arts programs on both children and adults. But this work is just beginning. Further analysis will investigate how students at different grade levels respond to the same work, whether students with more experience in the SPARK program respond differently and how multiple points of intervention/exposure may stack to create greater impact.

Learn more about the SPARK program here
 
 
Alan Brown Alan Brown is a leading researcher and management consultant in the nonprofit arts industry. His work focuses on understanding consumer demand for cultural experiences and helping cultural institutions, foundations and agencies see new opportunities, make informed decisions and respond to changing conditions. His studies have introduced new vocabulary to the lexicon of cultural participation and propelled the field towards a clearer view of the rapidly changing cultural landscape. 
Sean Fenton As director of WolfBrown's Intrinsic Impact audience feedback program, Sean Fenton has played a seminal role in bringing new tools and approaches to audience measurement efforts nationwide. He brings to the team a background in anthropology, community relations, communications, and arts marketing, as well as over 13 years of experience in the performing arts sector.
Posted by Beth Henderson
 |<  < 1 - 2 - 3 - 4  >  >|