"Opera Kids" Project Expands
Dear Opera Kids Friends, Family, and Supporters,
Six months ago you generously contributed to our film and helped us reach our Kickstarter goal. We thought it was time to give you an update on our progress.
We have been reviewing the hundreds of hours of footage captured during our year-long shoot, and editing the film as we go, steadily piecing the narrative together. And the growth of our project's scope has been a surprise even to us. We were curious to find out what impact, if any, an arts program such as Creating Original Opera had had over the years and so we decided to interview adults who had created original operas in their respective private and public schools as children. That people in their 20s and 30s recalled nearly every note and syllable they had written so many years ago gave us our first clue. We were particularly struck by the profound effect the program seemed to have had on students from Newark, NJ. Each person with whom we spoke pinpointed Creating Original Opera as the pivotal school experience, which they unanimously credited (along with its remarkable facilitator, Anita Bland) for their personal, educational, and professional aspirations and successes.
See this link HERE for a 10-minute clip of some of these students’ stories.
Alas, this program (like so many other arts programs throughout the country) no longer exists in Newark. Accordingly, we met with Newark public school authorities to enlist their cooperation. Beginning this month, together with several of these opera alumni, we will be offering Creating Original Opera to a group of 5th to 8th graders at Avon Academy in Newark at no cost to them or the school.
It is our goal a) to bring this program back to Newark, re-planting the seed for its continuance in future years; and b) to film the process of former Original Opera students guiding a new group of inner-city school kids to conceive of and produce an opera of their own. Although we don’t know yet exactly where our documentary will take us, we are excited by the potential of a film that could explore the impact of the arts and more generally project-based learning on children in these two very different schools.
Should you have any questions or wish to help us in our expanded Opera Kids mission, please comment here or write us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you!
We will keep you updated and thank you once more for giving this project life.
Max, Joe, John, Henry and the Opera Kids Team