For the past seven years, Shadowbox Live®, the Largest Resident Theatre Company in America, has put forth a massive effort to implement an ambitious arts educational program. We feel it is imperative that we support and enhance the arts and arts education in light of the current statistics:
- Three-quarters of high school students “rarely or never” receive extracurricular lessons in the music or the arts.
- 37% of high school students are not enrolled in any sort of arts education
- 233 Ohio schools don’t have any arts education at all.
Our latest and most rapidly developing program is The Shadowbox® Academy. Catering to high school and early college students with an expressed interested in the theatre industry, the Academy’s mission is to share the knowledge gained in performance to help discover, cultivate, and apply their artistic abilities both onstage and off.
STEM Rocks the Box 2015
A collaborative arts project since 2009, STEM Rocks the ‘Box gives 40+ high school students from 10 different schools the opportunity to experience fully what a professional at Shadowbox Live® does to prepare, practice, and perform for live audiences. These students participate in acting, singing, dancing, musicianship, lights, sound, backstage, makeup, and costumes. This year’s eight day program generated so much interest that we added another performance to accommodate all those in the community wanting to witness the power of STEM Rocks the ‘Box 2015.
Shadowbox® Academy Summer Bootcamp
For this three-week summer intensive, students, 15 to 22 years of age, audition in all four major Rock Art discipline areas: modern dance, rock vocals, rock instruments and acting as well as arts administration, ‘life skills’, professionalism and fiscal responsibility. Like STEM Rocks the Box, the Summer Bootcamp also has a holistic educational goal. It helps students build resilience and perseverance, overcome their fears, understand how to receive critical and constructive feedback and, ultimately, experience the thrill of performing before a live audience. Students who have participated in the Summer Bootcamp often cite it as one of the most pivotal, life-changing events they have experienced.
Shadowbox Live® provides numerous internship opportunities to area high school and college students in areas such as business administration, costume design, culinary instruction etc. Additionally, we customize the experience to fit the needs of the student and the organization. All students are accepted via application and interview. This past year we served 7 students and we have 2 others joining the program this summer.
“I wanted to take a moment and thank you for what you and Shadowbox are doing for Danyai. She really enjoys being a part of your organization and I know she is honored to participate. I hope this opportunity continues and that future students will commit as Danyai has and benefit from the experience.”
Vocational Music Instructor, Fort Hayes Career Center
To take mentorship a step further, Shadowbox Live® has created a pre-professional group. To be considered, the students must have successfully completed a Bootcamp Session plus one other Shadowbox® Academy experience. Having shown exceptional talent and potential in their major discipline, these students are invited to work as pre-professional in a Shadowbox Live® production.
Shadowbox Live® believes that collaboration is vital to the success of any arts community. With every artistic collaboration, Shadowbox Live® adds an educational component further engaging the community’s youth.
This past year the focus was based on our collaboration with Columbus Museum of Art, “Gallery of Echoes” a meta-media performance piece. The educational components that stemmed from this project are as follows:
Student Matinees: 905 students were served with our student matinee performances. Courtesy of PNC Arts Alive, students were bussed in from around Columbus and participated in a 45-minute show with a Q&A afterwards. The students were so engaged and they asked such insightful questions that they inspired us to take it a step further.
Education Module: In partnership with the PAST Foundation, we created an education module encouraging students to create their own meta-media performance. The module asks students to select a piece of art. They then research the piece and the artist and allow their research to inspire a performance that they create. The Past Foundation worked with us to make sure all steps aligned with the Common Core Curriculum. This was distributed nationwide and was first introduced last year to a STEM school in South Dakota.
Arts Design Challenge: Just as STEM Rocks the Box is to the Bootcamp, the GOE Module is to our Arts Design Challenge. On Tuesday April 14th, 2015 Shadowbox Live® hosted the very first Skilled USA Performing Arts competition for Career Tech students in the nation! Of the eleven Ohio tech schools three teams of students participated. In addition to creating a performance inspired by a piece of art, the students also had to submit a one-page essay and present a marketing plan for their work. The challenge was so successful that Shadowbox Live was asked to host again on April 26th, 2016. Stay tuned for more details!
“That (Shadowbox Live®) piloted this program is a testament to how they value the arts and nurturing young artists. It was especially rewarding to observe the caring and constructive feedback from the judges to the student competitors…National SkillsUSA is considering what we did in Ohio as a national model.”
State Supervisor, Ohio Department of Education
Shadowbox Live® is proud of its expanding partnerships with area high schools and colleges. Our connection with the colleges and college students becomes stronger every year. This year we will have had 4 different universities create classes based strictly on Shadowbox® projects:
CCAD: The highly acclaimed institution and Shadowbox Live® share a desire to meld the visual and performing arts by providing students with opportunities to learn broad fundamentals, work on collaborative creative concepts, and develop professional presentation skills. Shadowbox Live® has provided internships for both the Media Studies and Fashion Design Department. More recently, CCAD created a class specifically for our current show, “Which One’s Pink” where twenty students are showcasing their talents in video production.
Kindai University: A course was offered at the College of Arts at Kindai University in Osaka Japan, where 8 students traveled to Columbus for two weeks (August 23rd – September 7th) They will come to Ohio to intern at Shadowbox Live® and audit select Japanese courses offered at OSU.
The Ohio State University: As part of our upcoming international collaboration, OSU’s Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures is currently offering two courses featuring our production of The Tenshu. Additionally, OSU’s Institute of Japanese Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, Center for Languages and Literatures and East Asian Studes Center, hosted a lecture featuring our Japanese collaborator, Professor Hiromi Sakamoto of Kindai University entitled “Introducing Tenshu Monogatari – History, Diversity and Cultural Challenges of Japanese Performing Arts in a Democratic Context”. The lecture was very well attended and was an “exciting evening that marked an auspicious start of the IJS academic year!” Hajime Miyazaki, Acting Director/Institute for Japanese Studies
Columbus State Community: Lastly, we partnered with Columbus State Community College during the Fall of 2015 to create an opportunity for their American Sign Language students to learn artistic interpretation. The students interpreted three Holiday Hoopla shows in front of a live audience and received feedback, not only from their instructors, but also the Shadowbox® performance instructors on how to further engage the audience.
“I would like to thank you and all of the Shadowbox® family for the wonderful opportunity you offered our students. Throughout the semester, you and your team provided input, feedback, and guidance that was critical to our students’ success. Without your collaboration, our students would not have had such an amazing real-life experience.”
Professor & Program Coordinator, Interpreter Education Program
Shadowbox Live® is proud of its accomplishments thus far, but we can do more. Our commitment to the Columbus community is strong and with local corporate support, together, we can implement additional programs that provide opportunities for our youth to be happy, successful, contributing members of our society. .