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Ovations Performing Arts Outreach Program

Pend Oreille Arts Council

Pend Oreille Arts Council’s Ovations Performing Arts Educational Outreach Program for 2019-20 included Flamenco Pacifico, a group of performers who showcase Spain’s flamenco dancing and music; Living Voices’ “Hear My Voice,” a live-action/mixed media program about women’s suffrage in the U.S.; The Nutcracker, a performance featuring local dance students under the guidance of the Eugene Ballet; and Northern Stars Rising, showcasing local  artists in music, dance, spoken word, drama, and other performance mediums. The Missoula Children’s Theatre performance had to be cancelled due to the COVID19 Pandemic.

The Essential Question that guided our projects’ focus was:

“How can POAC best serve our rural and under-served students with high-quality performing arts programs?”

POAC has found that we can best serve our rural and under-served students – and the general public by providing interesting, educational, and culturally diverse performing arts presented by exciting actors and performers who have training in how to present performing arts material to students as well as the general public.  We achieve high standards for our educational performing arts program by carefully choosing performers who will bring the best possible combination of interesting and diverse programs to north Idaho, including material which will fit into the school curriculum/Idaho state standards. We work closely with teachers and administrators in the Lake Pend Oreille School District to coordinate the Ovations program, including scheduling dates and times, providing pre-performance study guides for teachers and students, and post-program surveys which help to guide us in choosing future performers.

At the conclusion of the project, students responded to questions related to the identified Standards:

Students respond favorably to the Ovations programs.  For example, following the Flamenco Pacifico music/dance performance and subsequent workshops engaging students with the performers, students responded to the question, “Which of the four rhythms (tango, fandango, soleares, siguiriyas) did you enjoy listening to the most, and why?”  Here are three student responses:

  • I enjoyed the tango most because it’s kind of upbeat and lighthearted. It was kind of joyful and you could feel the mood in the room change.
  • Fandango, because there was a lot of soul in the sound.
  • I like the tango because it was faster and happier.

To the question “Describe how the layers of music and dance worked together to create a story,” three students answered:

  • The dancer is like an actor and the singer is the narrator and teh musicians are the way the story is happy or sad.
  • It reminds me of paint layers.  One layer might not be enough so you have to add more to get the right amount of vibrence.
  • Rhythm is most important, then come the dance moves and the sound.

To the question “Name two additional facts or ideas you learned from today’s performance,” three students said,

  • I learned some Spanish words!  What I understood is that rhythm is the key to Flamenco.
  • I learned to really start to LISTEN to the music, not just HEAR it.
  • I learned that the instrument Terry was playing actually came from poor people playing on a wooden crate used to carry things.  Flamenco came from the poor gypsy people.

 

 

Impact

The Ovations programs bring to our rural and under-served students the world of live performing arts.  Without this program, many of these students would never have the opportunity to attend, learn more about, and discuss, these types of educational and culturally diverse performances.  Ovations opens up new avenues of learning and understanding, as well as joy,  for many students.

Reflection

POAC and the Lake Pend Oreille School District are committed to continuing the Ovations Performing Arts Educational Outreach Program. Teachers strongly support the program, and students enjoy and learn from it. The public benefits from being able to attend low-cost life performances. With the support of organizations like the Idaho Arts Commission, we hope to continue to bring the performing arts to our rural and under-served student population, as well as to the general public.  These performances enrich the lives of both students and adults in our rural community..

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