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Virtual ArtSmart

The Smith Center for the Arts is incredibly excited to work with you to provide virtual ArtSmart performing arts experiences to your students during the 2020-2021 school year. 

We know it’s going to be a strange year, and we can’t thank you enough for all you are doing to provide a safe and effective learning environment for our children and our communities. We see you as the heroes you are!

We hope you agree that performing arts experiences are a great way to engage students and to deepen classroom learning. All of our offerings tie directly to New York State learning standards and come with study guides and supplemental activities that prepare students for the experience and help them unpack it afterwards. 

The Smith thanks Lyons National Bank and FairGame Arts Grants for their support of the ArtSmart program.

Virtual ArtSmart Offerings

Since you won’t be able to come to the Smith Opera House this year, how will we be delivering ArtSmart experiences? That is a “work in progress” that changes weekly (sound familiar?) but, along with our producing partners, we have settled on some possibilities. 

ArtSmart will be offered a la carte and the good news is, we will be able to offer more choices at lower cost.  

We will be offering:

  • experiences at every grade level
  • both pre-recorded and live streamed performances to give you more scheduling flexibility
  • workshops, guided pre-show and post-show activities, and/or talkbacks with the artists.

Here are some examples of experiences that will be available in the virtual ArtSmart format during the 2020-2021 school year:

Grades Pre K-3

Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia presents Rainbow Fish with black light puppetsTHE MERMAID THEATRE OF NOVA SCOTIA

The company that tells classic stories (The Hungry Caterpillar, Goodnight Moon, Runaway Bunny) with inventive puppetry announces a “digital residency” featuring excerpts from their many shows, along with demonstrations. Young children will learn how puppets are able to show emotion and how to express emotions using their hands as puppets.


David Gonzales performs on stageDAVID GONZALEZ 

Critically acclaimed and award-winning artist David Gonzalez combines live music with compelling drama and multimedia. His productions include fairy tales, epic myths and fables, and community voices. Various musical arrangements and residency options available.

David Gonzalez has over Six Titles in Rep, including The Boy Who Could Sing Pictures, Sleeping Beauty, The Frog Bride, Aesop Bops!, Maddog & Me: Bullying and the Power of Kindness, and Cuentos: Tales from the Latino World.

Recordings of excerpts of all titles are available:

Grades 2-5

Text reads: The Magic of Bill Blagg Live! Blagg is photographed on stage partaking in an illusionTHE MAGIC SCIENCE LAB WITH BILL BLAGG

In Making Magic with the Scientific Method students join Bill Blagg inside The Magic Science Lab where they will explore how magicians use science to create the impossible! In this Arts Engagement, students will learn the “secret” 5 step process (The Scientific Method) magicians use to develop the illusions they perform. Together with Bill, they will use the “secret” 5 steps to make a person magically float mid-air, and, as a bonus, Bill teaches a science-based magic trick students can do at home or in class – how to make a pencil float in the palm of their hand.

Doktor Kaboom performs on stage with an apparatus and wearing dark gogglesDOKTOR KABOOM

In It’s Just Rocket ScienceTM Doktor Kaboom, referred to as “part Mr. Wizard and part Mr. Rogers,” uses the excitement of rocketry to present Newton’s Laws of Motion. Each of Newton’s 3 laws are clearly explained, comically explored in multiple over-the-top demonstrations, and followed by a DIY project that students can do as a class, in groups, or individually. 3Laws, 3 lessons, 3 projects! Doktor Kaboom intersperses the lessons with discussions on safety and personal empowerment to bring home the point that “science is for everyone, not just the person who wins the science fair every year.” This Arts Engagement ties directly to new science standards, includes printable materials for worksheets, discussions, and multiple student demos for each section. This is the perfect program for introducing or reviewing the physics of motion.

Grades 4-7

Percussionist Kattam holds one of his instruments on stageKATTAM AND HIS TAM-TAMS

Join percussionist Kattam Laraki-Côté on a West African adventure in Rhythms of West Africa! Discover the culture of West Africa through drumming, singing, and dancing. Experience the language and rhythms of the Krin, Djembe, and Gongoma and learn how these instruments shaped and express regional culture. Are your students ready for the challenges Kattam will share?


Grades 6-12

National Players presents A Raisin in the SunTHE NATIONAL PLAYERS THEATRE WORKSHOPS

National Players can cater the workshop to the age, skill levels, and abilities of the students. Along with these workshops, video footage is available from performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It to complement the learning experience. Virtual workshops are scheduled at a mutually convenient time to be held live. 

Recommend class size is 25 or fewer. Workshops last 45 minutes. 

  1. MAKING SHAKESPEARE YOUR OWN: See Shakespeare through new eyes with this engaging class that is a combination of text study, discussion, and performance practice.
  2. TEXT IN CONTEXT: A great complement to students studying A Raisin in the Sun, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or As You Like It, this workshop provides an inside look at the production process from theatre professionals. Students will discuss the play’s characters and themes, as well as why these classics still matter. Play scripts and video footage from performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream or As You Like It are included and available to students to study in advance of this workshop.
  3. WORD TO ACTION: PLAYWRITING: Everyone has a story to tell, and writing a play is a great way to share yours. The National Players will guide students through the process of finding their voice and learning what makes plays unique. This class is a great option for beginners exploring the elements of story.
black and white Living Voices logoLIVING VOICES

These interactive, single person historical programs blend video, audio and personal discussion to illuminate some of the most important stories of our shared global history.

This pre-recorded program offers unlimited access so classes can view the program as many times as they need to. An additional fee includes 3 live Q&A sessions with the performer.  Study guide included.

  1. La Causa: When a crop duster sprays Marta and her Mexican American family, Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers Movement fights for improved labor conditions.
  2. Native Vision: In the 1930s and 1940s, Alice struggles to retain her culture and traditions within a hostile environment, as Navajo children are taken from their reservations and placed in government-run boarding schools in an effort to “civilize” Native Americans into mainstream society.
  3. The Right to Dream: A young African American’s coming of age in Mississippi during the 1950s and 1960s provides an inside view of a tumultuous, challenging period in American history.
  4. Within the Silence: A moving, personal view of the Japanese American internment during World War II exposes the dangers of racism and prejudice.
  5. Our Revolution: Many civilians fought to bring “all men are created equal” to life, but those five words resonate even more deeply for an African American soldier in 1776.

Additional “Living Voices” programs available. 


We anticipate adding productions to this wonderful roster of performances as the fall unfolds. Please get in touch to discuss the virtual ArtSmart possibilities for your classroom, school, or school district. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Smith thanks Lyons National Bank and FairGame Arts Grants for their support of the ArtSmart program.

Lyons National Bank logo FairGame Arts Grants logo