Arts in the Classroom
Santa Clarita Ballet Company is pleased to present our “Arts in the Classroom: Classical Dance” program, also known as the “Nutcracker Outreach Program”. Through this program, the Company has developed an innovative partnership with the Newhall Elementary School District to provide arts education. Central to the community service mission of the Santa Clarita Ballet Company is the promotion of artistic literacy and education among elementary school students in the city of Santa Clarita. In addition to improving the quality of life in Santa Clarita by offering high-quality ballet, this program services underprivileged elementary-age students. Students in the Newhall Elementary School District represent diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, many of whom would not have access to arts education independent of that provided through the public schools. The company also provides advanced training and performance opportunities for over 100 young dancers.
This program was initiated in December 2001 as a pilot project sponsored through generous funding and support from the City of Santa Clarita. With funding of $10,000 from the city of Santa Clarita, the initial program reached 650 fourth-grade students in the Newhall Elementary School District. In 2002, through the patronage of the Ralph M. Parson Foundation’s sustainability grant of $5,000, the Santa Clarita Ballet Company serviced approximately 800 students in the Newhall elementary school district. In December 2003, the Santa Clarita Ballet Company received a sustainability grant from the Entertainment Industry Foundation for $5000 and was able to expand the outreach program to approximately 1600 fourth-grade students representing all nine schools in the Newhall School District, it continues to thrive today.
The outreach program combines both classroom instruction and stage performance based on the Company’s version of The Nutcracker. Classroom teachers, school district administrators, civic leaders, and ballet company volunteers work closely together to ensure the success of the outreach program both educationally and artistically. Teachers are provided with instructional materials for use in the classroom, allowing them to create a performing arts unit informing students on the historical and technical aspects of classical ballet and the Nutcracker story prior to the event. Company volunteers assist with instructional and logistical concerns surrounding the program. Classroom instruction is followed by a full-length professional performance by the Santa Clarita Ballet Company including professional guest artists. The outreach program has been praised by community, educational and civic leadership for its unique cultural contribution to arts education and literacy among elementary students in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Schools that have participated in this program:
• Valencia Valley
• Pico Canyon
• Wiley Canyon
• Oak Hills
• Old Orchard
• Stevenson Ranch
• Academy (a private school group)
• Northpark Christian
• OLPH (Our Lady of the Perpetual Heart)