WASHINGTON, August 13, 2013 – The last thing one might expect to see on a Friday night in Northeast DC is 25 teenagers and an iPad Orchestra, but there they were, performing with heart and soul at the Michigan Park Christian Church.
Composer Tony Small, the Regional Artistic Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, led the talented Teen Arts Performance “Tap” Camp presentation of ENDANGERED! The Eco-Musical.
The annual skills performance follows a five-week summer “TAP CAMP” that includes a Kennedy Center Millennium Stage performance. The TAP Camp participants work with professional actors and this year playwright Keni Fine who wrote the Eco-Musical.
This year’s musical was designed to use performance art to help educate the communities’ children and their parents on the important issue of ecology.
The unique summer arts program combines the elements of classic STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) training with the arts to come up with S.T.E.A.M.! Working with the neighboring Kirov Academy of Ballet and the Michigan Park Christian Church’s Community Development Corporation the group received an invitation to perform on the prestigious Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.
In its sixth year working with S.T.E.A.M. and the church, Tony Small relates that they had tried to bring the program to the DC Public Schools in previous years but, “They just didn’t get it!”
Pastor Marvin Owens from the Michigan Park Christian Church and his wife Barbara Owens did however, jumping at the opportunity to host the “Teen Arts Performance” (TAP) Camp at the church’s newly reclaimed education center that is now run by their Community Development Corporation.
“It is our continued focus, mission and vision to engage children using music and the arts as a HUB of activity that focuses on lifting children’s passion for music and the performing arts,” said Pastor Owens as he welcomed Pandit Wright, CEO & President of the Greater Washington Boys & Girls Clubs and Debbie Jarvis, Chairman of their Metropolitan Board of Directors.
Not only did the TAP CAMP participants get exposure to professional performing arts mentors such as Lyricist Keni Fine and Choreographer Oscar Hawkins, but this year they each received an iPad so that they could continue their creative expression when school opens in the fall.
When the Community and Arts work together you have a better community for children to grow in. When Science, Technology, Engineering & Math meets the Arts, along with those kids, you get S.T.E.A.M.
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