Main content

Removing Barriers through Education and Engagement

This past year, The PAC took an important step in widening its definition of education.

The Arts-in-Education program, which provides high quality, low-cost education to K-12 students in the region, was restructured to incorporate a broad range of community engagement initiatives. The newly minted Education and Engagement program brings the entire community into a social and artistic exchange with artists from across the globe, facilitating learning inside and outside of the school day and across diverse populations.

Activities included a school-time performance series and multi-week, in-school and on-site classroom workshops, Q&As, master classes, open rehearsals, in-school workshops, lecture-demonstrations, and panel discussions. Here are some highlights:

  • Over two days, 75 special education students from the REACH Academy in the Greenburgh North Castle School District in Westchester County participated in a cross-cultural exchange with the Haitian music group Chouk Bwa. The students attended a performance at The PAC, then the musicians visited the school for a presentation of music and food prepared by the students.

  • Fifth grade students from Peekskill and Yonkers participated in 32 in-school workshops that integrated the performing arts into the social studies and science curricula. The workshops explored climate change and environmental justice and were to a new PAC-commissioned work, Rising Tide, by Dutch dance company Arch 8.

  • The artists from It Gets Better spent a week on campus and in the community participating in educational outreach responding to the American conversation about LGBTQ++ people and issues. The project culminated with a powerful and moving live theatre performance, during which the cast was joined by The LOFT’s Pride Chorus and individual singers from the Purchase College community.

The PAC’s Education and Engagement programs are only possible because of donor generosity. In addition to lead support by the Zisson Foundation, the Bee Steinhaus Memorial Arts-in-Education Endowed Fund, the Jandon Foundation, and ArtsWestchester, funds raised through The PAC annual giving initiatives are critical to the success of the Education and Engagement initiatives. Support from donors, no matter the gift size, helps provide access to deeply engaging and fully immersive performing arts experiences, while removing the barriers for those who need transformative arts encounters the most.

Did You Know?

Typically, a third of the school-time audience comes from the most underserved districts in Westchester and 36% receive subsidized tickets.