Photo: AllanMarcus2468, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In-person and virtual events, along with digital resources for educators and students, advance the Apollo’s commitment to arts education for students and community members of all ages

The Education arm of the Apollo announced its Spring 2022 lineup of in-person and virtual education events, continuing the non-profit organization’s longstanding commitment to creating opportunities to advance African American narratives and nurturing future generations of the creative workforce. In addition to its year-round programs for educators and students, this spring the non-profit organization offers a free special in-person School Day Live performance of The Gathering for students, as well as Career Panels and Live Wire conversations for audiences of all ages. Through these educational and community programs, the Apollo continues to serve as a cultural anchor in Harlem, New York City, and the world, expanding its role as a catalyst for both social and artistic engagement. In addition to its free events, Apollo Education offers its learning workshops and resource materials to educators across the country, providing teachers the opportunity to fuse together the rich intersection between the Apollo, Harlem, the arts and entertainment, and classroom subject areas. Through this multifaceted work, the Apollo provides opportunities for students to learn firsthand about the many opportunities available to them to work in the arts.

“Fostering a love and appreciation of the arts in students of all ages and our community is at the heart of the Apollo Education’s work, and I’m thrilled that we are able to continue to offer a robust lineup of performances, conversations, and workshops in the months ahead,” said Apollo President and CEO Jonelle Procope. “The Apollo’s education team has been serving students and teachers in the five boroughs for more than 15 years, and throughout the pandemic, we were able to continue our work in the digital classroom, serving nearly 8,000 students virtually and providing learning workshops to educators across the country, ensuring that we continued to inspire and cultivate the next generation of creatives on the stage and behind the scenes.”

“Each year, the Apollo reaches thousands of students and educators through our education programs both in schools and on the Apollo stage,” said Shirley Taylor, the Apollo’s Senior Director of Education. “The Apollo Education team and our incredible teaching artists are excited to return to classrooms in person as well as expand our online education offerings so that we can continue to integrate the Apollo’s history and the arts into classrooms across the country”

Apollo Live Wire
Apollo Live Wire conversations—the popular free series that honors iconic individuals who have had an impact on the Apollo’s history—continue on Tuesday, April 19 with Live Wire – From the Archives with cultural anthropologist, curator, and dancer, Derrick León Washington helping the audience to imagine new ways to think about culture, performance, and archives. On Thursday, May 5, Live Wire: The Sound of Social Justice will explore how Black artists have been utilizing their musical abilities to perform a type of protest that brings Black communities together by providing a place to reflect, recharge, and revolutionize towards freedom. Live Wire events are free and open to the public.

Apollo Career Panels
The Apollo’s Career Panel series provides a behind-the-scenes look at careers off-stage in the arts and entertainment and shines a spotlight on people of color working in creative industries. Part panel discussion, part live demonstration, these informative events provide tangible takeaways and insightful resources to empower the next generation of creative minds in these fields. In celebration of Black Music Month in June, the Apollo offers Career Panel: Crossfade on Thursday, June 21. Beatmakers and music producers are key components to the process of music production, assisting artists with bringing their vision to fruition and guiding their sound along the way. In this panel, participants will gain new insights from some of the industry’s most prolific creators who will share tangible lessons on developing a career, tips on identifying a signature sound, and techniques that will help improve production skills. Moderated by Antoine “Amadeus” Thompson, one of the most sought-after producers in the recording industry today and who has worked with numerous popular recording artists including Jennifer Lopez, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Trey Songz, Talib Kweli, Tyga, and The Game.

School Day Live
School Day Live performances offer a new generation of theatergoers an exciting opportunity to see a live performance at the Apollo and be immersed in an atmosphere of art, history, and culture. This May, the Apollo will offer a special School Day Live performance of The Gathering: A Collective Sonic Ring Shout for students grades 6-12 on Monday, May 9. This work brings the ancestral tradition of the Ring Shout into a contemporary context, taking audiences on a sonic quest rooted in the ritual tradition with a diverse array of contemporary, multidisciplinary artists. Anchored by a 70-member orchestra and 60 voice choir composed of both professional and amateur singers from multiple African American churches and choral ensembles in New York, including Abyssinian Baptist Church Choir, Broadway Inspirational Voices, Convent Avenue Baptist Church Choir, and Sing Harlem Choir. The Gathering is co-presented with the American Composers Orchestra and co-curated with National Black Theatre in partnership with Gateways Music Festival and Harlem Chamber Players. Directed by National Black Theatre’s Executive Artistic Director, Jonathan McCrory and conducted by Chelsea Tipton, the program features the New York premieres of Carlos Simon’s Amen! and Seven Last Words of the Unarmed by Joel Thompson, plus Courtney Bryan’s Sanctum. These works are in conversation with new commissions and reimagined works by Herb Alpert Award-winner Toshi Reagon and Tony Award-winner Jason Michael Webb, which were created to honor the present need for a collective space of remembrance. To learn more, please visit https://www.apollotheater.org/education/schools/.

Apollo Theater Academy
In addition to being a platform and resource in furthering the careers of entertainers, the Apollo has a legacy of providing substantive opportunities for technicians, designers, and other behind-the-scenes industry professionals. The Apollo Theater Academy, available to high school students, advances this impact through seminars, workshops, internships, and events designed to enhance an individual’s career in the performing arts and entertainment fields, whether it be as a technical stage manager or arts programmer. Applications for the Apollo’s next iteration of the Apollo Theater Academy will open in April.

Resources for Educators
Beyond its spring programs, Apollo Education offers Apollo-created resources. Its curriculum materials, aligned to state and national learning standards, and study guides derived from the Theater’s history, are available online at no cost and include a guide created to integrate the book Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and the subsequent Apollo-developed theatrical production into classroom curriculums. The Apollo also offers an array of on-demand virtual classroom guides to enable educators to connect the performing arts to their classroom curriculum. On-demand modules include lessons on Between the World and Me, interactive lessons on social dances of the Harlem Renaissance, and the history of the Hip-Hop Dance technique.

Apollo Education also offers professional learning opportunities available to educators from all grade levels and disciplines, led by Apollo Education Program staff, teaching artists, and historians. The workshops utilize a wide variety of resources, primary source materials, and hands-on group activities, intended to benefit both educators and their students and to provide educators with methods and strategies for teaching and learning through the arts and across disciplines.

For additional details about the myriad of programs Apollo Education offers, along with access to virtual online resources, please visit https://www.apollotheater.org/education/.

The Gathering – Professional Learning Workshop for Educators
Tuesday, April 12 at 4:00pm EST
Apollo Soundstage – Live and In-Person at the Apollo
$10 per workshop

In conjunction with The Gathering School Day Live, this workshop will prepare teachers to bring students to see The Gathering, presented in collaboration with American Composers Orchestra and National Black Theatre.

Live Wire from the Archives
Tuesday, April 19 at 6:30pm EST
Apollo Digital Stage – Virtual Broadcast
Free with RSVP

How can people re-interpret and re-activate static materials usually associated with archives? For this inaugural edition of Live Wire from the Archives, cultural anthropologist, curator, and dancer, Derrick León Washington guides an audience through imagining new ways to think about culture, performance, and the stage as tangible, embodied archives and the ways in which they can shed new light on future artforms.

Live Wire: The Sound of Social Justice
Thursday, May 5 at 6:30pm EST
Apollo Soundstage – Live and In-Person
Free with RSVP
A community engagement activity of The Gathering

Black artists have been utilizing their musical abilities to bring Black communities together for decades in a myriad of ways. The Apollo will explore the timeline of political performance and discuss Black artists and their musical contributions beginning in the 19th century to the present day. As the conversation focuses on our current moment, a panel will consider what these performances and performers reveal about the systems within which Black entertainment must exist.

School Day Live: The Gathering
Monday, May 9 at 11:30am EST
Apollo Mainstage – Live and In-Person
Co-presented by the American Composers Orchestra and the Apollo Theater
Co-curated with National Black Theatre
In partnership with Gateways Music Festival and Harlem Chamber Players
Creative concept and direction by Jonathan McCrory
Chelsea Tipton, conductor
Gregory Hopkins, choirmaster

Featuring: American Composers Orchestra with Gateways Music Festival and Harlem Chamber Players, Abyssinian Baptist Church Choir, Broadway Inspirational Voices, Convent Avenue Baptist Church Choir, and Sing Harlem Choir

The Gathering: A Collective Sonic Ring Shout is an evening-length work which brings the ancestral tradition of the Ring Shout into a contemporary context, taking audiences on a sonic quest rooted in the ritual tradition with a diverse array of contemporary, multidisciplinary artists. Anchored by a 70-member orchestra and a 60-voice choir composed of both professional and amateur singers from multiple African American churches and choral ensembles in New York, The Gathering opens a space to collectively grieve, to awaken joy as a source of liberation, and to find love as a form of resistance. Directed by National Black Theatre’s Executive Artistic Director, Jonathan McCrory, the program features the New York premieres of Carlos Simon’s Amen! and Seven Last Words of the Unarmed by Joel Thompson, plus Courtney Bryan’s Sanctum. These works are in conversation with new commissions from Herb Alpert Awardwinner Toshi Reagon, and Tony Award-winner Jason Michael Webb.

Career Panel: Crossfade
Tuesday, June 21 at 6:00pm EST
Apollo Soundstage – Live and In-Person
Free with RSVP

Beatmakers and music producers are key components to the process of music production, assisting artists with bringing their vision to fruition and guiding their sound along the way. This career panel provides insights from some of the industry’s most prolific creators who will share tangible lessons on developing a career, tips on identifying a signature sound, and techniques that will help improve production skills.

Support:

The Apollo’s 2022-23 season is made possible by leadership support from Coca-Cola, Accenture, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Citi, the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Jerome L. Greene Arts Access Fund in the New York Community Trust, HBO, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Public support for the Apollo Theater is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Apollo Community Programs are supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with New York City Council Member Mark Levine.

Leadership support for the Apollo Education Programs is provided by BNY Mellon, Fund II, the Hearst Foundations, the Jerome L. Greene Arts Access Fund in the New York Community Trust, The Pinkerton Foundation, and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with New York Council Members Ben Kallos and Bill Perkins.

ABOUT THE APOLLO
The legendary Apollo Theater—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.

With music at its core, the Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo; 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and the annual Africa Now! Festival. The non-profit Apollo Theater is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals and large-scale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend the Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.

Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, H.E.R., D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, and Miri Ben Ari; and the Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy. For more information about the Apollo, visit www.ApolloTheater.org.