Education

Education & Community Engagement 

Society for the Performing Arts' Education & Community Engagement Department creates affordable opportunities for the discovery, development and celebration of creativity on and off stage by engaging all people in the Houston area through diverse programs and cultural partnerships. From professional development for teachers to pre-performance activities for the whole family, SPA's education and community engagement programs offer something for everyone!

Arts Talks are pre-performance discussions and demonstrations led by touring artists, artistic directors or local experts. These short lectures provide context and insight prior to each main stage presentation.

Performance Preludes highlight local performing arts groups within the Houston community by offering performance opportunities in front of SPA audiences prior to each main stage presentation. Sponsored by HEB.

Master Classes provide local dancers and musicians the rare opportunity to learn from SPA’s world class touring artists and are held in community centers and schools all over the Houston area.

Student Matinees introduce thousands of students to the performing arts through discounted daytime performances geared specifically for K-8 audiences. TEKS-aligned study guides that focus on STEM and arts integration are provided for each matinee performance.

Teacher Workshops are professional development opportunities for K through 12 educators. Whether a dance teacher is looking for new techniques or a science teacher wants to integrate the arts into the core curriculum, SPA provides workshops with teaching tools and strategies that work. Sponsored by Conoco Phillips.

The Wells Fargo Student Art Contest, now in its 18th year, aligns with one of SPA’s main stage presentations, which serves as inspiration for the contest. Hundreds of students submit their artwork to SPA each season; winning entries are showcased in exhibits all around the Houston area.

Artist Residencies give students personal access to SPA’s touring artists from around the globe. Artists visiting Houston as a part of an extended residency engage students through master classes, demonstrations and conversations over several days.

Movement Toward Literacy is a partnership with Writers in the Schools that explores the connections between the written and spoken word and dance to support learning and creativity in the classroom. Sponsored by Phillips 66.

Education Discounts like the Student Series and Teacher Club offer discounts to students and teachers for evening main stage performances.  


If you have any questions or would like to request additional information, please email education@spahouston.org.



Volunteer Houston sponsors SPA's Education & Community Engagement Intern through the 
2016 Shell Nonprofit Internship Program



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H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring The Madrigals

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring The Madrigals

Performance Preludes
6:55 PM - 7:15 PM Friday, November 3, 2017

Piano Level, Jones Hall

Join us in the lobby prior to the show for a free performance by 
The Madrigals.

The Madrigals is a program created for emerging dancers ages 8-12, performing at community events in the area. They perform a Broadway Review Style show, with this year’s performance, “Ballet on Broadway,” showcasing ballet, tap, and jazz. 

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring HSPVA Madrigals

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring HSPVA Madrigals

Performance Preludes
6:55 PM - 7:15 PM Saturday, November 4, 2017

Piano Level, Jones Hall
Join us in the lobby prior to the show for a free performance by 
HSPVA Madrigals.

The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts was established in 1971 and represented the first attempt by any national public high school to correlate academics and concentrated arts training. The Madrigal Singers is one of three auditioned small ensembles for junior and senior vocal majors. They are active in the Houston Arts community and perform throughout central Houston at holiday parties and community and corporate events. The ensemble won the 2016 American Classics Madrigal and Chamber Choir Festival in San Antonio and was the National Winner of the 2016 Mark of Excellence National Choral Honors. 




H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Houston Choral Showcase

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Houston Choral Showcase

Performance Preludes
6:55 PM - 7:15 PM Thursday, December 7, 2017

Piano Level, Jones Hall
Join us in the lobby prior to the show for a free performance by the Houston Choral Showcase.

Houston Choral Showcase is a show choir made up of talented adult singers directed by Jen Young. What sets this group apart from other choirs is their creative repertoire of pop, rock, disco, jazz, show tunes, patriotic pieces, and more, accompanied by lively choreography. And with entertaining music like that, the singers can’t just stand still with their heads buried in printed music – they memorize the songs so that they can look the audience in the eye, dance, and have fun! The ensemble has sung at public and private events all over the Greater Houston area (and occasionally beyond) since 1932, bringing distinctive performances that are filled with dynamic energy and great singing. 

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Dolce Strings

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Dolce Strings

Performance Preludes
6:55 PM - 7:15 PM Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Piano Level, Jones Hall
Join us in the lobby prior to the show for a free performance by Dolce Strings.

Dolce Strings is the student performing group of Dolce Music Studio. Violinists, violists, and cellists from age 3 thru adult perform classical favorites as well as fun and familiar folk tunes, popular selections, and Texas fiddle music.


H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Holding Space Dance Collective

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Holding Space Dance Collective

Performance Preludes
6:55 PM - 7:15 PM Friday, January 19, 2018

Piano Level, Jones Hall
Join us in the lobby prior to the show for a free performance by Holding Space Dance Collective.

Holding Space Dance Collective, under the direction of Maggie Lasher, was born from ChinaCat Dance. As ChinaCat, the company performed in numerous festivals, including Luminaria – Arts Night in San Antonio, many Houston Fringe Festivals, and Big Range Austin. The Cats also presented Glow and Aquaria, two evening-length performances, and the full-length fire performances Firelight and Ignite (with Jim MacKenzie). Since transitioning to Holding Space, the company has presented The Burning Times and Lightbearer, both shows featuring ensemble fire dance sections. Holding Space is known for their unique approach to contemporary dance and fire performance, and is continually evolving the marriage of dance, theater, and flow/circus arts.


H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring ICONOTHEATRIX

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring ICONOTHEATRIX

Performance Preludes
6:55 PM - 7:15 PM Saturday, January 20, 2018

Piano Level, Jones Hall
Join us in the lobby prior to the show for a free performance by ICONOTHEATRIX.

Iconotheatrix was established in December of 2014 with their inaugural cabaret, Iconotheatrix: A Prologue, founded on the idea that hard work, discipline, creativity, and teamwork are important tools for every young actor to develop. The company has grown through productions of RENT, Carrie: The Musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Heathers: The Musical. Iconotheatrix’ mission statement says, “We believe that young minds will deliver what they feel is expected. We want to create an environment where children feel safe and free to express themselves and to be who they are. We plan to bring classes, workshops, and innovative, challenging shows to the community. We believe that consistency is important and we plan to maintain a steady pace of work for you and your families to be a part of."

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring CSQUARED

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring CSQUARED

Performance Preludes
7:25 PM - 7:45 PM Saturday, February 10, 2018

Piano Level, Jones Hall
Join us in the lobby prior to the show for a free performance by CSQUARED.

C Squared was founded on the concept of a collaboration between the classical and contemporary dance world, possessing a wide range of knowledge in all dance genres. This open, pre-professional training center is a host to local and national industry professionals. They offer weekly guest instructors and monthly Master Classes in every genre, as well as welcoming atmosphere for the entire Houston dance community. They strive to offer the best to all who walk through their doors and enhance dance appreciation throughout the community.


H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Ad Deum

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Ad Deum

Performance Preludes
6:55 PM - 7:15 PM Saturday, March 10, 2018

Piano Level, Jones Hall
Please join us in the lobby prior to the show for a free performance by Ad Deum.

Ad Deum is a professional modern/contemporary dance company based in Houston, Texas, directed by its founder Randall Flinn, who established the company in January 2000. Dancers have come to Ad Deum from around the world seeking to be connected with a community of artists that share a common vision and desire. The mission of Ad Deum is to create and perform excellent and vital works of dance that serve to wash over the heart and soul of humanity with relevant meaning and redemptive hope. 

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Leon Dance Arts

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Leon Dance Arts

Performance Preludes
6:55 PM - 7:15 PM Friday, March 16, 2018

Piano Level, Jones Hall
Join us in the lobby prior to the show for a free performance by Leon Dance Arts.

Leon Dance Arts is a training program that consists of classes and a performing company, Leon Dance Arts Company. This program is geared to reeducated young dancers on dance as an art form and to mentor young dancers in their choices in collegiate dance training or a career as a professional dancer. Our goal is to instill a professional work ethic necessary for both dance and life. Our Leon Dance Arts Performing Company is a non-competitive, concert based repertory dance company between the ages of 12 to 17 with a strong classical ballet, jazz, and contemporary/modern background. 

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Houston City Dance Ensemble

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Houston City Dance Ensemble

Performance Preludes
1:25 PM - 1:45 PM Saturday, March 17, 2018

Piano Level, Jones Hall
Join us in the lobby prior to the show for a free performance by Houston City Dance Ensemble. 

Long established on a foundation of passion, integrity, and technical precision, City Dance works daily to expand and enrich the boundaries of contemporary dance. Utilizing the medium of dance to explode dichotomies to create art which is graceful and volcanic, ethereal and dramatic, City Dance repeatedly invents and reinvents itself artistically on the stage and socially through public service in the community. 

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