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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Arts Talk for STOMP

Arts Talk for STOMP

ArtsTalk
6:30 PM - 6:50 PM Friday, February 10, 2017

Orchestra Level, Jones Hall
Join us for a free pre-performance discussion with a member of STOMP.
H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Intuitive African Dance and Drum Culture

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Intuitive African Dance and Drum Culture

Performance Preludes
7:00 PM - 7:20 PM Friday, February 10, 2017

Piano Level, Jones Hall
Join us in the lobby prior to the show for a free performance by
Intuitive African Dance and Drum Culture.

Intuitive African Dance and Drum Culture, founded in 2007 provides "edutainment" service via performance, workshops and classes in West African drum and dance, including cultural history.  Intuitive's performances include those at Jones Hall with the Houston Symphony; Wortham Theater; Discovery Green; Houston Museum of Fine Arts; the Bayou Arts Festival; the Children’s Museum of Houston; Rice University to name a few.  In addition, Intuitive has taught West African dance for several schools and dance companies including, Prairie View A.M. University; Dance Houston; Crowd Pleasers Dance; HCC; Klein Oak Dance Club; Project Row Houses; and the Haven Center.  
Arts Talk for STOMP

Arts Talk for STOMP

ArtsTalk
1:00 PM - 1:20 PM Saturday, February 11, 2017

Orchestra Level, Jones Hall
Join us for a free pre-performance discussion with a member of STOMP.
H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Vitacca Dance Project

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Vitacca Dance Project

Performance Preludes
1:30 PM - 1:50 PM Saturday, February 11, 2017

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

Kelly Ann Vitacca is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She received her Bachelor’s in Performing Arts in Dance Performance at Oklahoma City University and extended Arts Management master studies at Columbia College. Vitacca currently choreographs and master teaches nationally while directing Vitacca Dance Project Pre-Professional School. Vitacca is an innovator in pre-professional training programs and has acted as an international dance program consultant since 2006. Vitacca is a Leo’s International Choreography Award recipient, a Dance Chicago Outstanding Choreographer, an Illinois Artist Fellowship Award recipient and Top Choreographer for Youth America Gran Prix (Houston). 

In 2008 Vitacca joined Houston Ballet’s artistic staff as Artistic Coordinator and Chaired the Dance/USA Host Programming Committee.  In 2010 Vitacca was appointed Dance Houston Director of Programming where she developed numerous programs and acted as the educational programs liaison, supporting dance educators and filling the dance class needs within Houston Independent School District (HISD) schools and at-risk facilities. She has served as Production Manager for Dance Houston and the five Stage ROOTS Festival. She has served as programming panelist for the Texas Weekend of Contemporary Dance; acted as Choreographic Adjudicator for Houston Royal Academy of Fine Arts; and has been a Guest Master Teacher at the ISAS Arts Festival. Ms. Vitacca was cast as an expert ballet coach on MTV’s MADE television series, which continues to air nationwide.

Vitacca’s vast artistic achievements, arts management experience, industry networks and dedication to advance the dance art form allows her to pioneer Vitacca Dance Project. 
Arts Talk for STOMP

Arts Talk for STOMP

ArtsTalk
6:30 PM - 6:50 PM Saturday, February 11, 2017

Orchestra Level, Jones Hall
Join us for a free pre-performance discussion with a member of STOMP.
H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Percussion One

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring Percussion One

Performance Preludes
7:00 PM - 7:20 PM Saturday, February 11, 2017

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

The Percussion One Foundation, Houston's premier drumline and percussion ensemble, is comprised of high school students from the greater Houston area. Percussion One Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1994 by Executive Director Lamar Burkhalter.

Percussion One Foundation encompasses different ensembles to provide percussive instruction, education and performance opportunities for young percussionists. Each ensemble highlights the organization's percussive arts education and exemplary standard of citizenship.

This talented group has performed throughout Texas at many arts, corporate, sporting, community and charity events to also include performances with the Keith Urban Band and the Shania Twain Band.  Locally, the group’s performance history includes performances for the NFL Houston Texans, NBA Houston Rockets, MLB Houston Astros, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Society for the Performing Arts, Downtown District, Theater District and for the Advocare 100 Texas Bowl.

Internationally, the group performed a 10 day tour of Moscow Russia in 1997, and at the World Expo 2000 in Hanover, Germany.  Percussion One also completed a two week concert tour of Sydney and Melbourne, Australia in July of 2015.   This tour included performances in the Sydney Opera House, Melbourne University, Australian National Academy of Music and many outreach programs in private and public school settings for elementary through high school students.

Percussion One has always been on the leading edge of "novelty" percussion having presented Performance Preludes for the Society for the Performing Arts’ Blue Man Group performances in years past.   Percussion One has a long history of thrilling audiences with their buckets, trash cans, poles, boomwhackers and many other non-traditional instruments.
Arts Talk for Joey Alexander

Arts Talk for Joey Alexander

ArtsTalk
7:00 PM - 7:20 PM Friday, February 17, 2017

Orchestra Level, Jones Hall
Join us for a free pre-performance discussion with Noe Marmolejo, Associate Professor of Music at the University of Houston before Joey Alexander's performance.
Arts Talk for Third Coast Percussion

Arts Talk for Third Coast Percussion

ArtsTalk
7:00 PM - 7:20 PM Saturday, March 4, 2017

Orchestra Level, Cullen Theater
Join us for a free pre-performance discussion with Jordan Drum, Director of Education & Community Engagement. 
H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring City Dance Ensemble

H-E-B Performance Prelude featuring City Dance Ensemble

Performance Preludes
7:00 PM - 7:15 PM Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Bridge, Wortham Center
Join us in the lobby prior to the show for a free performance by
City Dance Ensemble.

The Company has performed extensively in Houston-area venues and abroad, including Spain, France, Switzerland, and Monaco. Ms. Campbell's work with the company led the Houston Press to describe our dance company as “urban, edgy, explosive, and very sexy.” Houston City Dance is a nonprofit educational organization which enjoys the support of grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance as well as private companies, foundations and individual donors.

City Dance's touring company performs their vibrant mix of jazz, hip-hop, and classical styles in theaters and at cultural events locally and internationally. The Company's performers are young adults of diverse ethnic, social, and cultural backgrounds, some of whom were at-risk students or high school dropouts from troubled backgrounds. The Company's students are routinely expected to give their time and talent to the community by promoting the art of dance through community service at venues such as schools, retirement and assisted living facilities, hospitals and homeless shelters.
Arts Talk for Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Arts Talk for Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

ArtsTalk
7:00 PM - 7:20 PM Friday, March 24, 2017

Orchestra Level, Cullen Theater
Join us for a free pre-performance discussion with a company member of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

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