Colgate Classroom Series Goes Virtual

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, January 12, 2021 – In a normal season thousands of students and teachers come to Walton Arts Center and experience a Colgate Classroom Series performance. Providing these and other education resources to our teachers has been a key mission of the non-profit performing arts center since it started. Therefore, it was important to find a way to continue in spite of COVID-19.

The 2021 Colgate Classroom Series includes four productions that are available free of charge to Northwest Arkansas teachers and their students, and each production connects to Arkansas Learning Standards.

While developing plans for this year, the Learning and Engagement team surveyed area teachers to identify the virtual arts education content that would be most helpful for their students. 

“Based on the response from teachers, we will be offering a variety of options, from a full length recording of a show for elementary students to a performance broken up into segments with accompanying lesson plans, activities and artist information geared more toward middle school students,” said Sallie Zazal, director of Learning and Engagement. 

“Thanks to the different formats, teachers will be able to incorporate this content into their curriculum in ways that work best for them.”

Two titles bring history to life for older students. Layer the Walls, co-commissioned by Walton Arts Center, is a video series that explores stories of a tenement apartment in New York City that was once home to hundreds of new immigrants. Shadow and Bunraku puppetry, along with masks bring to life the stories of Irish, Italian and Jewish families. These compelling stories have shaped the America we know today. Layer the Walls is available on demand Jan. 15 through June 15.

Available on demand Feb. 1 through May 1, Syracuse Stage’s Resiliency is a video series about Annie Easley, a Black woman who worked at NASA for 34 years. Initially working on airplanes, she soon realized her destiny was to be on the team of mathematicians working to launch the Centaur Rocket into the Space Race. Annie’s resiliency is a personality trait that helped her to succeed despite adversity. Students will experience portions of the show Commanding Space: The Rise of Annie Easley and the Centaur Rocket, learn from the actor and the playwright, and participate in arts activities designed to help students find and cultivate their own resiliency tools.

Two additional performances are ideal for pre-kindergarten and lower elementary students. Join the Band: Music Making for One and All is a video series by husband and wife teachers and musicians, Dan and Claudia Zanes. The segments introduce young people to songs and the stories behind them while providing creative ideas to help everyone find their way inside the music. The units are uplifting and interactive and part concert, part history lesson, part music class, part campfire sing-along dance party and are available on demand Feb. 1 through May 1.

The Snail and The Whale is a 60-minute performance inspired by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved picture book. The performance includes interviews and conversations with the artistic team and actors and is available Feb. 8 through 28.

For more information about each performance and the Arkansas Learning Standards that they support, visit waltonartscenter.org. All performances are free for teachers and their classes. Teachers can register their classes on the Walton Arts Center website. Contact schools@waltonartscenter.org if you have questions.

The Colgate Classroom Series is made possible by support from the Colgate-Palmolive Company. Additional support is provided by JB Hunt and Walmart and education grants from the Arkansas Arts Council, Walmart Foundation and Walton Family Foundation.

Support for Walton Arts Center is provided, in part, by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Walton Arts Center is Arkansas’ largest and busiest performing arts presenter. Each year more than 200,000 people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and beyond attend more than 300 public events at Walton Arts Center, including performances, rehearsals, community gatherings, receptions, weddings and more. Approximately 35,000 students and teachers participate annually in arts learning programs at Walton Arts Center, and almost 250 volunteers donate 28,000 hours of time each year to its operations. Walton Arts Center presents entertainers and artists from around the world including Broadway musicals, renowned dance companies, international artists, up-and-coming jazz musicians and more. As a non-profit organization, Walton Arts Center enjoys the generous support of public sector funding, corporate sponsorship and private donors, allowing audience members to enjoy world-class performances at a great price. To learn more about Walton Arts Center, visit www.waltonartscenter.org.

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