Tobin Center Education Initiatives Bring Arts into the Classroom

March 31, 2016 - 10:15am

With its new Generation Next Education Initiative, the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts is expanding their educational reach, a key component of its mission. The initiative brings students to the Tobin for special programming, takes artists out into schools for face-to-face engagement, and will soon be working on a transformational curriculum to be implemented with North East Independent School District.Education initiatives have always been part of the Tobin’s master plan. After the center opened in 2014, their first objective was to figure out how to best utilize the space in order to best serve the community and facilitate incoming artists, according to Kendall Purpura, vice president of education and development at the Tobin Center.Their goal was to find a niche that was currently unfilled in districts where arts funding has been drastically reduced, and programming has, in many cases, disappeared. Purpura met with many local ISD administrators, and has been able to find the right fit for most. Many schools have taken advantage of the student matinée program. During the Tobin Center’s 2014-15 season, around 50,000 students attended the performances on school field trips. Purpura soon realized that the cost and logistical hurdles field trips pose for school districts, and decided to push the program further by taking visiting artists into the schools.

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