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CBK PBL “CultureCrew” Attends Performing Arts Conference

More than CBK PBL Culture Crew a dozen Cedarbrook students - the CultureCrew - attended two International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) Conference Showcases at Avenue of the Arts theater venues this past week and watched plays, participated in Q&A sessions and met other CultureCrews from across the area.

With the aim of providing students with authentic, real-world experiences essential to a successful project-based learning program, CBK teacher Isaac Stanford partnered with IPAY to give students access to live performances from around the world and engage with international artists and meet other students from across Philadelphia. The partnership is modeled after a program in Danish schools that has been replicated in numerous Philadelphia-area schools, including Masterman, Central High and Academy at Palumbo.

On Thursday, Jan. 23 at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre on the Avenue of the Arts, the CBK CultureCrew participated in pre-show activities with conference teaching artists and took in the Scottish show ”Chalk About,” which turned the stage into a gigantic chalkboard to explore the nature of identity by asking big questions. Afterward, CBK and other Philly CultureCrews chatted with the performers while eating pizza.

Two days later, the CBK CultureCrew returned to the Avenue of the Arts for Commanding Space, a one-woman show about 1960s pioneering African-American NASA mathematician Annie Easley, at UArts Arts Bank Theater. Following the show, students participated in a Q&A with the director and playwright, met with the leaders of CultureCrew in Denmark and participated in a post-show workshop with IPAY teaching artists. And of course, there was more pizza!

As CultureCrew members, students have the opportunity to express their voice, develop leadership skills, network with professional artists, attend world-class shows and help design classroom activities based on their experiences.

The IPAY conference works to create professional and education opportunities for North American artists, agents and presenters to engage around support of meaningful performing arts experiences for young audiences. This year’s conference was January 21-25.