judy-mitchell.jpgWEST PALM BEACH — The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts has announced the launch of the De George Academy for Performing Arts for children and teens.

The new Academy will provide year-round professional performing-arts instruction and coaching, performance experience and audition preparation for students in kindergarten through grade 12. In particular, the academy will target economically disadvantaged youth demonstrating a strong interest in the performing arts.

Judith Mitchell, Kravis Center CEO, said the training the academy will provide “is not currently offered in local schools and directly addresses the needs of students whose parents cannot afford private music, dance or acting lessons nor, as in many cases, even have a willing family member to support their interest by watching or listening.

“These students currently have a distinct disadvantage when they go through the audition process for Bak Middle School of the Arts, the Dreyfoos School of the Arts, a performing arts college or a career in the performing arts,” Mitchell added.

The selection of participating students in the new Academy will be coordinated through the Kravis Arts Ambassadors at selected schools. Program participation is fully financed, including supplies and materials. The support for students’ artistic growth, includes:

• Fall and Spring Saturday morning technique and audition preparation workshops will be held October through March for recommended elementary students, from grades 3 to 5, focusing on skill building and geared to admission requirements for Bak Middle School of the Arts. Selected middle and high school youth mentors will also assist the teaching artists and students in the studio.

• Student workshop series for middle and high school students from September through May, including Kravis On Broadway workshops and Master Classes. These workshops will be taught by Broadway cast members and professional visiting teaching artists.

Upcoming Stage Awakenings student performance opportunities include:

• Audition conducted by a staff panel and professional stage director on Feb. 2, 2013.

• Rehearsal/ Workshop with coaching provided by a director on Feb. 9, 2013.

• Performance for peers and arts community in Persson Hall on Feb. 16, 2013.

• Special S*T*A*R Series performance experiences for selected K-2 classes.  A select group from one elementary school will also participate in an interactive post-performance workshop with the cast.

• Summer Arts Intensive for elementary and middle school youth providing a sampling of performing arts experience in various disciplines such as theatre, music and dance with the opportunity to focus on specific interests.

“We firmly believe that by sowing the seeds of creativity in one child’s imagination, we are providing a solid foundation for their future cultural appreciation,” said Mitchell.

For more information about the De George Academy for Performing Arts or any of the programs coordinated by the Kravis Center’s Education and Community Outreach Department, please call 561-651-4251 or visit kravis.org/education