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MIAMI — The Adrienne Arsht Center hosted another 26,000 fifth-grade students from local schools for this year’s presentation of Rock Odyssey, the original rock ’n roll musical based on Homer’s Odyssey.

The flagship program in the center’s “Learning Through the Arts” education initiative was created in collaboration with Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Now in its third season, Rock Odyssey has reached more than 70,000 students from hundreds of public and private schools across Miami-Dade County.

To kick off the show, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and presenting sponsor Wells Fargo were honored for their commitment to the center’s Learning Through the Arts program during a special breakfast on Sept. 22.

“Rock Odyssey is a textbook example of how a public-private partnership should work,” said Adrienne Arsht Center President and CEO M. John Richard.

The Center has produced Rock Odyssey as a Broadway-style musical created especially for fifth graders and provides free bus transportation for all students. In addition, the experience extends beyond the theater and into the classroom through an in-class curriculum package, designed by show creator Douglas Love in partnership with World Book.

The Arsht Center hopes to expand Learning Through the Arts over the next five years, with the goal of ultimately reaching 100 percent of the county’s fifth, seventh, and ninth graders – providing students countywide with live performance experiences three times over the course of their education.

This expansion would eventually provide arts adventures for over 75,000 young people each year. The goal of this ambitious program is to provide a hands-on, accessible and inviting experience in the performing arts for the youth of Miami-Dade County, enriching their studies, enhancing their exposure to the arts, and cultivating their creativity.

Photo: Manny Hernandez, Courtesy Arsht Center

ELEMENTARY FUN: These fifth-grade students are among the thousands who have enjoyed Rock Odyssey performances at the Adrienne Arsht Center.