Teaching Possibility & Keeping The Arts in Schools
Sunset Center produces an arts-in-education program called Classroom Connections which brings our featured performers to regional schools. This is a unique and comprehensive program that engages the youth of our region in a series of workshops and performances designed to foster imagination, confidence, and a sense of possibility.
What is Classroom Connections?
Classroom Connections is a program that gives children an intimate, hands-on experience of the connection between process and product. Seeing a finished product—a play or a painting—can be fun and rewarding. Our goal is to empower children by breaking down the process of creating an artistic product step-by-step with the artists themselves. Our message is that success is not mysterious or unattainable. On the contrary, everyone can achieve their goals by developing the skills and determination to succeed; in baseball, business or ballet.
Since 2008, we have worked with almost 7,500 students, and our artists are as diverse as our students! We program the highest level of nationally touring artists in disciplines as diverse as modern dance, jazz, magic, ballet, theatre, mariachi, vaudeville, and more! Our students range from kindergarten to high school and special needs to at-risk, throughout Monterey County.
Our program is uniquely in-depth and has been designed to involve students on an actively engaged level. Unlike most programs that work with performers of this level, Classroom Connections is not about one-time assembly presentations where students have plenty of time to 'check-out' or not feel involved. We have developed a rigorous and exciting 4-part program where teachers and artists work with students classroom by classroom. By working in individual classrooms, teachers and artists have more time to devote to children on an interactive, individual level, in an atmosphere where students feel comfortable. Does it take more energy, time, and resources to work this way? Absolutely! And we wouldn't have it any other way.
Sunset Center believes in the potential of children; our goal is to help them believe in themselves.
Best of all? All of these opportunities are offered at no cost to the students, parents, or schools.
How it works:
Visit 1. Preparing the Students
Sunset Center teachers visit each participating classroom to prepare students for the artist visit and present a lesson of activities which may include history of the art form, key vocabulary words, information about the particular visiting artist, creative activities, and theatre etiquette.
Visit 2. Artists Visit the Classroom
Sunset Center's nationally touring artists visit each classroom to work with the students in an intimate, hands-on manner. Aritsts might discuss their own backgrounds, take the students through the process of creating their particular art form, and lead interactive exercises for students to get on their feet and integrate everything they have learned about the art form.
Visit 3. Students See a Performance at Sunset Center
The students and their teachers attend a one-hour matinee performance by the artists at the gorgeous, historic Sunset Center where they are given the chance to practice their theatre etiquette and see "their" artists on stage. This is followed by a fun question-and-answer session.
Visit 4. Follow-up Lesson
The Sunset Center teachers return to each classroom to lead a post-performance discussion about the performance, survey the students and teachers about their experience, and provide follow-up suggestions for continuing activities in the classrooms.
Classroom Connections would not be possible without generous support from individual donors and the following organizations:
Dance Kids Presents The Nutcracker (Night One)
Friday, December 13 at 7:00 pm Dance Kids Presents The Nutcracker (Night Two)
Saturday, December 14 at 7:00 pm Dance Kids Presents The Nutcracker (Matinee)
Sunday, December 15 at 2:00 pm Spirits & Cinema
Saturday, January 11 at 7:30 pm Carmel Music Society Presents Elizabeth Wallfisch and David Breitman
Sunday, January 12 at 3:00 pm Luis Bravo's Forever Tango
Wednesday, January 15 at 2:00 pm Chef Robert Irvine Live!
Saturday, January 18 at 8:00 pm The Irish Rovers
Friday, January 31 at 8:00 pm Chamber Music Monterey Bay Presents Trio Cavatina with Samuel Rhodes
Saturday, February 1 at 8:00 pm Carmel Music Society Presents The Gryphon Trio
Tuesday, February 4 at 8:00 pm Zappa Plays Zappa: Tour de Frank
Thursday, February 6 at 8:00 pm Ethan Russell: Best Seat in the House
Saturday, February 8 at 8:00 pm TAO: The Art of the Drum
Tuesday, February 11 at 8:00 pm Ottmar Liebert
Thursday, February 13 at 8:00 pm Monterey Symphony presents "Innovation"
Saturday, February 22 at 8:00 pm Studio 105 Cabaret Presents: Steve Lucky & The Rhumba Bums
Thursday, February 27 at 8:00 pm Carmel Music Society Presents Musica Pacifica Baroque Ensemble
Sunday, March 2 at 3:00 pm Ailey II Dance Company
Friday, March 7 at 8:00 pm Merle Haggard
Sunday, March 9 at 7:00 pm Chamber Music Monterey Bay Presents Catalyst Quartet
Friday, March 14 at 8:00 pm Monterey Symphony presents "Insight"
Saturday, March 22 at 8:00 pm Smuin Ballet: XXTREMES
Friday, March 28 at 8:00 pm 1964...The Tribute
Saturday, April 5 at 8:00 pm Broadway's Next H!t Musical
Friday, April 11 at 8:00 pm Carmel Music Society Presents Louis Lortie, Piano
Sunday, April 13 at 3:00 pm Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular
Thursday, April 17 at 8:00 pm Los Lonely Boys
Tuesday, April 22 at 8:00 pm MANDY PATINKIN: Dress Casual with Paul Ford on Piano
Wednesday, April 23 at 8:00 pm "Mystery Edition" Presented by Carmel Public Library Foundation
Thursday, April 24 at 7:00 pm Chamber Music Monterey Bay Presents St. Lawrence String Quartet with Jessica Rivera
Friday, April 25 at 8:00 pm Monterey Symphony presents "Reflection"
Saturday, April 26 at 8:00 pm Carmel Music Society Presents David Finckel and Wu Han
Sunday, May 4 at 3:00 pm John Lithgow: Stories by Heart
Thursday, May 8 at 8:00 pm Monterey Symphony presents "Splendor"
Saturday, May 17 at 8:00 pm The Four Freshmen GALA EVENT
Saturday, May 24 at 8:00 pm Carmel Music Society Presents Michael Noble - Winner of Carmel Music Society's 2013 Piano Competition
Friday, May 30 at 8:00 pm Carmel Music Society Presents 2014 Instrumental Competition
Saturday, May 31 at 12:00 pm Smuin Ballet: XXCENTRIC
Friday, June 6 at 8:00 pm