KU News Release

Feb. 3, 2011
Contact: Marisa Bregman, Lied Center, 785-864-2722

Preschoolers to get up close with performing arts

More Information

LAWRENCE — The Lied Center of Kansas will present Performing Arts 3to5, an educational program offering performing arts experiences for children ages 3 to 5, on Monday and Tuesday, March 14 and 15.

Performing Arts 3to5 is an annual Lied Center program that introduces children to the arts through an up-close encounter with a performing artist while sitting on the stage. This season, storyteller, actor, poet and musician David Gonzalez will present an original performance based on Aesop’s classic stories. The children will have the opportunity to watch and participate in Gonzalez’s unique program.

“We’re delighted to present the fourth season of Performing Arts 3to5,” said Anthea Scouffas, Lied Center director of education. “We understand the importance of reaching some of the youngest students in our community. This program provides in-depth exploration of the performing arts to prekindergarten students from Head Start, the Ballard Center, Little Nations Preschool, USD 497’s preschool program as well as others. Study after study confirms the need to engage our preschoolers in the arts as a way to increase their likelihood of success, and having visiting artist David Gonzalez and local teaching artist Priscilla Howe engage these young minds is exciting and productive.”

In the weeks before the interactive Performing Arts 3to5 presentations, Kansas teaching artist and Lied.Art.Teach participant Howe will develop and present a teacher’s workshop for participating preschool teachers. The workshop will feature everyday skills and activities to incorporate storytelling into the classroom and at the same time meet preschool curriculum standards. Following the Performing Arts 3to5 performances, Howe will conduct in-school follow-up workshops.

In addition to Performing Arts 3to5, Gonzalez will present “Carnival of the Animals” and “Peter and the Wolf” with pianist Frederic Chiu at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 13, at the Lied Center. Gonzalez, a Helen Hayes Performing Artist of the Year Award winner, hosted “New York Kids” on New York Public Radio for eight seasons and has been featured on Bill Moyers’ documentary “Fooling with Words” on PBS and “All Things Considered” on NPR. Gonzalez now does public speaking and live multimedia performances featuring his original poetry.

Since 2008, Performing Arts 3to5 has provided more than 1,400 3- to 5-year-olds with firsthand experience on the Lied Center stage with world-class performing artists including Chiara String Quartet, Imani Winds chamber quintet and Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. The program has also extended hands-on classroom instruction from regional teaching artists. The program emphasizes a strong focus on integrating the arts — classical music, storytelling, theater and dance — into the everyday curriculum. Performing Arts 3to5 addresses a variety of Kansas Department of Education Early Learning guidelines, standards and benchmarks, including the development of motor skills, group activities, communication, imagination, creativity in play and creativity through the arts.

The Lied Center has placed special importance on making sure that underserved populations have access to this program and have partnered with state and regional organizations and private donors to provide funding for the program at no cost to schools and families in Douglas County.

The program is presented in part by the Kansas Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

The presentation is supported by Mid-America Arts Alliance with generous underwriting by the National Endowment for the Arts, Kansas Arts Commission and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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