Education Programs and Outreach for Santa Fe's Youth
Each year, more than 14,000 students ride buses to The Lensic to enjoy free matinees. For many, it’s an essential introduction to the performing arts and a once-a-year opportunity to experience a live performance. The Lensic partners with the Santa Fe Public Schools PASS (Performing Arts for Student Success) program to bring children in grades K through 6 to The Lensic at least once during each academic year. Different, age-appropriate artforms are presented for each grade level.
Nearly 10,000 K-12 students from more than 50 New Mexico schools in Santa Fe, Espanola, Taos, and Pecos viewed our virtual performances. They included an educational performance by American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, filmed on The Lensic’s stage, and theatrical presentations Charlotte’s Web, Agua es Vida, and Beatrix Potter & Friends.
Masterclasses with Lensic Presents Artists
Students have a chance to learn directly with professional dancers, musicians, actors, and filmmakers in classes led by Lensic Presents artists. Masterclasses take place at local schools or here at The Lensic and include activities such as skills workshops, discussions, and performances.
In the 2021-2022 school year, we presented 10 visiting artists who impacted 145 students.
- World-renowned Native playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle met with students from Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, Santa Fe High School, and New Mexico School for the Arts.
- Jazz legend Branford Marsalis worked with UNM music students and jazz program students from New Mexico School for the Arts and the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association.
- The rising stars of American Ballet Theater Studio Company shared their expertise with NDI dance students.
- Storm Large held a masterclass with students from Santa Fe High School in which they talked about how storytelling can be used as a tool for perseverance.
- The musicians of International Guitar Night—Luca Stricagnoli, Thu Le, Jim “Kimo” West, and Lulo Reinhardt—led a workshop with 15 student guitarists from Capital High School.
In a typical year, more than 700 local students perform on The Lensic’s stage each year, experiencing the thrill of singing, dancing, and creating music in a professional theater. The Lensic provides free theater space and technical services for the year-end showcase of students in the Santa Fe Public Schools music and dance programs. We also welcome student performances from Monte del Sol Charter School, New Mexico School for the Arts, and the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association.
“The energy of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band was truly amazing . . . being able to work with them really inspired me as a musician. The sousaphone player gave a lot of great advice that will stay with me throughout my career.”
—Student musician, New Mexico School for the Arts, after a master class with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.