The Kimmel Cultural Campus Expands FREE Digital Education Programming Due To Popular Demand

The Kimmel Cultural Campus announced the rollout of all new “virtual field trips” – expanding their already robust FREE digital education programming to reach thousands of more school children in Philadelphia. Despite being closed for nearly a year, the Cultural Campus has identified unique ways to continue to fill the needs of the community- transforming its education programs to the online space, partnering with local charities on food and blood drives, serving as a polling place, and even opening their doors as a peaceful resting place for protesters and police over the summer.  

Like many other non-profit arts organizations during this time, Kimmel has expanded its digital offerings- even in the face of drastically reduced staffing. Since launching its education programs into the digital realm in September 2020, the Kimmel has expanded the number of interactive, virtual experiences by 50% to reach 126 classrooms. Additionally, the Kimmel is adding new virtual field trips to take students, teachers, and families on curriculum-based interactive journeys, using a variety of art forms ranging from jazz and music technology to musical theater. These free, on-demand programs will be made available to teachers, free of charge, who sign up on the kimmelcenter.org website.  

“We are committed to inspiring students through the arts and, with many of these students spending all day in virtual classrooms, they need inspiration and a creative outlet now more than ever,” said Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Cultural Campus. “Following our September pivot to digital offerings, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the Philadelphia School District, teachers, students, and parents alike. We are grateful to be able to do this work and are appreciative of the unwavering support of our generous donors who make it possible to not just meet but to surpass our education impact goals, despite our doors being closed.”  

As a result of COVID-19, and in compliance with city and state ordinances, the Kimmel Cultural Campus remains closed and has been forced to cancel and postpone all productions, concerts, classes, and events across the campus. With 93% of the Kimmel’s revenue driven by ticket sales and venue rentals, the negative financial impact of COVID-19 has been dire with projected losses of more than $29-million dollars in gross revenue. As a result, the Kimmel has launched an aggressive Road to Reopening Relief Fundraising Campaign. 

The Kimmel’s “Creative Stages” education programming is 100% free to schools, thanks to the generosity of donors. These education programs are designed to provide a broad performing arts experience to 4th, 5th, and 6th graders, and give special opportunities for older students with higher levels of interest. “Creative Stages” was developed as part of an education expansion project- aiming to educate, engage, and inspire 100,000 students each year in the Philadelphia area through FREE education programming on the Campus and within the community. Launched in 2018, the pilot year saw a 57% increase in total learning hours (up from the 2016/17 season), as well as an extraordinary 309% increase in total activities and a 49% increase in participants.  

The Kimmel Cultural Campus “Creative Stages” education program is made possible by the support of generous donors, including: The Aramark Charitable Fund; Bank of America; Chubb; Doran Family Foundation; Patricia and David Holveck; Independence Blue Cross; The Lenfest Foundation; Merck & Co., Inc.; M&T Bank | Wilmington Trust; and Ollin, LLC.  

Information about the Kimmel’s new virtual field trips is below, and details on the Kimmel’s expanding “Creative Stages” digital education programs can be found on the Kimmel’s website kimmelcenter.org. For more information or to schedule an interview contact Leslie Patterson-Tyler at ltyler@kimmelcenter.org or (609) 247-2632. 

NEW, MONTHLY KIMMEL VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS:

February – Jazz4Freedom 
In February’s program,  students will take a “trip” to the Kimmel Center for Jazz4Freedom, where they will learn about The Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Movement, and a place and time where African American artistic expression flourished, leaving an indelible impact on American culture. Typically, welcoming thousands of 4th graders for in-person field trips starting on MLK day, and taking place throughout the month of February, the Kimmel’s signature Jazz4Freedom program was a well-established tradition. Through technology, artist partnerships, the demanding work of a full film crew, and the School District of Philadelphia, this exciting annual event will now be the first “virtual field trip” released in the Kimmel’s new monthly series. COVID-19 safety protocols were followed during the filming of these projects. 

March – #PhillyBeatz          
The March program will feature #PhillyBeatz, a technology-based creativity celebration. This signature education program will include demonstrations and performances from professional artists, inspired by music and beats created by talented students who participated in the Kimmel’s 8-week #PhillyBeatz residency program. Using “Soundtrap for Education,” Kimmel teaching artists help students embrace creativity without the limitations of owning an instrument or having access to lessons. Beyond the musical tracks, Kimmel #PhillyBeatz encourages kids to explore other forms of creativity – like dance, movement, spoken word, rap, and singing – and learn that creativity and the arts inspire us in other areas of our lives, too!  

April – Grow Up Great  
April’s program will feature engaging performances by family-friendly artists and musicians as part of the Kimmel’s Grow Up Great series. 

May – One Musical Philadelphia 
In May, One Musical Philadelphia is the culminating performance for the Kimmel’s signature education multi-week virtual residency program that challenges students to embrace community and collaboration. This final performance will be made available for schools, friends, and family of Kimmel One Musical participants.  

June – Showstoppers 
In June, the Kimmel will feature the Kimmel Showstoppers, a talented group of high schoolers who will inspire younger students in this virtual musical theater performance. 

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