Each year, more than 10,000 Santa Fe public school students ride school buses to The Lensic to experience an event in the performing arts.
This program provides an essential introduction to the performing arts for many young people. As students progress through grade levels, they see a different event each year, exposing them to a wide variety of performances.
Students see classical music concerts, theater and dance productions, poetry slams, local folk music and opera.
The Lensic collaborates with the Santa Fe Public School PASS Program (Performing Arts for Students Success), and ArtWorks, which provides professional development for teachers to prepare them and their classes for the best possible experience from each performance.
"Loved the Q & A. Can we come again soon? My students were entranced." --Santa Fe teacher's comment on the day's youth event.
To give students an up-close view of the arts, The Lensic offers onsite workshops in Santa Fe high schools with theater professionals. Directors, filmmakers, photographers, performers and writers visit classrooms to share their expertise and experiences.
The workshops include theatrical or creative exercises such as singing, writing, acting and dancing. Students are given complimentary tickets to see the live show featuring their workshop leader at The Lensic.
In September 2015, a lead dancer from the Twyla Tharp 50th Anniversary tour met with students from the New Mexico School of the Arts for a dance workshop the day before the ensemble's performance at The Lensic.
A few weeks later, students from Santa Fe's Mandela International Magnet School joined Lima's Cumbia All Stars onstage for an afternoon music jam. The Peruvian musicians showed students traditional Andean instruments and taught them a cumbia song.
Once a year, Santa Fe and Capital High Schools perform a musical or theater piece on The Lensic stage. Performances have ranged from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).
The students work with the professional Lensic technical staff to rehearse and produce the show for a public performance. For many students, it is their first opportunity to perform on a grand stage such as The Lensic.
The high school students also perform for elementary school students at The Lensic, and are rewarded with an adoring crowd.