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 April 2011, the contemporary dance company, Trey McIntyre Project, met with 25 high school students from the New Mexico School of the Arts for an intensive dance workshop the day before the troupe's performance at The Lensic.
In 2010, Desert Academy students produced the original Laramie Project. Andy Paris, a writer and creator of the groundbreaking play was a mentor to the students throughout their rehearsals. See Santa Fe New Mexican story about Desert Academy's production of The Laramie Project.
Once a year, Santa Fe and Capital High Schools perform a musical or theater piece on The Lensic stage. Last year, Capital High performed the Rodgers and Hammerstein production of Cinderella.
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.