EDUCATIONAL PARTNERSHIP WITH HIGH SCHOOLS IN NEW YORK CITY
The House Foundation is actively looking for more partnerships in the New York Public School System. If you are interested in bringing in members of the Vocal Ensemble to your school, please contact Sarah Lerner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HISTORY OF THE RESIDENCY PROGRAM
In Spring 2009, Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble completed the pilot year of our arts education program at LaGuardia Arts High School (LAHS) with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. The program, held during school hours, consisted of a three-week workshop in which Ensemble members Ellen Fisher and Katie Geissinger taught several segments of Meredith Monk compositions (movement and vocal) combined with written and aural critical analysis to 60 students in the Dance Department. Meredith also taught one session to the students.
The goals of the workshop were to:
- Promote & preserve Meredith’s work through the creation of a performance and through training in various techniques;
- Teach an approach to/awareness of compassionate imagination that informs and shapes the works;
- Experiment across disciplines;
- Provide students and teachers with greater knowledge of and insight into Meredith’s multi-discipline performance work.
In Spring 2010, the second phase of the pilot project also used Meredith Monk’s groundbreaking work in music, voice, movement, film/video and music theater as a foundation for a fully integrated, multi-disciplinary performance residency. The sessions ran after school for six weeks, and included 25 high school juniors and sophomores from LAHS’s Dance, Instrumental Music, Voice, Theater, and Visual Arts programs. Meredith also conducted two sessions with the students. The culminating session of the program in May 2010 was an original site-specific performance conceived by the students and coached by Ellen and Katie for the LAHS lobby, stairwell and dance studios.
During Fall 2010 Ellen and Katie conducted introductory workshops in 12 individual classes of 30 – 32 students each in the Voice, Instrument, Dance, Theater and Visual Arts departments at LAHS, enabling a greater number of students exposure to Meredith’s work and philosophy.
In Spring 2011 we ran a second six-week after school program with 20 students in the Dance, Vocal and Instrumental Music departments, culminating in a performance in April.
From 2011-2019, the House has continued to engage schools across the city including Bard High School and programs through Abrons Arts Center.
Ellen Fisher and Kate Geissinger
Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble Members and NYC Teaching Artists
Ms. Fisher and Ms. Geissinger have served as teaching artists for the program since the initial pilot. Ms. Fisher has had extensive experience teaching in the NYC public schools, and both Fisher and Geissinger have co-taught workshops with Ms. Monk internationally. They are also regular workshop leaders in the professional development workshops conducted twice a year by The House.