mobile logo

Kimmel Center Celebrates Back-to-School with Robust Family Programming and Fresh Education Offerings

For a PDF version of this press release, please click here

Tweet it!

#backtoschool time & @KimmelCenter has something for everyone. Family Discovery Series, #FREE Grow Up Great, #artseducation programs & more

Press Contact:

Amanda Conte



Newly launched music technology initiatives kick off this season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, PA, September 19, 2016) –– The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts celebrates the start of the school year in Philadelphia with the full lineup of family and educational programming for the season ahead including two new music technology classes, an extension to the popular Show Stoppers musical theater program, and a second season of the successful Family Discovery Series.

In an effort to cultivate the next generation of theater-goers and arts lovers, the Kimmel Center continues to expand its robust set of offerings for families, students, teachers, and aspiring artists. This season marks the return of the Family Discovery Series, the nationally-recognized PNC Grow Up Great program of FREE monthly programming, as well as several free offerings from the Kimmel Center’s Education department which continue to keep the arts alive in classrooms both at the Kimmel Center and beyond. New this season is a three-year Jazz Standards curriculum featuring a comprehensive exploration of jazz by students and professionals, as well as two new technology courses for aspiring digital music professionals.

“These performances and programs suit families and students of every age, skill level, and discipline, and we’re thrilled to see the next generation of performers growing up on our cultural Campus,” said Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “It is critical that children experience art early and often, and we are proud to present so many opportunities to help ignite and grow that passion.”


Each month in Commonwealth Plaza, children and families join professional artists for a one-hour program designed for the littlest music lovers. This FREE program introduces children between the ages of 1 and 5 to jazz concepts, songs, musical instruments, storytelling with song, and musical theater. The Kimmel Center is the recipient of partnership funding through the nationally recognized PNC "Grow Up Great" program, a $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age five for success in school and life.

Dates of 2016–17 Grow Up Great performances (all at 11:00 a.m.):

September 10, 2016 (during the Kimmel Center’s FREE Open House celebration!)

October 15, 2016

November 12, 2016

December 3, 2016

January 1, 2017 (during the Kimmel Center’s FREE New Year’s Day celebration!)

February 18, 2017

March 11, 2017

April 8, 2017

May 13, 2017

June 10, 2017 (during the Kimmel Center’s FREE Organ Day celebration!)


The Kimmel Center’s Family Discovery Series returns for a second consecutive season of family programming to help cultivate the next generation of art lovers and build lasting memories through popular and engaging shows for the whole family. The 2016–17 season lineup includes: Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China: Shanghai Nights (October 30, 2016); Odd Squad: Live! (November 25–26, 2016); Cirque Éloize: Saloon (January 13–14, 2017); Elephant + Piggie: We are in a Play! (January 21, 2017); iLuminate (February 10–11, 2017); Paw Patrol Live! (March 3–5, 2017); and DRUMLine Live! (March 9–10, 2017). Building upon a successful first season, the Family Discovery Series aims to introduce children to the theater through a variety of events that families can attend together. 3+-show ticket packages are available now.


The Kimmel Center’s Education initiatives return for another season to educate, engage, and inspire the next generation of artists. With seven programs catering to students of all ages and skill levels, the Kimmel Center’s education offerings are designed to cultivate the arts lovers and performers of the future. The offerings include:

  • NEW Music Technology Courses – Two new classes blend cutting-edge software with student creativity for those interested in a future in digital music. In “The Music, the Movie, and Me”, students use video, music, and creative writing to produce collaborative projects over a 3-week period. In “Studio Magic- You Can Do This!”, students learn the basics of music technology using state-of-the-art equipment. (Grades 5–12)
  • FREE Performing Arts Classes – School groups can sign up for free interactive classroom instruction in: music, dance, and/or musical theater in the education facilities on the Kimmel Center campus. (Grades 5–12)
  • Jazz Camp of Philadelphia – This program allows this generation's brightest young jazz talents to gain invaluable experience, alongside students from near and far, in a creative live performance setting on the Kimmel Center's world-class campus. Students, selected by audition, will explore jazz technique, repertoire, and live performance. (Ages 13–20)
  • The Business of Making Music – From leveraging networking connections to developing and managing skillsets directly related to the music industry, The Business of Making Music is a panelist series focusing on engaging professionally-oriented students and graduates who are pursuing a career in the music business.
  • Student Matinees – Student Matinee performances offer students and teachers the opportunity to attend select shows from the Kimmel Center Presents and Broadway Philadelphia seasons. All matinees are approximately one hour long and include curriculum materials provided to teachers in advance of the performance. (Grades K–12)
  • Creative Music Program for Jazz – The Kimmel Center Creative Music Program for Jazz is a FREE school-year jazz music program in which students explore original and legacy compositions, hands-on exploration of the rich jazz tradition, monthly celebrity master classes courtesy of the “Meet the Masters” series, weekly intensive ensemble rehearsal, and performance opportunities. (Ages 11–22)
  • Show Stoppers – Show Stoppers is a free after-school musical theater program with instruction in theater art, vocal, and dance technique taught by professionally-acclaimed teaching artists, culminating in two showcase performances in the Perelman Theater. (Grades 9–12)
  • Broadway Dreams Foundation Summer Intensive – Students who participate in the week-long Broadway Dreams Summer Intensive receive personal instruction from Broadway performers and industry professionals on acting, vocal technique, song selection, dance, business, and more. (Ages 6–67)
  • Jazz Standards – The Kimmel Center debuts a NEW three-year program created and designed to introduce students to the great American art form known as jazz. In collaboration with three School District of Philadelphia schools, the curriculum will include instrumental and vocal music, dance, visual arts, and live performances.

The Kimmel Center will host an Arts Education Fair on November 16th from 3:00 p.m.– 6:00 p.m. The annual afternoon will include networking with the Kimmel Center Education Department and its Resident Companies, as well as exploration of youth programs, school visits, arts education opportunities, and more. The event will feature prize packages, ticket giveaways, and teaching demonstrations.


Grow Up Great is a free monthly program. 3+-show ticket packages for Family Discovery Series shows are on sale now, starting at just $47. Single tickets are also available, prices vary by show. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office. Group sales are available for select performances. More information at

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, The Kimmel Center’s mission is to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience through diverse programming, arts education, and community outreach. The Kimmel Center campus is comprised of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, SEI Innovation Studio, and the Merck Arts Education Center), the Academy of Music (owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association), and the University of the Arts’ Merriam Theater. The Kimmel Center is also home to eight Resident Companies: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philly Pops, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Curtis Institute of Music.  TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is the season sponsor of the Kimmel Center’s 2016-2017 Season. American Airlines is the official airline of Broadway Philadelphia. For additional information, visit

# # #

For photography, please visit

For a PDF version of this press release, please click here