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Posted on September 24, 2020

Despite being closed due to COVID-19, the Kimmel’s “Creative Stages” will offer students in Philadelphia region much needed outlet for creative expression with signature courses in jazz, musical theater, and music technology
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, PA, September 24, 2020) –– As schools across the region are settling in for several months of online instruction, The Kimmel Cultural Campus transformed its education programs, offering teachers access to the Kimmel’s signature “Creative Stages” free education programs in this new online teaching environment.  Our goal is 50 classes with 30 students in each class.

“The Kimmel Cultural Campus’ decision to transform their education programs for our teachers during what has been a challenging period for our students and staff is invaluable to the School District of Philadelphia. We are excited to have a partner to help provide a much-needed creative outlet for thousands of children who could benefit from additional exposure to arts education” says William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D., superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. “I am excited by the fact that our children will have the opportunity to explore a range of musical & artistic genres, including jazz, musical theater, and creativity using technology. Studies show engagement in the arts enhances performance in core subjects like reading, and mathematics, so we are grateful for this enhanced learning opportunity being provided by the Kimmel Center.”

“I am grateful for the work of the Kimmel Cultural Campus and their willingness to honor their commitment to their mission of educating Philadelphia’s most vulnerable citizens, our children,” says Mayor Jim Kenney. “In a lot of ways, this pandemic has stifled our creativity and both children and adults need the arts to be inspired and to enrich learning and their lives in general. A zoom class teaching a song, dance, or musical instrument might just be the flicker to ignite some child’s lifelong passion for the arts.”

“In spite of the devastating financial impact of COVID19, the Kimmel is thrilled to be able to honor our commitment to the city’s youth in a transformative way. The decision to prioritize our arts educational offerings was easy. We are all going through collective trauma, and these programs will not only help children process their worries and fears, they will also draw them closer together in a sense of community,” said Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.  “We are grateful to our donors, sponsors, and community, who have made this possible.  Together, we will continue to sow seeds for young artists and arts lovers that can grow for a lifetime.”  

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and in compliance with city and state ordinances, the Kimmel Cultural Campus has been closed since March 12, 2020, canceling, and postponing all productions, concerts, classes, and events across our 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 $29-million dollars in gross revenue through the end of this year. 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 and serves students in Title I schools in the Philadelphia Public Schools, Public Charters, and the Archdiocese. The 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.

The “Creative Stages” programs being adapted for online learning include: Jazz4Freedom, a program developed for 4th graders linking jazz to Black History & social change; One Musical Philadelphia, for 5th graders which explores the unique American art form of musical theater, while building community and encouraging teamwork; #PhillyBeatz, a technology-based creativity celebration designed for 6th graders to create new music; KinderJazz, a bop and swing interactive class that teaches preschoolers music and movement; Creative Music Program: Neighborhood Jams, group or individual lessons on traditional jazz instruments; and the ShowStoppers AllStars, a talent development workshop for high school students interested in musical theater.

“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 a 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 our 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 virtual “Creative Stages” programs is below and also on our website For more information or to schedule an interview contact Leslie Patterson-Tyler at or (609) 247-2632.

Below is an overview of the Kimmel Cultural Campus’ FREE education offerings being adapted for the virtual classroom.  
Creative Imagination Powered by Technology
4th-6th Grade Students
#PhillyBeatz is a technology-based creativity celebration. Students will learn to create electronic music and write their own songs using music software (Soundtrap for Education) provided by the Kimmel Center. A Kimmel Teaching Artist will hold sessions with each classroom, including the teacher, over a video call once week for 8-weeks. Each session will deliver 45 minutes of synchronous instruction. Additionally, students may complete a creative homework assignment that is designed to take 15-20 minutes of asynchronous time.

Exploring Black History & Social Change with Jazz
4th-6th Grade Students
Jazz4Freedom links Jazz to Black History in Pennsylvania and beyond, while encouraging individual creative expression. This virtual program includes 8 lessons, 45-minutes each, delivered over video call by Kimmel’s experienced teaching staff, and meets ELA and Social Studies standards. The program offers an age-appropriate opportunity for students to express their feelings about recent events regarding social change using their creative voice. Content covered in discussions includes Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Movement, Compare and Contrast poetry and music, and current events related to social change including Climate Change and the Black Lives Matter movement. Asynchronous assignments designed to take 15-20 minutes in creative expression are included.

One Musical Philadelphia
Building Teamwork & Community through Musical Theater
4th-6th Grade Students
One Musical Philadelphia explores the unique American art form of Musical Theater with monthly events for classrooms to view and enjoy. From Masterclasses with Broadway performers to special performances by Kimmel AllStars to fun virtual classroom theater games, this program encourages teamwork, even in a virtual setting. Additional exciting events will be added as the school year progresses.

ShowStoppers: AllStars
High School Students
ShowStoppers AllStars provides a unique leadership and talent development program for High School Students interested in musical theater and will meet over Zoom twice a week. During this program students will enjoy classes dedicated to building their musical theater skills and will work as a team to develop musical theater performances and lessons to share with younger students in One Musical Philadelphia.

Creative Music Program: Neighborhood Jams
2nd-7th Grade Students
The developmental program for Kimmel’s Creative Music Program, Neighborhood Jams allows students with interest and passion for music to learn to play traditional jazz instruments. Group musical sessions will happen online weekly using bucket drums and other instruments the Kimmel supplies to Neighborhood Jams students. During this time, individual lessons will also be scheduled virtually using Zoom. Lessons will incorporate Jazz Standards curriculum.

Kindergarten Students
Kindergarten classes bop and swing with Kimmel Center Teaching Artists who visit their virtual classrooms weekly. Students will learn about Jazz in creative ways through music and movement. (supported by PA Council on the Arts)

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The Kimmel Center Cultural Campus
Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, our mission is to engage the region’s diverse communities with art through performance and education. Our Cultural Campus serves more than 1 million guests per year and includes the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Academy of Music, and the Merriam Theater- representing more than 160 years of rich history for the performing arts along Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts. We are home to eight esteemed Resident Companies: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philly POPS, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Curtis Institute of Music. With 9,000 seats per night, we are the second largest performing arts center in the country, second only to Lincoln Center. Annual sales of 1.2million tickets, when taken per capita, make us the second most impactful performing arts center in the country, second only to Kennedy Center. Our Cultural Campus serves as a preeminent and inclusive place to enjoy exceptional experiences that reflect the spirit of our region. We cultivate a creative and socially responsible environment where our community shares experiences that are delivered with pride, integrity, and respect. As a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization, we collaborate, present, and produce a broad range of relevant and meaningful events, we serve as an active gathering space for social and community events, we educate the region’s young people through access to quality arts experiences, and we provide support to artists in the creation of new work. American Airlines is the official airline of Broadway Philadelphia. For additional information, visit

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