Carteret students get a glimpse of the business side of a performing arts career thanks to Max Weinberg, drummer for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.
And they also learned to use their creativity thanks to Greg Kennedy, a juggler with Cirque du Soleil.
The two men met high school and high school students from Carteret this fall as part of a free masterclass program offered by the new URSB Carteret Performing Arts and Events Center at the corner of avenues. Washington and Cooke.
The Master Class program, sponsored in part by a $ 250,000 grant from Amazon, is a series of interactive workshops taught by professional and college level instructors in various genres of performing arts. The series provides students with opportunities for teamwork and skill-building exercises that exposure to the arts has proven to provide.
âThe Carteret Master Class program is an extremely valuable resource for students preparing for their college years and entering the workforce,â said Mayor Dan Reiman. âOur Carteret community embraces the arts and the opportunities they provide to our children. We are grateful to Amazon and all of our corporate sponsors for their generous support of the arts in our borough. “
Diana St. John, director of URSB Carteret Performing Arts & Events Center, said Kennedy met with students on October 16 and Weinberg on October 23. Each session involved around 50 students.
The Carnegie Hall-based Orpheus Chamber Orchestra gave a performance on December 11 in the hall and over the afternoon they hosted a workshop for the students.
âThey (the orchestra) don’t have a conductor. They travel all over the world giving workshops to companies on how you should work together as a whole or as a team,â said St John. “They work together on the pieces. And they work with students to prepare them for what a team environment will be like. It was interactive, they did a lot of things with the students.”
She said during the first meetings with Amazon that they wanted to be part of educational programs involving the arts.
“The idea was for students to come in and get first-hand mentorship from people who work in the company.” said Saint-Jean.
She said Weinberg explained how to surround yourself with the right people for your accounting needs and how to run your business as an artist. Kennedy, a mechanical engineer, created a device around which Cirque du Soleil built their show. She said her workshop was about creativity and the art form.
âSo far each of the workshops has been a slightly different take on what goes on behind the scenes and how people from different walks of life have been influenced by the arts in their lives,â said St. John.
With Amazon sponsorship, a total of 10 classes were planned, with the balance slated for 2022. Carteret high school and college students can attend classes in person for free and can ask questions. Classes will be webcast live to students in other school districts for additional awareness.
Master Class instructors include local songwriters, orchestral musicians, ballet choreographers, musicians, and business leaders whose lives have been improved through participation in artistic programs.
âThe Carteret Master Class is a wonderful initiative that enriches the lives of students and helps them succeed in other academic fields, beyond the arts,â said Jillian Irvin, senior director of regional policy at Amazon in the New Jersey. âWe are grateful for the opportunity to join the Carteret Performing Arts and Events Center to help bring this innovative programming to the youth of Carteret. “
According to Americans for the Arts, research has shown that arts education provides valuable physical and mental development in adolescents, improves fine motor skills, neurodevelopment and problem-solving skills in young students, which in turn creates a greatest achievement in subjects such as reading, writing, science, and arithmetic.
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Suzanne Russell is a late-breaking reporter for MyCentralJersey.com covering crime, the courts and other mayhem. To get unlimited access, please register or activate your digital account today.