Going to NYC with MTVarts was an amazing experience! The lights, the city, the stages, and the shows all set the atmosphere for a memorable and teachable experience that I will never forget! The experience of the Broadway workshops, the opportunities and the ideas generated from these courses, just shows that MTVarts is doing everything right! And not just that, but looking in the right direction to expand and provide the best theater productions and experiences for our students here in Mount Vernon.

When I was asked to go with MTVarts to NYC for this training, I felt honored. I have a daughter who has been in multiple artsIQ productions and whose passion is being on the stage singing and doing what she loves. As a parent and lover of the “arts” myself, I could not say no. I wanted to be part of something that was making a difference in our town, and also support my daughter at the same time. I also looked at this opportunity as a great professional addition to my credentials. I am a teacher at Danville Local Schools and saw this experience as a door to help more people see the benefits of the “ARTS” in education and how it helps students thrive both socially and academically while they are in school.

While in NYC and attending these workshops I constantly was thinking in the back of my mind about “our kids”, “our students” and how I needed to absorb as much as I could from these seminars to take back to the MTVarts and artsIQprograms. During the days that we were there, we talked with several actors and actresses from shows across the Broadway spectrum. We got to talk with teachers, stage managers, producers, and other theater leaders from around the world that were doing what MTVarts is doing, which is……engaging and expanding live theater opportunities in our towns! The seminars taught us so much about how to work with our students, how to show that theater has so many “avenues” and job opportunities then just who you see on stage. The seminars gave us ideas and examples of how to expand and engage our students during production run-throughs, lessons, warm-ups and so much more.

This experience gave us the opportunity to hear how small theater groups, like MTVarts, make such a difference in the lives of our kids and community. Every performer we met from every show that we saw would always thank us. They constantly would thank “us”, the educators, for being a light and guiding source to where they were today. Every performer had a story where a teacher or theater troop inspired them to be the best that they could be and to never give up. All of these accounts made me cry….every single time!

This is the reason MTVarts and artsIQ do what they do! This is why as a mom and an educator I saw this experience and took it! I knew it would change my perspective as a “theater mom” but also give me more of an understanding on how to help empower MTVarts. As the artsIQ director, I am so excited moving forward with MTVarts.I am so excited to see and apply what I learned to excel and expand MTVarts mission of “…inspiring dreams, teaching skills, instilling confidence & courage, and ensuring quality affordable live theater” for our community, but especially our children and students!

~Christan Sears~