Your bright spot for the day: 25,000 5th-graders and a rock opera version of Homer’s “Odyssey”

posted by Schwartz Media Strategies, Miami, Florida public relations
Public school systems across the country are slashing arts education budgets. At the same time, performing arts centers are reducing their community outreach programming.

Not so here in Miami. A story published in Sunday’s Miami Herald proves that here, there’s a bright spot for our County’s children.

For most 11-year olds, the name “Homer” evokes thoughts of The Simpsons. But that’s about to change for 25,000 Miami fifth graders. The Adrienne Arsht Center unveiled a pilot program that will bring every 5th grader in the County (25,000 kids in all) to visit the Center this spring for a free performance of Rock Odyssey, an original rock opera set to Homer’s Odyssey. All expenses will be covered by the Arsht Center, including the cost of developing and implementing a pre- and post-show curriculum. Funding is coming from tourist tax dollars, making this is a first-of-its kind program in that it will be provided free of charge and publicly funded.

The experience of Rock Odyssey in one of the nation’s premier performing arts center comes at a critical juncture in these 5th-graders’ educations: immediately prior to entering middle school, when they’ll have their first opportunities to self-direct into arts-related classes and extracurricular activities. For many of these children, Rock Odyssey will be their first window into the performing arts.

In what’s been an especially harsh environment for both arts organizations and public school systems, the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Rock Odyssey program is helping fill the gap in arts education and expose the County’s children to the power of fine performing arts, world-class storytelling, engaging music, and top-notch stagecraft. For free.

By the way… there’s a free performance open to the public (not just children) on May 8th. We’ll see you there.