Project Poetry Live! has now affected a over a generation of students. Founded in 1993, PPL! receives support from the Connecticut State Department of Education Interdistrict Cooperative Grants Program, Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, LPA Members and others.
Each year professional poets, artists, musicians, and dancers work with 800 middle and high school students in three Hartford area schools. The 7th graders write poetry and then transform their words into music at the hands of professional saxophonist and composer, Albert Rivera, set designs under the guidance of regional artist and educator, Lydia Huebenthal, and work with community artists translating their words into other art forms.
And they dance! We are thrilled to welcome Matthew Westerby and his dancers to teach all 800 teens. Matthew Westerby Company is a New York City-based performing group of versatile and dynamic performers, led by choreographer Matthew Westerby. Matthew Westerby Company is invested and involved in Arts-in-Education for all ages, and works throughout the Tri-State area.
Matthew Westerby will create special dance pieces for approximately 80 seventh graders as well as "alumni" dancers (8th to 12th graders). This latter group, bitten by the dance bug, return year after year on their own time to remain with the project.
Thirty more students become a Jazz Big Band under Albert Rivera's baton and back the dancers with their original music. Many of these band members will continue their studies during the summer at Litchfield Jazz Camp.
PPL! students will perform at the Charter Oak Cultural Center on Friday, April 8 at 5:30 PM, for audiences of some 2,000 fellow students, their families and the general public. Still more student artists (up to 200) display their work for a post concert reception and gallery.
Public school teachers in PPL! guide the project and learn from each other and the arts professionals. They mount the art show of student works, institute poetry coffee house readings in their home schools, create new curriculum around project themes, compile poetry anthologies for their school libraries, encourage students to enter writing contests and build interdistrict communication and parent involvement. Parents serve as teachers' aides and chaperones. We are grateful for their help and proud of their talented children.
For tickets or more information about PPL! please email: or call 860-361-6285.