Portland Ovations Offstage Announces Inaugural Class of Offstage Ambassadors Program
Before the holidays Portland Ovations Offstage announced the inaugural class of six Offstage Ambassadors. The class, comprised of sophomores and juniors from four area high schools, have been selected after a rigorous application process for this dynamic semester-long opportunity to explore what a professional commitment to the performing arts truly entails and to help spread the word about the power of the performing arts. By selecting this core group of students, Ovations Offstage hopes to establish and nurture a vital link to their peers regarding the arts, both locally and nationally.
The inaugural class of Ovations Offstage Ambassadors is:
Julie Eglinton • Casco Bay • 10th
Sophie Urey • Casco Bay • 10th
Amelia McNeil-Maddox • South Portland • 10th
Felix Morrissey • Portland High • 11th
Catherine Bernier • Deering • 11th
Ariel Leasure • Portland High • 11th
Offstage Ambassadors will attend a minimum of four Portland Ovations mainstage performances and accompanying pre and post-performance events, and various outreach activities to expand their interest in and knowledge of the arts. They will job shadow Ovations' staff to get an inside look at a leading cultural non-profit organization. They will participate in a two-part workshop with Bob Keyes of the Portland Press Herald in early January on the art of the review, as they will be asked to post their own reviews on social media sites and/or the organization's website, PortlandOvations.org. At completion of the Offstage Ambassador program which will run from December through June each season each student will receive community service hours for his or her participation.
"Ovations Offstage is delighted and honored to welcome these ambitious, talented, eager and dynamic young people to the Offstage family in the coming weeks. We are confident that they are not the only ones who will benefit from our time together, as they will help us to connect more deeply with the aspirations and interests of their peers, on the cusp of adulthood," Catherine Anderson, Director of Ovations Offstage, said in a statement announcing the participants. "We are grateful to the music teachers, educators, guidance counselors, parents and others who steered these future performers, directors, presenters, choreographers and world class musicians our way!"
With the launch of the Offstage Ambassador program, Portland Ovations hopes to engage students in the arts in a new, exciting way, encouraging their active participation and allowing them to gain new perspectives on the performing arts and share valuable insights along their path to college and a career.
"There is nothing like "real-world experience" for igniting the spark within a student. Educators are constantly looking into their community for connections for high school students in particular. This opportunity for high school students to be immersed in all aspects of the arts including performance outreach, management, and lectures will be life-changing."-Karen MacDonald, a former Maine Teacher of the Year (2014) shared in a statement about the merits of this new program.
For more information please visit the Offstage Ambassador webpage at: https://portlandovations.org/offstage/ambassadorprogram
ABOUT PORTLAND OVATIONS: Each year since 1931, Portland Ovations brings a dynamic season of exceptional performing artists from around the world to Maine including classical music, jazz, dance, theater, and Broadway national tours. In addition to live performances, Ovations brings the exhilaration of the performing arts out into our community with season-long educational and outreach activities known as Ovations Offstage. A Maine-based non-profit, Portland Ovations contributes to the cultural, social and economic well-being of our community by presenting an array of high quality performing artists from around the world and creating diverse educational experiences that bring the enjoyment, energy and enrichment of the arts to all.
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