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WPA Presents New Virtual Program: FAMILY ART MOMENTS

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WPA Presents New Virtual Program: FAMILY ART MOMENTS

Washington Performing Arts (WPA) announced today the launch of a family-focused program for summer 2020, titled Family Art Moments (FAM). The new online series will be presented in collaboration with the Prince George's County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS).

Through instruction and performance, FAM will offer diverse art forms-Latin-American music, West-African dancing and drumming, and more-to engage, educate, and entertain children and their families in the comfort of their homes. The series will be accessible at

"We're excited to premiere Washington Performing Arts' first series fully dedicated to family programming," shared Elisabeth Staal and Alexis Cooper, WPA staff members and co-creators of Family Art Moments. "For us FAM is about combining the magic of performance with the value of the classroom experience. Through it, we aim to provide an access point to the arts for children and their parents, as well to strengthen our partnerships with Teaching Artists and local organizations."

Family Art Moments will include six virtual gatherings from July 29-August 26, 2020. Each "moment" will open with a brief story time led by a PGCMLS representative and followed by a performance at the hands of a Washington Performing Arts Teaching Artist. The featured artists are based in the D.C. area, masters of their craft, and collaborators of WPA's education department.

"PGCMLS is thrilled to partner with Washington Performing Arts to support FAM with English and Spanish virtual literacy programs," said Nicholas A. Brown, the Library's Chief Operating Officer for Communication and Outreach. "Prince George's County is home to many artists and educators in the WPA community and the Library is grateful for this opportunity to support local families."

In addition to the reading and performance elements, FAM programs will also contain coloring pages designed by WPA graphic designer/illustrator Elayna Speight of Inked Designs, activity sheets, and supplemental materials to make each event more interactive and enjoyable for the participants. The videos and accompanying resources will be posted online Wednesdays from July 29-August 26, 2020 at 11 a.m. ET. Families are welcomed to tune in on their own schedule.

Family Art Moments sustains Washington Performing Arts' mission of providing educational opportunities for youth that encourage participation in and appreciation of the arts. The series was conceived by Education and Community Program Coordinator Elisabeth Staal and Programming and Production Coordinator Alexis Cooper and is supported in its digital capacity by the Digital Engagement Focus Team (DEFT)-a WPA staff collective formed in response to the pandemic.

The 2020 Family Art Moments Schedule:

Wednesday, July 29, 2020
"Shake Your Bones" with Cantaré Latin American Music
Cantaré will perform songs in Spanish and Portuguese, while sharing the music's cultural background, as well as introduce a variety of string and percussion instruments from different Latin-American countries. Audiences will learn about geography, the history of Latin America, and the different cultures that shaped its music-Indigenous, European, and African. They are invited to sing, play percussion, and dance a basic Latin rhythm in this highly interactive, bilingual program.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020
"Giggling, Wiggling, Book Worm: Stories, Myths and Legends" with Arianna Ross from Story Tapestries
Dance through the streets of Indonesia and travel to Alaska though the power of dance, theater, music, and storytelling! Students will learn about folk tales as they journey around the world with Story Tapestries.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020
"Singing is Your Superpower" with Karin Paludan
Soprano Karin Paludan will introduce children to the magical world of classical vocal music and inspire them to discover and celebrate the strength and power of their own voices. Through vocal exercises, storytelling, collaborative singing, guided imagery, and audience participation, audiences will gain the tools to explore and celebrate their "superpower" within.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020
"Beats and Rhymes with Mr. Root" with Mr. Root from Story Tapestries
This interactive and engaging Hip Hop based assembly is challenging, fun, and entertaining! Participations will have the opportunity to "get involved" with call-and-response, steady beat chants, beat production, and even some group dancing. Jamaal 'Mr. Root' Collier will explain the importance of expressing yourself and how some legends of the culture have done the same.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020
"Bookmaking Workshop" with Karen O. Brown
Participants will create books from simple, inexpensive materials.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020
"Visit Africa" with KanKouran West African Dance Company
This performance will include dances and rhythms that reflect various cultural traditions related to the history and culture of West Africa. Participants will increase their understanding of African cultural traditions, explore ways of non-verbal communication, learn about the history, language, and technique of African dance and drumming, and see traditional African musical instruments!

To access the FAM programs, please visit

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