Special Programs

The Johnny Mercer Foundation

As legendary singer-songwriter Johnny Mercer put it: "You've got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive."

And that's exactly what NJPAC and the Johnny Mercer Foundation are achieving together in a partnership that fosters the arts of composing and music-making in New Jersey middle schools. mercer-thumb.jpgThe pilot program was set in place for the 2012-2013 term at four schools in Newark, East Orange and Jersey City, engaging approxiamately 100 middle-school students. These musical theater residencies allow NJPAC Teaching Artists to introduce students to the history of the American musical, lyric writing and the rehearsal and performance process. Each residency meets twice weekly for 20 sessions.

All these exercises in creativity and self-expression conform to New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and culminate in a rousing performance by the students at NJPAC. 

Founded in 1983, the Johnny Mercer Foundation supports the art of songwriting in the tradition of the Great American Songbook, as exemplified by Johnny Mercer (1909-1976), the renowned songwriter, performer, collaborator and producer. The foundation celebrates his legacy through partnerships with individuals and organizations dedicated to nurturing the disciplines he mastered and causes he championed with his wife, Ginger.

Apply now for the Mercer Musical Theater Program.

Click here to read more about the foundation and its collaboration with NJPAC Arts Eduacation.

Disney Musicals in Schools

disney-musicals-in-schools-logo.pngIn May 2015, Disney Theatrical Group selected NJPAC to be the only regional partner in New Jersey for Disney Musicals in Schools, a national initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Group to create ongoing theater programs in elementary schools.

NJPAC chose five public elementary schools from 19 applications for the inaugural year of the program.  The finalists, selected from a field of 10 semi-finalists, are Branch Brook School, Luis Muñoz Marin School and Mount Vernon School, all in Newark; Rosa Parks Community School in Orange, and John Marshall School No. 20 in Elizabeth. 

Each of the schools will take part in a 17-week musical theater residency beginning in September 2015, which will culminate in two performances of a Disney KIDS musical at each school.

On February 8, 2016, NJPAC will host a Student Share Celebration, where each school will have the extraordinary opportunity to perform a selection from its show on the Arts Center’s stage for an audience of fellow students, family members and friends.

Disney Musicals in Schools helps to keep the arts in schools and utilizes the unique world of musical theater to build positive relationships among students, faculty, staff, parents and the community. Students work in teams to develop or restore self-confidence, and to strengthen communication and collaboration skills, all while learning and enjoying the process of creating a Disney musical theater production.

Applications for 2016-2017 will be posted in Winter/Spring of 2016.

We encourage public schools in the Greater Newark Area who want to develop an after-school musical theater program to apply.

NJPAC Technical Theater Residency at North 13th Street Vocational Technical School

This season, NJPAC is partnering with Essex County Vocational Technical Schools to implement a new Technical Theater Residency at North 13th Street Technical High School in Newark.

Ninth-grade students at North 13th Street Tech will work with NJPAC production specialists and teaching artists to learn about the various areas of technical theater, including lighting, sound, stage management and production.

The two-month residency kicked off with a two-day event on the stages of NJPAC on December 2 and 3, 2013. At this event, students were given an overview of the various technical theater areas and had the opportunity to talk with NJPAC production staff in a hands-on setting. 

At the kick-off event, the students rotated between six "stations," including:  lighting/electrics, sound, carpentry, production/back of house, front of house/box office and an administrative panel.  The panel included representatives from various departments within NJPAC, including marketing, development, social media and programming.

The residency takes place at North 13th Street Tech from January through May 2014.

At the conclusion of the residency, the students will be featured in two culminating performances of scenes and monologues, one at the school and one at NJPAC.

This residency conforms to New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Visual and Performing Arts.

Colors of the Rainbow Team Match

The Colors of the Rainbow Team Match is a ballroom dance competition for students participating in the Dancing Classrooms program. The competition shows students that they are part of a larger dancing family and confirms the core values of the Dancing Classrooms program: respect, teamwork, and elegance amongst all young people. The Colors of the Rainbow Team Match is also a wonderful community builder as teams cheer each other on in their efforts to reach a dance goal. Six boys and six girls from 5th grade classes are selected to represent their school in pursuit of the GRANDE FINALE TROPHY on the Victoria Theater stage at NJPAC in May.

Registration fee: $250

Space is limited to 9 schools