Aug 13, 2015 View All News



Angela Thomas

Prana Marketing & Media Relations


[email protected]










Classes Offered in Dance, Hip-Hop, Musical Theater, The Second City Comedy & Improv,

All-Female Jazz Residency, Acting, Songwriting and Vocal Music



Newark, NJ (April 28, 2015) – If you are a young artist attending middle school or high school, where can you go this summer to study acting, songwriting, musical theater, dance, hip-hop, comedy and improv?  And, if you are a girl studying jazz, where can you attend an all-female jazz residency program?  NJPAC is your answer.


The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the State’s largest arts education provider for young artists and one of the top arts education providers in the country, announces its 2015 summer arts training programs for middle and high school students.


Alison Scott-Williams, Vice President for Arts Education at NJPAC says, “We are so thrilled to offer unique arts education programs taught by a stellar faculty including jazz luminaries Geri Allen, Jimmy Cobb and Tia Fuller; musical theater with Janeece Freeman Clark; dance with Carolyn Dorfman Dance; hip hop with U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassador Shekia “Purple Haze” Norris; comedy with The Second City of Chicago; and songwriting with singer/songwriters Mark Conklin and Amy Ward Wurst.  This summer will spark creativity and inspire our students.”

Programs offered this summer in Arts Education at NJPAC include:


All-Female Jazz Residency

July 5–11, 2015

In collaboration with Montclair State University, NJPAC’s All-Female Jazz Residency is held on the campus of Montclair State University, and offers a weeklong, one-of-a-kind opportunity for young women, ages 14-25, to study jazz.  This residential camp, with campers coming from across the country, presents a unique blend of instruction and mentorship as students are taught improvisation, musicianship, jazz theory and more. Last summer, 26 young women participated in the residency’s pilot program.

Geri Allen, a Grammy-nominated New Jersey-based pianist, is the program’s artistic director and leads a stellar faculty including Bruce Williams and Tia Fuller, saxophones; Ingrid Jensen, trumpet; Kenny Davis, bass; Connaitre Miller, voice and Jimmy Cobb, drums.  The All-Female Jazz Residency concludes with a final concert at Montclair State University. Registration must be completed by June 1.

Hip-Hop Institute

June 29–July 10, 2015

Students ages 11–15 have the opportunity to study at NJPAC’s Hip-Hop Institute with recording artist and U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassador Sheikia Norris, aka “Purple Haze.”  As Artistic Director, Norris will lead students in the art of Hip-Hop, including MCing, DJing, graffiti, breakdancing, beatboxing, spoken word, and sound engineering.  This hands-on workshop will allow participants to come away with an understanding of how Hip-Hop has become such a large force in modern American culture.  An end-of-institute presentation will feature students showing that Hip-Hop is a powerful vehicle for self-expression. Registration must be completed by June 1.


Singer/Songwriter Workshop

August 3-14, 2015

Award-winning songwriter Mark D. Conklin leads the High School Singer/Songwriter workshop for students ages 15-18.  Over a two-week course, students learn the essential aspects of the music industry, from how to write and compose a song to recording techniques to marketing a commercial release.  The Singer/Songwriter Workshop culminates with a “single release party” for students, where guests have the opportunity to hear original works written by the students. Registration must be completed by June 1.


The Young Artist Summer Intensive (YASI)

June 29-July 31, 2015 (Advanced Division)

July 13-24, 2015 (Apprentice Division, Session One)

July 27-August 7, 2015 (Apprentice Division, Session Two)

The Young Artist Summer Intensive (YASI) develops the student’s skills in acting, dance, musical theater and vocal performance in New Jersey’s most eminent professional venues.  The program is taught by professional artists in two divisions.  The Apprentice division is for beginning and intermediate students ages 10-16, and will provide students with a cross-genre, two-week overview of the performing arts.  The Advanced division, for students ages 12-18, is an immersive 5-week performing arts workshop.

Students are accepted by audition, and are offered the opportunity to focus on a single discipline (acting, dance, vocal performance, musical theater, and enrichment classes) for the length of the program.

(Advanced division auditions take place on Tuesday, April 28, at 6pm, at NJPAC’ Center for Arts Education.)  Participants from both the Apprentice and Advanced divisions will be showcased in end-of-study performances taking place at NJPAC in the Horizon Theater (Apprentice division) and Victoria Theater (Advanced division). Registration must be completed by June 1.



The Second City at NJPAC

August 3-14, 2015: Teen Improv and Sketch Comedy Workshop

August 10-14, 2015:  From the Inside Out

August 10-14, 2015:  Adult Improvisation and Comedy Writing Immersion

The Second City at NJPAC offers three different workshops.  The Teen Improv and Sketch Comedy Workshop, for ages 15-18, gives teens the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of improvisation as taught and performed on The Second City’s stages.  Teens will also develop skills in creative thinking, self-confidence, team building and more.


From the Inside Out is a groundbreaking program for teens diagnosed with Aspergers’ Syndrome and/or Autism.  Teens, ages 15-18, will take a class in improvisation that will explore relationships and social cues focusing on ensemble and team building.  Taught by a team of teachers, all with special needs certification, the students will learn skills such as accessing emotions and storytelling in a safe and fun environment where they can explore and challenge themselves.  The students are given the chance to break through barriers that block creativity and socialization. 


Adults, ages 19 and older, also have the opportunity to study improvisation as well as learn how to write comedy.  In this class they will experience the vitality of creating sketches and improvisation.


The Second City is a world renowned comedy enterprise that has been based in Chicago since 1959.  The Second City helped launch the careers of stars such as Tina Fey, Steve Carrell, Jimmy Fallon and Mike Myers. Registration must be completed by June 1.


NJPAC Arts Education programs are made possible by the generosity of: Merck Foundation, ADP, Women’s Association of NJPAC, McCrane Foundation, Inc., care of Margrit McCrane, The Victoria Foundation, PSEG Foundation, Wells Fargo, BD, United Airlines, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.


For more information about Summer at NJPAC visit NJPAC.ORG/SUMMER, email [email protected] or call 973.353.7058.


About Arts [email protected]

NJPAC’s Arts Education offerings reach more than 60,000 students and families through live performances, in-school residency programs and arts training classes. These programs bring the joy of dance, music, theater, and poetry directly to the classroom.  Through our innovative residencies, Teaching Artists create stimulating performing arts experiences that engage students’ imaginations and build self-confidence through positive self-expression.  Our residencies help students learn to work together and develop their creative independence.


In addition to NJPAC’s innovative In-School Programs, the Arts Center’s comprehensive Arts Education Department offers an Arts Training Program that helps students at every level learn their artistic and technical skills they need to study acting, dance, instrumental music, vocal music, and musical theater.  NJPAC also presents a SchoolTime Performance Series which introduces students and their families to a world of entertainment and culture.  NJPAC’s Arts Education programs feature professional artists from a wide variety of traditions and performances of music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and more.   






The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey – where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day.  NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists while acting a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city.  Through extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts.  NJPAC has attracted more than 9 million visitors (plus more than 1 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.


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