While education programs are perhaps one of the less familiar elements of The Kitchen’s work, they are of great institutional importance. With a focus on our in-school program at Liberty High School in Chelsea; the Lunchbreak Performance Series; and a bi-annual neighborhood block party, we are able to reach an intergenerational audience of thousands.
Education programs are made possible with support from IAC, and with public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature
At the core of our education activities is our long-standing in-school and after-school programs at Liberty High School, located in Chelsea. While the program provides a range of benefits to students, the overarching goal of the in-school workshops is to: increase writing and verbal language skills; provide a safe, nurturing environment where students can express themselves and build confidence; foster respect cross-culturally and finally, to offer young people, often for the very first time, experiences with live performance, experimental theater, music, dance and other interdisciplinary genres.
The Lunchbreak Performance Series is The Kitchen’s longest running education program and has introduced thousands of school students to their first performing arts experience. The program offers a series of free afternoon performances, each of which is followed by a question and answer session with the participating artists. The artists also occasionally visit the students in school for additional discussions and performances.
The Kitchen Block Party is a family-friendly, free neighborhood street fair that brings together a broad constituency of 5,000+ West Chelsea residents for a community-wide celebration. An eight-year old tradition, this Kitchen-organized bi-annual festival features live music and dance performances alongside a slew of fun-filled activities for people of all ages. For the afternoon event, 19th Street between 10th and 11th avenues becomes a pedestrian thoroughfare lined with more than twenty, artist-led booths--such as face painting, mask and puppet making, fortune telling, hula hoop lessons, unusual photo-booth opportunities, and the like--all of which are imaginatively re-interpreted by professional artists and are FREE to the public. The bi-annual event has grown into a true back-to-school fall highlight for our neighborhood, showcasing the creativity, vitality, and diversity of West Chelsea.