Arts Education with Schools n’ Stage

schools n stageby Jaclyn Wood, Community Engagement Coordinator
Grunin Center for the Arts

What do a swashbuckling pirate, a Korean jazz group, and a Chicano band from East Los Angeles have in common? They’ll all be performing at the Grunin Center this winter as part of our Schools n’ Stage series, and you can see them!

The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts is pleased to announce a new slate of school programs in our new School n’ Stage. Piloted in 2016/2017 with Doktor Kaboom and The Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars, this series brings the best in science, arts and culture programming to young people in elementary, middle and high school. Based on feedback from teachers, we’ve hand-picked five great programs for the 2017/2018 school year!

S.T.E.A.M.: Integrating Arts Education

One of the biggest topics in education right now is S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). And integral part of this is the Arts- S.T.E.A.M. Studies show the benefits students receive from exposure to and participation in the arts.* With “Janet’s Planet: Tour of the Solar System” and “Pirate School: The Science of Pirates,” we will be bringing entertaining, engaging science-based K-5 programs to our stage.

Janet's PlanetJanet’s Planet comes to the Grunin Center on January 18, 2018. “Janet’s Planet and her JP Space Crew are taking their new friends on an out of this world adventure! Janet, along with Galileo her Super Computer, Cody the Robot, Professor Cosmos and Dr. Comet are going to start at the sun and share the wonder of our Solar System by visiting every planet orbiting around the star at the center of it all! One young astronaut (a special cadet in training from the audience) will even get to walk on the moon!”

On February 7, “Pirate School: The Science of Pirates” sails onto our stage to excite with Pirate Schoolthe allure of swashbuckling fun while introducing simple concepts and technologies outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards. “Pirate School: The SCIENCE of Pirates!” is an uncommon and engaging matinee assembly for students Grades K-5, promoting curiosity in the sciences by presenting S.T.E.A.M. curricula with a comical, nautical twist! Developed with the Long Island Children’s Museum Theater in NY, this rousing show is the creation of 25 year veteran family entertainer David Engel, who has performed across the US, Europe, and Asia. Subjects covered will include Optics, Simple Machines & Engineering, Navigation & Astronomy, Aero & Hydrodynamics, and rudimentary physics of how a cannonball flies.

World Music: A Gateway Through Arts Education

In addition to our S.T.E.A.M. shows, we’ll also be hosting three world music concerts, in conjunction with the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission: Black String, Las Cafeteras, and Kuniko Yamamoto.

Black StringBlack String, founded in 2011 as part of the Korea-UK cultural exchange program “UK Connection” plays “borderless contemporary music from Korea.” When you come to the Grunin Center to see Black String perform, you will learn about South Korea and hear “amplified bursts of sound of the geomungo (6-stringed zither) and Korean bamboo flutes, the fierce quake of Korean traditional percussion, and unpredictable melody of jazz guitar (that) will grasp all your senses.” In addition to the performance, Black String will also engage students in a question and answer session, so students can interact with the group and learn more. Black String will be here on January 25, 2018.

Las CafeterasOn January 30, students will enjoy performances by Las Cafeteras, a band from Los Angeles. They are influenced by the culture, storytelling, and poetic music of Son Jarocho, a traditional music from Veracruz, Mexico. They will sing in English and Spanish and play a variety of instruments including a requinto (a small guitar-shaped string instrument), a box-like percussion instrument called a cajon, and even a donkey jawbone! They also use a wooden platform called the tarima to dance zapateado. You may hear familiar tunes like “La Bamba” and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” as well as original songs like “If I Was President.” Las Cafeteras use their performances to inspire social change.

Black String and Las Cafeteras will also play night time performances that are open to the public, so if you are not a student, don’t worry about missing out!

KunikoLast but not least, on March 19 performance by Kuniko Yamamoto. She will tell Japanese stories and folk tales using music, masks and mime, and will use origami (the art of paper folding) and magic tricks as she performs. We are also excited to have Kuniko here to lead workshops for the student at the Ocean County Teen Arts Festival.

Interested in booking your students for a School n’ Stage performance? Contact Jaclyn Wood, Community Engagement Coordinator at 732-255-0400 ext. 2487 or Be sure to sign up soon, because tickets are limited!

*Learn more about arts education and become an Arts Ambassador at

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