In partnership with Gateway Community College the Festival’s annual Fellowship Program, offered to New Haven high school sophomores and juniors, is now an accredited course at Gateway.
Now in it's eight year, the Fellowship Program, which aspires to develop the next generation of arts practitioners and audiences, is a semester-long intensive designed to develop each student's skills in communication and critical thinking, through a program of weekly seminars and immersion in the Festival’s programming. Fellows challenge and learn from each other, develop relationships with Festival staff and board members, and cultivate skills that can be used in future school and work environments. Participation can be the beginning of a longer-term engagement with the Festival, including future internship and employment opportunities.
The 13 students who comprise the 2017 class of Festival Fellows convened for the first time on Wednesday, January 18 along with family members and Festival and Gateway staff (pictured right), and will continue to meet for weekly 3-hour seminars in which upcoming Festival Performance programs in music, theater, and dance are core teaching tools. Each seminar will engage students using a combination of classroom instruction, coaching, and assignments designed to develop skills in various forms of communication (including critical and creative writing, interviews, video production, and performance).
The program will culminate in June when the Fellows spend two weeks fully immersed in Festival 22’s programs: attending performances, writing responses, interviewing artists and Festival staff, and volunteering at Festival events. At the completion of the Fellowship, participants will earn four credits at Gateway Community College.
“The Fellows have enriched the experience of each season of the Festival since the program was introduced eight years ago,” says Mary Lou Aleskie, the Festival’s Executive Director. “We are delighted that now, in addition to the remarkable firsthand access to some of the world’s greatest artists and thinkers, our Fellows will also earn four college credits before they even graduate high school.”
Mark Kosinski, Dean of Academic Affairs at Gateway Community College, continued: “We welcome the 2017 Fellows to campus. For more than 20 years, the Festival has provided remarkable opportunities for artists, thinkers, and audiences from around the world, and of course, right here in New Haven. Gateway is delighted to partner with the Festival in this exciting new advancement for its robust Fellowship program.”
Photographs: Allen Gales