City Hearts has created workshops in international music, circus arts, and programs such as the groundbreaking “Sentenced to the Stage” program for youthful offenders providing City Hearts as an alternative to traditional community service programs. These programs incorporate A.L.I.T.E. (Arts & Literacy For Tomorrow’s Education), City Hearts’ core program of literacy-enhancement.
Dance for Life introduces and inspires young dancers to know and understand world culture, creative expression and joyful celebration of Dance as an elemental force of life. City Hearts incorporates Classical Ballet technique and trains students in a variety of Dance forms.
Musical Theatre provides the opportunity for students to work on a full theatrical piece. Students learn dance and choreography, music and voice, and work together to create their own musical theatre production based on works in the contemporary repertoire. Students have performed “Annie”, “Oliver” and scenes from “Mary Poppins” and have created their own culturally relevant version of the Wizard of Oz, “El Wiz”.
“Let’s Write A Play”: Solving Problems through Playwriting: Students write from the experiences of their everyday lives to create a full performance piece. Each student has the opportunity to write & thus partake in multiple roles. This project brings children an in-depth understanding of Theatre, Stagecraft, production and performance.
The Shakespeare Challenge utilizes Shakespearean drama to inspire students in the study of history, culture, vocabulary, literacy and stagecraft, as well as to promote skills in creative movement, group cooperation, teamwork and conflict resolution. Students explore the historical context of Shakespeare’s plays, discussing the life and times of Shakespeare and his contemporaries while learning scansion, stage combat and Elizabethan movement.
“Guitar: A Mini Orchestra”: Aware of the guitar’s unique sound possibilities, Beethoven called it a “mini-orchestra”, capable of melody, harmony and bass lines played simultaneously. By teaching basic music rhythm notation (fractions), math skills are increased and higher brain functioning is enhanced. Students learn scales and chord variations exploring contemporary melodies and cross-culturally relevant songs.
Filmmaking provides students opportunities to see in a new way, to analyze film images as well as the visuals in the world around them. Students spend time preparing storyboards, creating ideas for scenes to film, learning about lighting and film techniques and seeing themselves as artists who have the ability to educate those around them about their life and the community in which they live.
Let’s Make A Show is a highly successful program of 2-week “Intensives”, five, two hour classes which run for two to three weeks. The program culminates in a full-length production of a musical, a Shakespeare play, or a Dance performance.
For Girls Only is a program of prevention that focuses on the unique needs of girls in our diverse communities, addressing issues that are relevant to their current challenged lives. Girls face tremendous obstacles in personal development and are at increasing risk of gang involvement and negative male influences when they lack information and self-esteem.
“Preparing, Performing & Giving Back” is a Service Learning program allowing our students the ability to share their specific Arts training (Dance, Musical Theatre, “Let’s Write A Play” or Shakespeare) by giving back to others in orphanages, hospitals, and senior centers. International programs also benefit from this City Hearts program.
“Fresh Focus: A New Shot at Life”: Our new enhanced photography program encourages at-risk youth to shoot with cameras, not with guns, to use their critical eye to evaluate, and, “through their eyes” help educate others about their community. With new computer digital technology and visual communication tools, this program connects children and youth living in economically-distressed situations to their surroundings.
“Puppetry Theatre” is a truly distinctive exploratory Arts program, provides opportunities for language and listening skill development, creative visualization and spatial development, as well as improvement in problem-solving and conflict resolution skills within a safe, “extra-ordinary” learning environment and fun atmosphere that puppetry cultivates. Children conceive & design their own puppets and feel comfortable using an exterior medium of individually created mythical characters to express themselves.
“Making Memories: Building Dreams” (Art/Photography) is a multi-level Art/Photography project with a goal to incorporate Arts experiences that give children, teens and mothers in-transition, a “fresh start”, so important after the distressing experiences of a homeless existence. Families start to make new memories and build new dreams.
“Kids Sew for Kids”, our second Service Learning initiative, includes a multi-level Art project that is uniquely skill-development & product-oriented, creating practical, functional items that are personal & empower children through creativity and the act of giving back. This is a full year project with goals to make quilts or products to be given to local children or children overseas.
“STOMP” is a dance/percussion program that uses body and objects to create a musical, physical theatre performance. “STOMP” is an evocative term used to describe the work through which youth learn to use their imaginations, creating in a visual, physical and rhythmically expressive way, a performance, and where knowledge of musical scales and structures is acquired.