Tonight, Monday, November 14 at 7 PM the award-winning arts education program ArtSpeak! comes to Montgomery County for the first time. Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway will be the guests in the program at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Bethesda. AND IT’S FREE!
ArtSpeak! was created to excite students about the arts, particularly theater. Many of the biggest stars have been past guests including Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kristin Chenoweth, Lea Michele, Sutton Foster, Kelli O’Hara, Stephen Schwartz, Marvin Hamlisch and many more. The program is open to all and, as always, is free. ArtSpeak! is underwritten by Shugoll Research, a national marketing research company headquartered in Bethesda.
ArtSpeak! is 14 years old. “From its birth, ArtSpeak! had a relationship with the Fairfax County School System,” says founder and producer, Mark Shugoll. “It’s time to share the joy of the arts with students and families in Montgomery County.” Shugoll continues, “ArtSpeak! is about giving families up close and personal access to great stars. The hope is that students will begin to embrace the arts in their lives, and attend our many great theaters and arts institutions. And it’s designed to be both educational and fun.” ArtSpeak! begins with an interview with the artists conducted by Dr. Shugoll. But there is lots of audience interaction. Students play ArtSpeak! trivia, where they answer a question about the guests and can win signed CDs or theater tickets. Some students are selected to come up on stage and play “Three Questions,” where they ask the stars any three questions they can come up with. They, too, get autographed CDs for participating. There’s also an ongoing audience Q&A and an autograph session where students interact face to face with the guest stars. But according to Shugoll, “Far and away the highlight of ArtSpeak! is when the artists sing. They can really blow the roof off these high school auditoriums. It is so much fun.”
ArtSpeak! allows different high schools to host the 4-5 annual programs. Students get involved in building audience for their school’s event, learning about marketing an arts event under the guidance of arts professional Robin Parker. “The students show some much enthusiasm, and are so creative in how to market their show. They’ve created videos, animation and placed signs all over their buildings,” says Parker.
Tonight’s guests are sisters, which results in a special bond when performing together. Liz Callaway is a Tony Award nominated Broadway star. Among her Broadway credits are Miss Saigon (Ellen), Cats (Grizabella), Baby and Merrily We Roll Along. She may be known to younger students for being the singing voice in many animated including Anastasia and The Swan Princess. She recently performed for President Obama.
Ann Hampton Callaway is a jazz composer, pianist and vocalist. Her songs have been recorded by many stars including Barbara Streisand. Ann was also nominated for a Tony Award for her Broadway debut in Swing! She is well known for writing and performing the theme song for the TV show The Nanny.
ArtSpeak! is targeted at high school and middle school students from all over the Metro area, not just the host school. Elementary school students are welcome if their parents feel they can sit through the 90 minute program. No reservations or tickets are required to ArtSpeak! Just walk through the doors of BCC HS and take your seat in the auditorium.
Here are directions to Bethesda Chevy Chase High School for ArtSpeak tonight!
Read Liz’s ‘A Quick 5.’