GRoW @ The Wallis, an umbrella for the robust mix of education and outreach programs at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, is committed to sharing the arts with learners of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities and bringing their stories to life. Using the power of the arts, GRoW programs address important social issues and respond to critical needs in the greater community through arts leadership, learning, collaboration, and partnership.
Overseen by Director of Education Manny Prieto, GRoW features a dedicated education wing on the campus of The Wallis with three state-of-the-art classrooms and a beautiful outdoor Wells Family Education Courtyard. GRoW is made possible through a generous gift from Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, Regina Weingarten, and the Annenberg Foundation (GRoW is based on their initials).
Programs, informed and inspired by the world-class artists and art forms presented by The Wallis on its stages, connect audiences with the very best in the performing arts, invest in young artists, and expand access to opportunities in the performing arts.
BROWSE THROUGH CURRENT COURSES OFFERED
School assemblies are designed to complement and enhance what students are learning in their classrooms through meaningful curriculum connections and universal themes that carry across cultures, styles and content areas. Assemblies include a Q&A with artists as well as materials for educators to use in classrooms. Organizations partnering with GroW include JazzReach, BODYTRAFFIC, and Le Ballet Dembaya.
Family Days: Families and students of all abilities are invited to free mini performances in The Wallis’ Lovelace Studio Theater, an experience complemented with pre-show activities and workshops in GRoW classrooms and its courtyard. An example, held in early 2023, was Meet the Music Family Day, a partnership with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) in which instrument petting zoos, composing workshop labs and build-your-own-instruments were provided prior to a LACO performance in the Lovelace Studio Theater.
The School Partners Program welcomes thousands of Los Angeles area first-through twelfth-grade students each year to special student matinee performances with local, national, and international artists in music, dance, and theater.
Residencies: Teaching artists work in partnership with a classroom teacher during school hours to develop and deliver a creative project that can integrate into a subject area or stand alone. Projects are designed to develop students' creative capacities including imagination, critical thinking, and collaboration. Most residencies end with culminating performances for families.
EMERGING SERIOUS ARTIST PROGRAMS
The Walter and Peggy Grauman Fellowship in Classical Music, the first-ever Fellowship program at The Wallis and the first of its type in Los Angeles County, provides an annual Fellowship Award of $15,000 to advance the career of an exceptionally talented emerging classical pianist or strings musician based in Los Angeles. The program supports the Fellow during the transition from formal education and training to the professional music world, providing an inside look at how classical music is programmed, how artists are selected, how shows are marketed, and the essential role of philanthropic support. In addition to receiving a $15,000 Fellowship award, the Grauman Fellow receives mentorship from The Wallis, including live performance opportunities, guidance related to successful auditioning, and the chance to meet with and learn from leading artists. Fellows also plan and implement a community-based outreach project designed to promote awareness and appreciation of classical music in Los Angeles County. The Fellowship is open to classical strings musicians and pianists who demonstrate exceptional artistry; are interested in community-based projects that expand access to music; and have received a graduate or undergraduate degree from an accredited Los Angeles County college, university, or conservatory. The Walter and Peggy Grauman Endowment Fund and the establishment of The Walter and Peggy Grauman Fellowship in Classical Music are made possible by the generosity of the late performing arts philanthropists and Wallis supporters Peggy Parker Grauman and Walter Grauman.
Masterclasses with The Wallis' visiting artists provide exceptional opportunities for young artists to learn from some of the great artists of our time, including Suzanne Farrell, Judith Jamison, Patti LuPone and Arturo Sandoval. Dancers are able to take class with leading dancers and choreographers, among them Michelle Dorrance and Lula Washington.
Performing Arts Intensive: In this six-week course, students, ages eight to sixteen, engage in daily dance, music, and theater classes. At every session, performers, designers, technicians, and musical theater professionals provide master classes in addition to performing arts curriculum. The experience culminates with a performance for friends and family in The Wallis’ Bram Goldsmith Theater.
CREATIVE AGING PROGRAMS
The Wallis’ celebrated Creative Aging programs, led by Debra Pasquerette, Director of Creative Aging Programs, are designed for adults 55+ to build creative toolboxes through learning arts skills and the opportunity to connect with a vibrant arts community. Classes, which include a variety of experience levels and art forms, fill up fast when announced, so interested individuals are encouraged to sign up early.
Staged Stories, an exceedingly popular and meaningful eight-week-long creative writing course, invites participants to write their personal stories, sparking memories and imagination to guide them in re-creating moments from their lives. Students choose one of the stories they have written to share in a performance with an invited audience at the end of class.
Scripting: For people who have always wanted to write a play, TV pilot, or screenplay but didn’t know where to start – or finish a script they’ve begun – this eight-week-long class teaches the fundamentals of story building so participants can make it to “Fade Out. The End.” This writing workshop is open to writers with any type of script project or genre. It focuses on dramatic structure, i.e. the sequencing of character-driven scenes for maximum emotional effect, and culminates in an “Elevator Pitch Fest” for scripts-in-progress.
Stagewrite: Monologues: In this eight-week-long course, students practice the art and craft of writing short monologues, with each session focusing on a particular aspect of the monologue. Examples from movies, TV, and published plays are studied as a guide and inspiration for writing one’s own. The course culminates in an invited public performance of one of the monologues each student has written.
Twice a year, STAGED STORIES takes the stage for a live performance in one of The Wallis’ theaters. Shows are curated from all past STAGED STORIES and STAGEWRITE participants.
Movement Workshops: In partnership with BODYTRAFFIC, the renowned Los Angeles dance company, professional dancer Joan Rodriguez, a member of BODYTRAFFIC, leads a movement workshop series connecting storytelling and dance. Students learn movement fundamentals of Latin and Afro-Cuban dance styles. No dance experience is required, and this four-week class is open to students of all abilities.
Creative Aging Camps: Held several times a year, Creative Aging Camps offer the opportunity to explore music, theater, dance, visual art, and creative writing in a supportive, joyous environment.
Creative Aging Matinee Series and Post-Show Discussions: Participants are invited to experience the world-class theater, dance, and music on The Wallis’ stages, with reduced or free tickets provided for those who would otherwise not be able to attend. Many performances include a pre- or post-show discussion with artists and educators.
OUTREACH & PARTNERSHIPS
Access Tickets offers eligible community groups free and/or discounted tickets to select shows and events at The Wallis. A partial list of partners includes Advot Project, Beverly Hills Senior Housing, Claude Pepper Senior Center, Create Now, Education Through Music, Gabriella Foundation, Green Dot Public Schools, Harmony Project, Heart of Los Angeles, Homeschool Theater Lab, Hope Street Family Center, LA Gay and Lesbian Center Senior Services, Los Angeles Music and Art School, MATI Israeli Community Center, Menorah Housing Foundation, Move the World Now-Dance Activism, Mutual Amputee Aid Foundation, Neighborhood Music School, NOHO Senior Arts Colony, Pablove Shutterbugs, Save a Heart Foundation, Silvercrest Senior Citizens Residence, and Stop Senior Scams Acting Program.
The Miracle Project, celebrating gifts, strengths and talents of all abilities, makes The Wallis its primary home for weekly in person and virtual classes. The organization incorporates a groundbreaking and evidence-based methodology that integrates theater, film and the expressive arts to bring out the best in individuals with autism (verbal and non-verbal). By creating shared experiences for them with non-disabled peers, The Miracle Project allows individuals with autism and other disabilities to find their voices, develop their talents and become part of a unique, dynamic, inclusive community, while creating and performing in original musicals. Students, once too anxious to even enter a room of peers, have performed in front of thousands at locations ranging from The Wallis, Angel Stadium, the Pantages Theater and Club Nokia to Carnegie Hall and the United Nations. This acclaimed arts program was documented in the HBO double Emmy Award-winning documentary, Autism: The Musical. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, autism, a complex condition that affects a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges, now affects 1 in 68 children in the United States.