Spring break for the arts: Eight JM students to journey through New York City

Siler City, NC – Eight upperclass artists fly to New York City for five days over spring break to experience the pinnacle of their arts and learn directly from world-class professionals working in the city. The experience also provides new cultural and artistic perspectives that can shape their lives and work.

photo by Benny Rotlevy

The New York Arts Adventure allows Jordan-Matthews students to explore world cuisine and well-known destinations — with poignant moments at the 9/11 Memorial, stunning views from 90 floors above Manhattan and walks to see iconic landmarks in the city. But it is much more!

Every trip is crafted around the interests of students participating that year and the artistic landscape can change quickly, especially with Broadway shows opening and closing unpredictably. So, we’re still finalizing some of the performances. But here’s what we have already confirmed — followed by what we’re still considering.

  • Extended lunch with Peter Marks, drama critic for The Washington Post and four-time chair of the Pulitzer Prize drama jury, at the famed theater restaurant, Joe Allen, to discuss shows the students saw in the city and theater in New York, Siler City and beyond. (Peter knows JM well, meets regularly with our students visiting New York and is a member of JMArts!)
  • Extended lunch with Tony Award nominee Andy Grotelueschen at the famed theater restaurant, Joe Allen, to discuss life in the arts, theater and anything else the students want to pursue. Andy is an active member of Fiasco Theater, a renowned theatrical company based in New York, and received his 2019 Tony nomination as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for originating the role of Jeff Slater in “Tootsie.” (Andy is a friend of JMArts and took students on stage and backstage after “Tootsie” during our 2019 New York Arts Adventure.)
  • Orchestra seats in the 14th row to see Kimberly Akimbo, the hit, new Broadway musical. Here’s how producers describe the show: “Tony Award winner Victoria Clark stars as Kim, a bright and funny Jersey teen who happens to look like a 72-year-old lady. And yet her aging disease may be the least of her problems. Forced to maneuver family secrets, borderline personalities, and possible felony charges, Kim is determined to find happiness in a world where not even time is on her side.” Note: We may have a special announcement soon about this event in our itinerary.
  • The first night in New York, our group will be on Broadway, with some students selecting The Thanksgiving Play, with orchestra seats second row-center at the Helen Hayes Theatre, and others selecting Moulin Rouge! The Musical, with orchestra seats four rows from the stage at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Close seats, made possible thanks to a special contribution, give theater students a chance to see the performances in detail.
  • Front-row center seats to see The Play That Goes Wrong, the raucously funny farce that performed on Broadway and has continued its run Off Broadway.
  • Orchestra Prime seats in the ninth and 10th rows at the Metropolitan Opera for Champion, a new, jazz-inspired opera by Oscar-nominated and five-time Grammy Award winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard based on the life of African-American boxer Emile Griffith.
  • An evening where some of our group will be in first-tier box seats at Carnegie Hall to hear the Orchestra of St. Luke’s perform Handel’s Royal Fireworks, while others in our group will be fourth-row center on Broadway for a performance of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Fat Ham.
  • A private street-art tour of Brooklyn’s artistic Bushwick neighborhood led by noted street-art guide Audrey (AKA Bytegirl) followed by a hands-on graffiti workshop conducted by world-famous graffiti writer Leaf.
  • A visit to experience some of the world’s most famous contemporary works at the recently renovated Museum of Modern Art, works including Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory,” Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” and Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans.” We prepared a list of “MoMA’s Greatest Hits” to help students shape their own journey through the museum.
  • Stunning views of Manhattan from more than 90 floors above the city at the new SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, where we took an exterior, glass-floor elevators to mirrored observation decks and even viewing platforms that extend from the building over the streets below.
  • And because this group has some special culinary interest and food is such an essential expression of the local history and culture, a longtime JMArts supporter has contributed so we can take the entire group to experience Blue Ribbon Brasserie, an iconic restaurant known for its late-night dining scene where the country’s top chefs congregate and eat after closing their own kitchens. In fact, all of our dining is selected to showcase the city’s (and world’s) very best in affordable cuisines.

We are working now to finalize other special activities that will illuminate the artistic works students experience. Students last year enjoyed a 40-minute, private discussion with half of the Broadway cast members for “Six” — a special opportunity the theater company crafted around rigid pandemic guidelines at a time when events of this type were generally not permitted at all. On prior trips, students had the privilege to go on stage and backstage to discuss the productions they just saw with Tony and Grammy winning actor Ari’el Stachel and Grammy winner Etai Benson at “The Band’s Visit” and with Tony Award nominee Andy Grotelueschen at “Tootsie.”

What’s the experience like for students?Here are some recent publications featuring the New York Arts Adventure:

You can help make this happen! If you would like to help keep this trip affordable for families, please consider sponsoring a performance or meal, or making a contribution toward a student scholarship.