On January 28, 2013 at TEDxBroadway, MS 343 Principal Vincent Gassetto was featured for the second year in a row speaking about the progress that his school has made over the past year and the relationships that the school has built with people in the entertainment industry. Many of those relationships began after Mr. Gassetto spoke at TEDxBroadway in 2012. Click here to see his first speech. This year, he featured a video created by an MS 343 teacher that demonstrates the amazing experiences MS 343 has had access to over the past year and how these experiences have affected his students. Click here to see his speech from TEDxBroadway 2013.
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Here is the latest video showing progress of the initiative featured in Principal Gassetto’s 2013 TEDxBroadway talk.
In order to drive our industry forward, we must nurture the talent of tomorrow. To fulfill this objective, Situation Interactive has partnered with MS 343, an NYC public middle school in the South Bronx. MS 343, is located in the poorest congressional district in the country and yet for the past 4 years it has received As on its Department of Education progress report. Out of thousands of schools in all 5 boroughs of NYC, less than 20 can claim this incredible achievement.
With limited budgets and decreased governmental funding, arts education classes are basically a thing of the past. We have taken it on ourselves as an agency to do everything we can with our contacts and resources to enrich the cultural capital of these children through fantastic live experiences. Last year with the help of the producers, we sent the entire school to see Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Until this experience, most of these kids had never been on a field trip much less a Broadway show. In fact, when asked, most kids didn’t even know what Broadway was. The entire Spider-Man company was so moved by the experience that they organized a day of Spider-Man up at the school where small groups of actors, dancers, singers, and musicians spoke to the kids in small groups. The highlight was at the end of the day when the cast performed a few songs from the show in the auditorium.
After sending the entire school to see Spider-Man during the 2011-2012 school year, we increased the number of touch points for the upcoming school year. Our 2012-2013 goal was to send each grade level to an individual show in addition to sending the entire school to see Spider-Man again. We’re thrilled to report that we’re on point to achieve our objective–on November 28, the 8th graders went to see War Horse; on December 5, the 7th graders saw The Piano Lesson at The Signature Theater; and on December 12, the 6th graders saw Mary Poppins.
To learn more about MS 343 and to hear Vincent Gassetto, MS 343 Principal, speak about the school’s experience seeing Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, click here.