Many artists and arts lovers trace their initial spark of interest back to a high school performing arts teacher. It’s from them that they learned to express themselves, assert their individuality, collaborate with others—and most of all, discover that distinct sense of excitement and possibility many of us only get from the performing arts. And so, Wolf Trap rewards the teachers who make it all possible—particularly those creating innovative new programs.
Wolf Trap Grants are awarded to individual public high school teachers in the performing arts to complete a project with their students. Selected teachers for the 2020-2021 school year represent Washington, DC; Montgomery County, Maryland; Prince George’s County, Maryland; Loudoun County, Virginia; Arlington County, Virginia; and Fairfax County, Virginia.
2020-2021 Grant Recipients
Christie Blewett – “Failure Is an Option”
Centreville High School, Fairfax County, VA
Teaching Artists from Synetic Theater will guide students through a series of master classes exploring physical theater. Through improvisation and ensemble work, students will develop the self-awareness, confidence, and courage needed to create dynamic pieces of art. The final workshop will help students create short original pieces around the idea of moving through, and learning from, failure.
Ashley Driscoll – Orchestra Technique in County-Wide Masterclass
Independence High School, Loudoun County, VA
Orchestra students from across Loudoun County will meet virtually with guest musicians specializing in violin, viola, and cello. These master classes will address topics such as bow strokes, tone production, and vibrato before closing with a five-minute solo performance from the guest musician. Select students will have the opportunity to receive direct feedback from the professional artists.
Susan Eckerle – Wootton’s 50th Anniversary – Composing for Your Alma Mater
Thomas S. Wootton High School, Montgomery County, MD
This artist in residence program will bring musician, composer, and conductor C.L. Thomas to lead a series of master classes on composition and music technology. Students will work with Mr. Thomas to create an alma mater celebrating the school’s 50th anniversary. Thomas will arrange the new composition for choral singers, concert band, and marching band.
Hope Lambert – A Pop-up, Drive-by Projection Mapping Installation: Collaboration During Isolation
H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, Arlington County, VA
In partnership with Arlington County Cultural Affairs, technical theater students from across Arlington County will use projection mapping techniques to create short works based on their experiences during the pandemic and their hopes for the future. The students’ videos will be compiled and projected onto an outdoor installation which will be displayed at each high school.
Jocelyn Mullins – A Class Act NY
Yorktown High School, Arlington County, VA
Two experienced Broadway performers will join the virtual classroom to help students create powerful performances, advance vocal techniques, and give insight into careers in the performing arts. The first master class will give students the opportunity to perform and receive direct feedback while the second master class will teach the group a song and dance combination using original Broadway choreography.
Dr. John Peasant, Jr. – “Shades of Sound: Understanding Diversity Within Different Musical Settings”
Bard High School Early College, Washington, DC
Through a series of performances and professional lectures from local artists, students will gain insight into how musicians of color navigate the professional music industry. These conversations will compare and contrast varied musical genres while exploring the rich music community in Washington, DC.
Darryl Pilate – Collaboration through Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process
High Point High School, Prince George’s County, MD
Dance students will explore creative dance making, finding a shared vocabulary, and giving and receiving feedback with guest teaching artist Matthew Cumbie. The Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process will help students develop a learner centered approach to other subjects by asking themselves: “What is my prior knowledge?”; “What questions do I have?”; and “How should I ask those questions?”
Addie Schafer Benko - Pop Up Purcellville Museum
Woodgrove High School, Loudoun County, VA
Students will learn how to connect art with dramaturgical research while presenting a pre-show experience for their outdoor performance of Oklahoma! Classes with local historians, artists, preservationists, and members of the community will help students fully analyze the varying communities presented in both their town and the setting in Oklahoma!
Eligibility and Application Process
Online applications for the 2021-2022 school year will be available in the fall of 2021.
Most grant projects fall under one or more of the following categories:
– Wolf Trap will support residencies with professional performing artists
to support and supplement classroom work leading to student performance.
– Wolf Trap will support a teacher, student, or visiting guest artist in the
creation of an original dance, music, or theatre piece for a specific group of students that
would be performed by the students in concert.
– Wolf Trap will support a visiting guest artist to teach a series of master
classes to students in conjunction with class study and student performance.
Technology in the Arts
– Wolf Trap will support technological improvements that may
allow for further educational opportunities in the arts and encourage technical and media
applications in instruction leading to integration of technology in student performance.
Arts and the Environment
– Wolf Trap celebrates the relationship between art and nature,
using the arts to help protect the environment. Grantees are encouraged to consider “green”
projects and to create a culture of environmental responsibility in their performing arts
– Wolf Trap will support collaborations that explore core subjects or
STEM classes through an artistic discipline. Grantees are encouraged to work with teachers
of different disciplines to find innovative ways to reach learning goals and display student
learning through a performance.
Eligibility for 2021-2022
All grant projects must take place during the 2021-2022 school year.
Applicants must be a public high school teacher of music, dance or theater currently teaching
in Washington, DC; Montgomery County, Maryland; Prince George’s County, Maryland;
Loudoun County, Virginia; Arlington County, Virginia; or Fairfax County, Virginia.
The majority of the grant money must be used for student instruction and learning. With prior approval from Wolf Trap, minimal funds may be used to purchase equipment if it is a
major component of the project.
The project should culminate in a student performance or presentation of learning. Grantee
schools are asked to attend a performance and reception at the historic Barns at Wolf Trap
in late April.
Teacher grantees and their schools will be responsible for the design and implementation of
proposed projects, which includes the selection of participating performing artists and works.
Wolf Trap is not able to secure artists and/or permissions.