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School-Day Matinees

 Bird's eye view of little kids sitting in the Fife theatre waiting for a matinee to begin.

The Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech is dedicated to providing transformative arts experiences to children through gallery tours, artist engagements, and special school-day matinee performances from renowned touring artists for children, teachers, and families.

This fall brings three exciting new opportunities to connect with the arts through performances and study guides created especially for young audiences. Mark your calendar now and register to attend these engaging performances and discussions, and sign up for emails to learn more about the Moss Arts Center’s matinees and activities with visiting artists.

These free events are open to public, private, and homeschool students; teachers; and families; but registration is required.

 Actor DeLanna Studi in a beige jacket and dark pants stands in front of a background, onto which has been projected the night sky
DeLanna Studi: "And So We Walked"

DeLanna Studi

And So We Walked

Thursday, October 14, 2021
10-12:15 PM
Street and Davis Performance Hall, Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre
Recommended for students in grades 9-12
Find more information and register here.

Written and performed by DeLanna Studi, And So We Walked: An Artist’s Journey Along the Trail of Tears is a frank, heartwarming and inspiring story about a contemporary Cherokee woman and her father who embark on an incredible 900-mile journey along the Trail of Tears to truly understand her own identity and the conflicts of her nation. The play recounts the six-week journey, which retraced the path her great-great grandparents took in the 1830s during the forced relocation of 17,000 Cherokee from their homelands. And So We Walked is a powerful, multi-faceted dramatic memoir that draws on extraordinary interviews, historical research, and the artist’s personal experience to convey the complexities and conflicts with which the Cherokee wrestle.

DeLanna Studi is a Cherokee performance artist, activist and winner of the 2016 Butcher Scholar Award from The Autry Museum of the American West. Studi has originated roles in more than 18 world premieres, including 14 native productions, and she has received numerous awards for her performances in the Hallmark/ABC mini-series Dreamkeeper and Chris Eyre’s Edge of America. She is an ensemble member of America’s only equity Native American theatre company, Native Voices at the Autry, and serves as chair of SAG- AFTRA’s National Native Committee.

Studi mentors for the Mentor Artist Playwright Program, Young Native Playwrights, and American Indian Film Institute’s Tribal Touring Program. Her artist-in-residencies include the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Wisconsin. And So We Walked is her first play. 

 A composite image of Imani Winds and Catalyst Quartet. Top part of the image: the members of Imani Winds stand in a line smiling for the camera holding their instruments. Bottom part of the image: the members of Catalyst Quartet stand in a line looking towards the camera and holding their instruments.
Imani Winds, top, and Catalyst Quartet, bottom

Imani Winds and Catalyst Quartet

(im)migration: music of change

Wednesday, October 27, 2021
10-11 AM
Street and Davis Performance Hall, Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre
Recommended for grades 4-8

Find more information and register here.

Two leading chamber ensembles renowned for their joyful educational work join forces for a program highlighting the experience of migration. Catalyst Quartet features alumni from the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Competition, while Grammy-nominated Imani Winds leads a revolution of the wind quintet.

Performing individually and together, the ensembles will demonstrate their instruments and play music by composers Mongo Santamaria, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Roberto Sierra, and Catalyst alumna Jessie Montgomery. Montgomery’s piece Sergeant McCauley tracks the journey of her great-grandfather during the Great Migration. Spirituals and work songs reflect McCauley’s route from Mississippi to the west, then up north, and eventually back to Georgia.

Following the performance, members of the ensembles will participate in a Q&A for attendees. 

 A group of white women ballet dancers wear white leotards, tutus, and tights, and white feather crowns in their hair. Four women with their right arms raised circle a fifth woman, who is sitting on the ground, folded foward over one extended leg
Southwest Virginia Ballet

Southwest Virginia Ballet

Tuesday, November 16, 2021
10-11 AM
Street and Davis Performance Hall, Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre
Recommended for grades 4-8
Find more information and register here.

Experience the evolution of Western European classical dance through the centuries in representative works performed by Southwest Virginia Ballet. Following the performance, dancers in the company will engage with the students in a Q&A.

Southwest Virginia Ballet (SVB) has been contributing to the community for 29 years, serving over 15,000 children and adults annually. SVB began as a vision of founding director Tess (Terri) Post in 1990. Her vision was for a regional ballet company that would provide preprofessional training and quality performances of varied repertoire including classical ballet, contemporary and modern works. The organization’s mission is to make the performing arts experience available to all ages from all walks of life through full-length productions of varied repertoire, including classical ballet, contemporary, and new works. SVB provides, free of charge, the highest quality of preprofessional training possible to young dancers and promotes cultural enrichment and awareness of the art of dance. SVB is committed to offering outreach opportunities for under-served and at-risk children and adults from across Southwest Virginia.

In 2006 Pedro Szalay joined SVB, becoming artistic director in 2007. Under Szalay’s leadership, SVB company membership has doubled in size and has gained regional, national, and international acclaim.