NYU Steinhardt News

Steinhardt's Demas Awarded Arts Education Award for Her Work with New Victory Theater

At its annual convention in Philadelphia in June, Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America, presented the 2008 Arts Education Award to the New Victory Theater in New York City, the first and only full-time theater in New York dedicated solely to young people. The award goes to an agency or organization that is changing public education through the arts. Recipients must demonstrate innovation, produce visible results, and be seen as a national leader in their field. Edie Demas, Director of Education at the New Vic and adjunct professor of educational theatre at NYU Steinhardt, accepted the award.

"Through its roster of education programs, including professional development programs for teaching artists, the New Victory Theater has enhanced the lives of children, their families and arts educators," said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "New Victory sets a new standard at all levels of the teaching pyramid, providing programs for students of all ages and the adults who affect their lives."

Known as New York City's ultimate theater for kids and families, the New Victory (or, New Vic) offers a rich theater experience in the heart of Times Square, presenting more than a dozen professional theater shows from the United States and abroad each season, and dozens of innovative year-round workshops ranging from theater, dance, and puppetry, to improvisation, theater games, and circus skills. For many students, New Vic shows are their first live performance experience. The company also supports students by taking theater into hundreds of classrooms each school year, preparing students for the programs they will see, and talking with them after their visits.

Teachers and family members get to take part too, through innovative programs that bring adults into the mix. In addition to creating materials for teachers that support curriculum connections to the programs students will experience, New Vic has a team of professional, highly skilled and creative artists to co-facilitate the activities of its Education Department. It was this Teaching Artist team that nominated New Vic for the 2008 Award.

"New Victory Theater has changed my life and those of my fellow teaching artists, and has impacted the lives of myriad children who have been introduced to quality programming throughout the school year," wrote one New Vic teaching artist.

Also accepting the award with Dr. Demas was Mary Rose Lloyd, Director of Programming, and New Vic board member and two-time Tony Award winner Bill Irwin.

The Arts Education Award is presented by the Arts Education Council of Americans for the Arts.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, DC, and New York City, it has a record of 48 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.