Segerstrom Center Gets Grant from B of A to Fund Studio D Workshops

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Studio D: Arts School performance on November 11, 2019 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Photo by Paul Bersebach

The performing arts have taken a hit thanks to the coronavirus, as has arts education, but Bank of America has come to the rescue.

Bank of America has awarded Segerstrom Center for the Arts a generous grant to underwrite IMAGINE THAT!, a special three-week virtual program of classes conducted by the Center’s Studio D: Arts School for All Abilities.

The school offers an inclusive program primarily for children and young people with cognitive and physical disabilities, but students of all abilities are welcome.

The workshops will begin on January 11, and will be offered in four groups: children ages 4 – 7, youth ages 8 – 12, teens ages 13 – 17, and adults ages 18 and older. Thanks to support from Bank of America, all 20 students in each group will participate in these enriching sessions completely free of charge.

All workshops will be virtual with live and pre-recorded components.

Studio D: Arts School performance on November 11, 2019 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Photo by Paul Bersebach

The youth classes will focus on creativity, imagination, and social skills building as participants learn lyrics and choreography to “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

The teen/adult classes will focus on self-expression and creative choice-making as participants learn lyrics and choreography to “This is Me” from “The Greatest Showman” movie musical.

Segerstrom Center President Casey Reitz said, “We’re thrilled and grateful to Bank of America for making it possible for us to provide this special IMAGINE THAT! series of classes that will enrich the life experiences of 80 wonderful children and young adults. This partnership enables us to expand our Studio D program and to offer its classes to many new families. We thank Bank of America for this opportunity to fulfill our commitment to serve Orange County and to reach everyone and every community in meaningful and lasting ways through the arts.”

“Children and young adults with disabilities are among those most impacted from the isolation and disruption of routines brought on by pandemic. Through the virtual series, Segerstrom Center for the Arts is ensuring children with disabilities have access to the arts from the safety of their homes,” said Mark C. Perry, Executive Vice Chairman of Global Commercial Banking for Bank of America. “The Imagine That! series aligns with Bank of America’s commitment to foster a community that is diverse, inclusive and empowers people with disabilities.”

Studio D: Arts School performance on November 11, 2019 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Photo by Paul Bersebach

One Studio D. parent commented, ““After participating in many other virtual classes, I have to let you know yours has been the best. You gave the kids a preview of the following lesson and it was great for them to be ready. You approached new terms in such a simple but meaningful way for them to understand. Lastly, the material provided was inviting and had an active approach to practice the lesson. Amazing program!”

Kathy Tiquia, another parent, said, “As the mother of a six-year-old with Down syndrome who has fought tirelessly for full inclusion on every level, I LOVE that you…thought of doing something like this!…Music, dance, and art offer a medium for special needs children to express themselves more easily.”

During IMAGINE THAT! classes, students will learn the basics of singing and dancing. They will meet new friends as they begin to express themselves through movement and music. The January virtual workshops will be 55 minutes in length. Studio D. faculty members Ms. Gina and Ms. Cynthia will conduct each class.

For more information about the IMAGINE THAT! classes or Studio D: Arts School for All Abilities, email [email protected].

For more information on Segerstrom Center for the Arts, visit

Studio D: Arts School performance on November 11, 2019 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Photo by Paul Bersebach

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is an acclaimed arts institution as well as a beautiful multi-disciplinary cultural campus. It is committed to supporting artistic excellence, offering unsurpassed experiences and to engaging the entire community in new and exciting ways through the unique power of live performance as well as a diverse array of inspiring arts-based education and community engagement programs.

Previously called the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Center is Orange County’s largest non-profit arts organization. In addition to its six performance venues, Segerstrom Center is also home to the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School and Studio D: Arts School for All (previously named School of Dance and Music for Children with Disabilities).

The Center presents a broad range of programming for audiences of all ages, featuring international ballet and dance companies, national tours of top Broadway shows, jazz and cabaret, contemporary artists, classical music performed by renowned chamber orchestras and ensembles, family-friendly programming, and free performances on its plaza, such as outdoor movie screenings, concerts, community and cultural festivals.

Segerstrom Center is a leader among the nation’s performing arts centers for providing education programs designed to inspire young people through the arts. The Center’s programs reach hundreds of thousands of students each year in five Southern California counties.

The CDI supports flagship artistic programming and a wide range of projects that celebrate innovation, nurture creativity and engage audiences of the future.

The Center Without Boundaries develops partnerships with non-cultural organizations to help them in their own efforts to respond to the ever-changing needs of the community.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is also proud to serve as the artistic home to three of the region’s major performing arts organizations: Pacific Symphony, Philharmonic Society of Orange County and Pacific Chorale. Each contributes greatly to the artistic life of the region with annual seasons performed at the Center.

In addition to Segerstrom Center for the Arts as a presenting and producing institution, it also identifies the beautiful 14-acre campus that embraces the Center’s own facilities as well as two independently acclaimed organizations: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory and the Orange County Museum of Art.

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