In-School Residencies

The Bardavon’s Arts-in-Education Program has touched elementary through high school students for almost three decades. Our unique residencies motivate students, build confidence, and enhance learning in all areas. For many inner-city students, the residencies and Hudson Valley Philharmonic daytime concert experiences are the only exposure to theater and/or classical music that they receive all year.

Reaching these kids and strengthening their voices through the arts are at the heart of our programs. Each residency is created and managed by professional writers, musicians and actors in conjunction with teachers and parents. Our Director of Education, Addie Borman, is the central liaison between all of the professional team members.

Most of our residency programs also foster the students’ sense of pride in and ownership of their community.

Arm of the Sea Theater

Arm of the Sea is renowned for its work in creating giant puppets and its commitment to raising awareness about environmental issues. Theatre Founder Patrick Wadden works with fifth-grade students to create their own puppets for a special culmination performance during the Bardavon-created Celebration of Lights Parade in Downtown Poughkeepsie.

The Arm of the Sea Theatre workshop supports the New York State Common Core Learning Standards for the Arts.

The Hudson Valley Philharmonic Young People’s Concert/Classroom to Concert (HVP YPC/CTC)

Our goal through the HVP Young People’s Concerts is to enrich the lives of children by exposing them to beautiful music. Hosted and narrated by two professional actors with Guest Conductor Christine Howlett, the interactive concert engages students through creative exploration and active musical participation.

We encourage participation in the Classroom to Concert program, which is led by Julliard-trained teaching artists (TAs) in the schools prior to the HVP concerts. The TAs introduce musical vocabulary and the instruments of the orchestra to the children. Together, they create an inspired story and orchestrate their own melodies and rhythms. The children’s composition is incorporated into the HVP performance they attend at the Bardavon.

The CTC classroom sessions are photographed, and the students create artwork relating to the theme, such as You Can Be a Hero. The photos and artwork are incorporated into a video, which is shown before and after the concert. A live-feed video provides the audience with an up-close view of the conductor and musicians during the performance.

Hip Hop Theater (HHT)

Since 2006, the Bardavon Hip Hop Theater Residency (HHT) has been integral to   our Arts-in-Education Program. Each year, this two-week residency offers students a powerful arts-based learning experience, and educators a motivating tool to accomplish mandated curriculum.

Students study poetry, lettering, music and dance, drawing on their own creative abilities and gaining knowledge and skills in each discipline. They connect with the rhythms of their bodies and explore the art of the written and spoken word. They discover the satisfaction that striving for a shared goal can offer, and how to express what they think and feel.

HHT supports the New York State Common Core Learning Standards for the Arts and for English Language Arts.


This two-week residency combines basic circus arts disciplines with a new theme each year. TA Sean Fagan breaks down the theme, laying a relevant yet subtle language base for the full learning experience.

Lessons teach children to use their own physical bodies to make something work; acrobatics, tumbling, juggling and clowning support this idea.  The exercises and show preparations motivate the students to use their imaginations, share ideas, keep practicing, and not give up on themselves.

Circus Residency supports the New York State Common Core Learning Standards for the Arts.