New World School of the Arts to launch Summer Theater Academy thanks to a 2013 Knight Arts Challenge Grant

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Summer Theater Academy students sitting on the floor attending a Master ClassMIAMI--- New World School of the Arts (NWSA) ranks among the 49 recipients of a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge. The $25,000 grant will allow the NWSA Theater Division to create the Summer Theater Academy, a program designed to help talented, low-income students gain a competitive edge in auditions, through training, for collegiate arts programs. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge funds ideas that help bring South Florida together through the arts.

"New World School of the Arts has done an unparalleled job of educating the artists who are fueling our local arts scene. This program will extend their efforts, and help to level the playing field for aspiring artists to pursue their goals in higher education," said Dennis Scholl, VP/Arts at Knight Foundation.
Designed for high school students who haven’t studied in a specialized or arts magnet school, the academy will offer coaching in audition techniques, interviewing skills and in the research and process of applying to colleges, in addition to private vocal and acting coaching. The goal is for each student to depart from the Summer Theater Academy with two monologues and songs that they can confidently use for college auditions.

“There is an unparalleled opportunity through this grant to reach young students in our community who wouldn’t normally have this type of opportunity,” said Dr. Jeffrey Hodgson, Provost of New World School of the Arts. “We want to shine a light on their talent and let them see the world can be their stage.”

“The Summer Theater Academy will offer students important skills for auditioning and applying to colleges around the country. It will equip them with information about a variety of college/ university programs available to them to have successful careers in theater,” said Patrice Bailey, dean of Theater at NWSA. “The theater division is very excited and grateful to be able to offer these young students the opportunities to work with the faculty at New World School of the Arts.”

Numerous New World School of the Arts alumni were also among the 2013 winners. Diana Lozano, who attended the NWSA high school and college programs, received $50,000 for Circ X, Miami's only resident cabaret at the Jackie Gleason Theater. A $35,000 grant for New theater will allow Ricky Martinez to "sprinkle theater through Miami-Dade County" with his one-act play festival. College BFA alumna Shira Lee Abergel's $50,000 will be used to "entertain audiences unconventionally" through theatrical spaces reminiscent of the medicine shows of yesteryear. Stuart Meltzer, Artistic Director of Zoetic Stage and NWSA college BFA alum, will use his $25,000 grant "to offer South Florida playwrights a platform by producing two world-premiere plays at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts." And Teo Castellanos, guest artist at NWSA, will create a one-act play and film to fuse world culture, ritual and music using his $25,000 award.

About NWSA:

NWSA is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art, Dance, Music and Theater, and provides a comprehensive program of artistic, creative and academic development. NWSA grants the four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees, as well as the high school diploma. New World School of the Arts was created in 1984 by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida. For more information on NWSA please visit

About Knight Foundation:

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.For more, visit  


New World School of the Arts: Patrice Bailey, Dean of Theater, 305-237-3458; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Knight Foundation: MarikaLynch, Knight Foundation Communications, 305-898-3595; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.