Patel Conservatory taking the show on the road in Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Patel Conservatory at Tampa’s Straz Center exposes both adults and kids to amazing opportunities in performing arts.

From singing and dancing, to music and theater, there’s something for everybody.

While there are scholarships available, it’s a private institution so not everyone can afford to go.

So now Patel is taking the show on the road and heading to communities across Tampa Bay, including many schools.

At Young Middle School in Tampa, kids came up with the topic for their playwriting class, taught on campus by a Patel educator.

“The class is billed as this is your play for the student,” said Jakob Nordstrom, an instructor at the Patel Conservatory. “In the class, they decided what they wanted to talk about. The black lives matter movement was on everybody’s mind. At first, I was a little bit scared because it can be a heavy subject. I told the kids if we could find a way to make this a positive message then I think it’s a great idea.”

The students say it’s exciting being able to use art to teach real life lessons when they perform their play at the end of the school year.

“They’ll get to learn that racism is wrong and we can also face racism in other ways — nonviolently and more educationally,” said Luis Rios, an 8th grader at Young Middle School.

Students are also excited about being able to fine-tune their acting skills.

“It’s kind of more like creativity when you’re improvising. It’s also about memorizing lines, which is hard, but they give you time. Also you learn how to work together to do the scene right and make it seem realistic,” said Samuel Hernandez, a Young Middle School student.

Patel instructors are not just going into schools, they’re heading all over the community. Places like The Metropolitan Ministries and the Tampa Housing Authority have requested lessons.

If you’re interested in bringing an instructor to your venue, you can contact the Patel Conservatory.


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