August 30, 2022
Opera on Tap is thrilled to announce a major grant from Infosys Foundation USA to fund an augmented version of its popular Playground Opera education program. Reimagined as Playground Operatronics, the program will be available to 400 Title 1 classrooms, serving 12,000 students and 400 classroom teachers, at no cost to the participating schools.
The Playground Operatronics curriculum includes all of the existing Playground Opera lessons plus the integration of new technology. Opera on Tap is excited to enter into a partnership with Chibitronics, also a longtime curriculum collaborator of Infosys Foundation USA for their signature Pathfinders Institute, to facilitate the creation and distribution of this new technology. Chibitronics blends circuit building with arts and crafts using paper circuits so everyone can create and design their own expressive electronics. Using Chibitronics tool kits, students can learn to code and create electronic costume and prop assets such as crowns that light up as well as background scenery that blink and illuminate their opera video performances for their final project. The first of its kind, this exciting new collaboration between Opera on Tap’s Playground Opera program and Chibitronics’ circuit technologies will be delivered and promoted in collaboration with the Infosys Foundation’s Pathfinders Online Institute digital learning platform.
OOT Artistic Director Anne Hiatt said, “we are so honored to receive this important leadership grant from the Infosys Foundation USA. This critical funding will truly be an arts education game-changer, allowing us to bring STEAM-based learning to more diverse communities, and provide every learner with direct access to key skill sets that will one day be highly desirable in the tech and creative economies.”
Kate Maloney, Executive Director of Infosys Foundation USA said, “Infosys Foundation USA is committed to advancing innovative ways of bringing computer science and technology to the classroom. We are happy to team with Opera on Tap and Chibitronics to blaze a new trail at the intersection of the arts and tech, and to do so with laser focus on equity in Title 1 classrooms. We have high hopes for this dynamic program that it will ignite that curious spark in a student’s life that will result in a life-long passion for the arts and sciences.”
Playground Opera is a 2021 Infymaker Award-winning STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) interdisciplinary program that emphasizes music and media concepts with life and career skills. The cornerstone of this popular Opera on Tap program is the National Education Foundation’s “Four Cs”: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity–and prioritizes active learning in order to create a participatory, interactive experience for a broad and diverse student community. To create a more active student engagement beyond passive viewing of videos, we explore innovative approaches to real- time interaction between students and our teaching artists, and our episodic curriculum is thoughtfully designed to be accessible and relatable to the 21st century learner by immersing students in every aspect of the creation, production, and performance of an opera. In upcoming productions we will be utilizing game engine design and using virtual world-building tools to further immerse our students into the art form.
Infosys Foundation USA was established in 2015 with the mission of expanding computer science and maker education to K-12 students and teachers across the United States, with a specific focus on increasing access to underrepresented communities. The Foundation achieves impact through delivering professional development programs for teachers, partnering with leading nonprofits, and delivering innovative media campaigns that inspire everyone to be creators, not just consumers, of technology.
To learn more visit: https://www.infosys.org/infosys-foundation-usa/about.html.
Chibitronics blends circuit building and programming with arts and crafts. They make circuit stickers and other tools for educators, artists and crafters so everyone can create and design their own expressive electronics. Through Chibitronics’ community, tutorials and resources, educators can seamlessly integrate art, STEM, social studies, and language arts. Students can create interactive artwork, illuminate haikus, map the stars and the world around them, invent cardboard arcades and paper cities, and much more.
To learn more visit: https://chibitronics.com/.
Opera on Tap began as a small monthly gathering of ambitious, classically-trained singers looking for more performance opportunities. OOT has grown into a producing organization that has gained a loyal audience base and national recognition as an innovative force on the classical music scene. Through its Chapter program, which now has twenty-five vibrant national and international chapters, OOT has created the world’s largest network of operatic performers, creators, and supporters. Visit our chapter page to view our chapters. Along the way, Opera on Tap has developed the Immersive Opera Project, New Brew, and other programming that commissions living composers, and performs works of contemporary composers. Our flagship education program, Playground Opera, educates children in the world of opera, music, and theatre across the globe. We are headquartered as a national organization in Brooklyn, NY and, in addition to supporting our chapters around the world, present locally produced programs intended to adhere to our mission of community engagement through opera.
For more information visit https://playground.operaontap.org.