Joy 2 Learn
Joy2Learn brings professional, acclaimed visual and performing artists into the classroom at no cost. The first programs are part of an ongoing series with another music production in the works. The interactive programs are designed to be interactive so that students can choose from many options—watching videos of performances, playing interactive quiz games, and learning about artist insight and history through multimedia presentations.
Current Joy2Learn Programs include:
- Theatre with Hector Elizondo
- At the Piano with Alan Gampel
- Dancing with Gregory Hines
- Jazz with Wynton Marsalis
- Painting with Elizabeth Murray
- Sculpture with Richard Serra
Since 1986, The Joy2Learn Foundation has aimed to improve public education by creating and providing high quality arts content to schools for interdisciplinary use. The California Department of Education, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the AT&T Foundation, and several other non-profit organizations have provided funding.
Hector Elizondo, theatre, television and movie star, presents four great plays: “I Ought to be in Pictures” by Neil Simon, “Cyrano de Bergerac” by Edmond Rostand, “Othello” by Shakespeare, and “Antigone” by Sophocles. He charismatically introduces the stories, the authors, his personal thoughts on acting and the plays, and brilliantly performs brief segments of each of the four masterpieces.
The first Joy2Learn Music Program focuses on internationally renowned pianist Alan Gampel and his exciting performances of the Chopin “Minute Waltz,” Gershwin “Prelude,” Debussy “Poisson D’Or,” Rimsky-Korsakov “Flight of the Bumble-Bee,” and Stravinsky “Firebird.” Students can click on sections to see video material about the composers, the music selections, interpretation, or to play a quiz-game. There is also a section that explains the history of the piano and how it works.
Joy2Learn’s third e-presentation features the late Gregory Hines speaking about the history and culture of tap dancing. Mr. Hines offers anecdotes about the great tap dancers of the 20th century, demonstrations of technique, and stories from his own remarkable career as a film and theater star.
Joy2Learn proudly presents the great Wynton Marsalis. He discusses the trumpet and its history, and demonstrates how the trumpet is played. In the history section he talks about the origins of jazz and its evolution. In the “Nuts and Bolts” section, Wynton discusses the blues, swing, the composition of the jazz band and the importance of improvisation. He also discusses jazz legends including Armstrong, Ellington, Davis and Coltrane.
The renowned painter Elizabeth Murray takes us on a tour of her studio, explains the use of her tools, shows us some of her favorite paintings and walks us through the creation of her art from inspiration, through sketches to the construction of her unusual three dimensional pieces. She talks of her early interest in art, the support of her family and encourages us all to see art in everyday objects. In a special section she takes us into the Museum of Modern Art in New York where she compares and contrasts paintings by Picasso, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol and others.
Since those Minimalist beginnings, Serra’s work has become famous for that same physicality, but one that is now compounded by the breathtaking size and weight that the pieces have acquired. His series of “Torqued Ellipses” (1996–99), which comprise gigantic plates of towering steel, bent and curved, leaning in and out, carve very private spaces from the necessarily large public sites in which they have been erected. Serra’s most recent public work includes the 60-foot-tall “Charlie Brown” (1999; named for the Peanuts comic-strip character in honor of its author, Charles Schultz, who had died that year), which has been erected in the courtyard of an office building in San Francisco. He lives in New York and Nova Scotia.