More than 1100 Dallas ISD students got an out-of-this-world experience during a unique performance at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. The award-winning Bella Gaia (Beautiful Earth) combined NASA visualizations of Earth from Space with live music and dance. The program was co-presented by the Center and TITAS, and the student matinee was part of the Center’s education program Open Stages. The students heard remarks from Kenji Williams, creator of Bella Gaia, before the program, then he answered questions from the students in a post-show conversation.
“Bella Gaia brought art and science together in a mesmerizing performance,” said Charles Santos, Executive and Artistic Director of TITAS. “1100 kids were spellbound.”
The Open Stages event drew students from 16 Dallas ISD schools, a first for the education program, drawing students from every corner of the district. Traditionally, Open Stages includes six Dallas ISD high schools that provide arts career pathway programs: David W. Carter, Thomas Jefferson, Moises E. Molina, Sunset, W.T. White and Woodrow Wilson High Schools, as well as Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. This event also involved Emmett J. Conrad, Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center, Kathlyn Joy Gilliam, Justin F. Kimball, Lincoln, James Madison, North Dallas, W.W. Samuell, and Skyline High Schools.
“Thanks to our partnership with TITAS, Open Stages was able to engage more students and schools than ever,” said Doug Curtis, president and acting CEO of the Center. “It was a tremendous experience for these students and we were thrilled to be able to do it.”
Bella Gaia transforms complex scientific data into an accessible audio-visual experience to illuminate the connections between natural systems and human activities. The goal is to expand public understanding of global challenges we face and inspire audiences to act as stewards for our shared resources. Bella Gaia has been featured at the COP15 Copenhagen Climate Change Summit, the Smithsonian Folklife/NASA festival and in sold-out performances at digital planetariums. The show has delighted everyone from students to heads of government, and is an excellent introduction to the magic of live performance.
Open Stages provides local arts-focused high school students experiences that will support them as they work toward careers in the arts. Supported by donors, Bank of America and The Moody Foundation, Open Stages makes interaction between students and professionals its priority, helping create a new generation of arts professionals. Open Stages supports the Center’s nonprofit mission to provide a public gathering place that strengthens community and fosters creativity through the presentation of performing arts and arts education programs.