Despite the constant twists and turns presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the NA Arts faculty found creative ways to allow students to participate in performances during the 2020-21 school year.
While instrumental and choral classes were initially held on Zoom, the introduction of instrument covers and singing masks allowed the arts to resume in-person, with students performing under outdoor tents or spreading out in the Coraci Performance Hall — made possible through gifts from more than 140 donors to Rise & Flourish: The Campaign for Newark Academy. In some cases, faculty even utilized two separate rooms across from each other to space out musicians and conduct them at a distance from the center of the hallway.
Hybrid dance classes were held in the gym with students dancing in distant 12-foot boxes with masks on. Remote students were able to join via Zoom as 360 “Owl” cameras ensured they could follow the choreography from all angles.
Visual arts faculty adapted to COVID-19 restrictions by creating demonstration videos with document cameras and teaching classes on Zoom. For critiques, student artwork was photographed and shared for remote students to be able to view and join in for effective discussions. Although there were no art receptions in the Teiger Gallery for the Studio Arts during the 2020-21 school year, student art continued to grace the walls all year long.
With live performances on halt during the beginning of the year, the Annual Fund allowed student performances to take place through virtual recordings that were live-streamed and included chat functions available for the audience to show support for the artists. The fall drama She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms, was filmed and streamed virtually here
. Students in the winter musical, Peter and the Starcatcher, filmed their performance on stage with a full set and props. The performance was screened virtually here
. Students in the spring dance concert, Dancing Uphill, recorded socially-distant performances in the gym and Teiger Gallery and aired them virtually here
In February of 2021, live performances returned as IB music recitals
were held for small audiences in the Coraci Performance Hall. With the introduction of warmer weather, concerts were able to be held outdoors and a stage was constructed for the Middle School play and mini-musical. The NA concert choir utilized the OSPAC in West Orange, an off-campus, outdoor space, to perform Cabaret 2021: Under the Evening Stars
Newark Academy was able to continue its commitment to excellence in the arts through virtual and outdoor events because of the generosity of NA alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends.