L’incontro Billboard Hails Inside Broadway
Arts education in New York City public schools was recognized with the unveiling of a billboard promoting the Inside Broadway program atop Trattoria L’incontro, 21-76 31st St., in Astoria. “Congratulations to Inside Broadway for bringing the best of Broadway to Queens schools,” reads the new billboard.
A special luncheon was held at the restaurant in honor of the theater program and its Executive Director, Michael Presser by co-owners Jack Brucculeri and Rocco Sacramone, who is also chef. “I’m thrilled to be honoring such a remarkable organization like Inside Broadway,” Brucculeri said. “The work they do in Queens public schools, along with the unwavering support of our local legislators, is astounding, and I’m happy to support such an important issue as arts education.”
“What a thrill it is to see our name in lights and to bring some of ‘The Great White way’ to Ditmars Boulevard,” Presser said.
Now in its 27th year, Inside Broadway was established in 1982 in an effort to create a ticket program for New York City school students. The program helps to develop and produce touring equity musical productions as well as a wide range of educational programs that allow students to interact with professionals in the acting field and experience live theater first hand in the classroom.
“It’s great to know that public schools are getting active in the arts and the theatrical community,” Program Director Katie McAllister said
Also cited for their commitment to bringing vital arts education programs to more than 15 borough public schools this year were 12 Queens politicians, all of whom are mentioned on the billboard: City Councilmembers Peter F. Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), Elizabeth Crowley (D-Maspeth), James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), Eric Ulrich (RRockaway Beach), Mark Wepirn (D-Little Neck) and Thomas White (D-South Ozone Park); Assemblymembers Jeffrion L. Aubry (D-Corona), Vivian E. Cook (D-Jamaica), Michael N. Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Michele R. Titus (DTrattoria South Ozone Park), and state Senators Joseph P. Addabbo Jr (D-Glendale) and George Onorato (D-Astoria).
“I am so honored to be a part of all this,” Gianaris said.
The program also aims to enrich young students with the legacy of America’s musical theater. Every spring, Inside Broadway presents a special musical tour that travels to more than 50 city public schools. This year’s touring musical is Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Ladies”, which runs until May 21. Also, more than 500 city public school students have a chance to create a 30- minute musical revue alongside professional teaching artists through Inside Broadway’s eight-and-a-half-week–long Cultural After- School Adventures (C.A.S.A) program, one of many under the City Council initiative.
“It’s wonderful to see the students build their own working musical,” Paul L. King, executive director for the city Department of Education Arts and Special Projects unit, said.
The participating Queens schools are P.S. 63, Jamaica, P.S. 19, Corona, P.S. 119, Glendale, P.S. 87, Flushing, P.S. 81, Ridgewood, P.S. 49, Middle Village, P.S. 102, Elmhurst, P.S. 41, Bayside, P.S. 94, Little Neck, P.S. 206, Rego Park, P.S. 11, Woodside and August Martin H.S., Jamaica.
For more information, visit www.insidebroadway.org.–Json D. Antos