PHAME is a fine and performing arts academy for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. We have been in business since 1984.
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Thanks so much for your interest in PHAME Academy!
If you have questions about the program or if your family member or constituent is right for PHAME, email Artistic Director Jessica Dart at firstname.lastname@example.org
Exciting Things are Afoot at PHAME!
Please see the letter below from Jessica Dart, PHAME Artistic Director. The letter is also available for download here.
July 23, 2013
Dear PHAME students, families, and friends –
Exciting things are happening at PHAME. Big things. Creative things. New and challenging things. Things that may take some getting used to, but things that we believe will ultimately strengthen our program and help create a richer artistic environment for PHAME students.
We know that the students are the creative heart of PHAME – you are the reason we exist now, and the reason we’ve been around for nearly 30 years. And, with that in mind, we have devised a new class term structure, as well as created a full season of PHAME productions in order to help us celebrate PHAME’s upcoming 30th anniversary – it’s called PHAME @ 30! This letter outlines some of the big and exciting changes happening at PHAME, and what those changes mean for you or your student. Please take a moment to read through the entire letter, and know that we welcome your feedback.
New Term Structure
Traditionally, PHAME has offered three terms of 10-weeks each between September and June. This year, we are offering two terms of 15 weeks each. A full calendar will be released in late July. Term 1 runs Tuesday September 3 – Thursday December 12. Term 2 runs Tuesday January 21 – Thursday May 8. We believe that 15-week terms will allow both students and teachers to more fully explore their class subjects, as well as allow more time to prepare for Get PHAMEous! performances.
You may be asking yourself, “But it looks like Term 2 ends on May 8 – will I have anything to do for the rest of May and June?” The answer is YES! After Term 2 ends on May 8, we’ll take a week off and then more fun begins. May 19 – June 13, we will be offering a series of workshops and intensives in a variety of artistic disciplines. What’s an intensive? An intensive is a class that meets for several hours a day, several days in a row. So during May and June, students will have the opportunity to sign up for all kinds of short-term intensive classes.
In addition to our core classes (such as Choir, Creative Writing, Art, iPad Music Lab, Songwriting, and Theatre), we’re planning to offer some new classes (including Musical Theatre and Rhythm and Percussion). So students will be able to choose from old favorites and brand new offerings. Matthew and Jessica will also each be offering an audition-only class – one in music, and one in theatre. Keep in mind that the vast majority, over 90%, of PHAME’s classes are designed to allow anyone to sign up; these audition-only classes will make up just a small portion of the class offerings for the coming school year. Details regarding audition times, how to sign up to audition, and expectations for participants will be provided soon.
This new term structure means that students must only register for classes twice per year (workshop and intensive registration will be available with Term 2 registration), and must only prepare for two Get PHAMEous! open houses per year. Though this new schedule may be difficult to adjust to at first, we strongly believe that these changes will allow PHAME students to better discover their individual artistic strengths and abilities.
PHAME @ 30
Throughout the rest of 2013 and into December of 2014, PHAME will be celebrating our 30th anniversary! PHAME will mark this important milestone by offering up a full season of PHAME-produced performances and exhibitions. These six events will involve a variety of students across multiple artistic disciplines. The full season calendar will be released soon!
One event we can confirm with glee is PHAME’s 30th Birthday Bash! On June 26, 2014, PHAME students, staff, families, and community members will gather at Castaway (a fantastic warehouse-sized event venue in Northwest Portland) for a huge birthday bash, featuring food, drink, fun, and many performances by PHAME students and special guests. Mark your calendars now!
Finally, throughout our 30th year, Matthew and Jessica will be working on a very big project – a brand new, original production created just for PHAME to premiere in the summer of 2015! This new piece of theatre will feature the talents of PHAME students and special guest collaborators. “But the summer of 2015 seems like it’s SO FAR AWAY!” Right now, yes, it does seem far away. But the process of creating new theatre takes a lot of time. We’re starting from scratch, and we need all the time we can get. But in the end, it will all be worth it.
While the PHAME @ 30 season and the upcoming original production are both incredibly exciting, it does mean that we will not be doing our annual musical production in 2014. We know that this will be a source of great sadness and disappointment for many. We assure you that we are not abandoning producing a musical forever. We are simply planning to take 2014 off in order to focus on PHAME @ 30 and the creation of PHAME’s new work. In 2015, the new work will be complete, and once again we can dive into rehearsals and production.
Matthew and I felt it very important to break this news to everyone before the Cabaret on August 25th, as that is the time that we usually announce our musical pick for the year. We want you to know that we did not take the decision to put the musical on hiatus lightly, and that we fully respect your right to be angry, sad, or disappointed if you need to be. Please contact me (email@example.com) or Matthew (firstname.lastname@example.org) directly if you’d like to discuss your concerns. We can both be reached via phone at the office, as well: 503.764.9718. We will both make the time to talk to you. Additionally, we plan to take some time to discuss all of these upcoming changes at Back to School Night on Tuesday September 3.
Thank you, students, for being the heart of PHAME for 30 years. Thank you, families, care givers, and friends for supporting and encouraging your PHAME students. Thank you all for your loyalty, creativity, spirit, and joy. We intend to continue cultivating the artistic abilities of the PHAME students in new, exciting, and groundbreaking ways throughout our 30th anniversary season and into the future. We can’t wait to bring you along for the ride!
PHAME Artistic Director