Meet our new artists: Baltimore Improv Group
During the last two years, our roster has grown in size to encompass new artists, ensembles, and art forms. From slam poets to improvisers to Capoeira masters, these new artists are undeniably unique.
To introduce audiences to our new artists, we’ll be posting interviews with those who recently joined our roster, giving them a chance to share more about themselves and their experiences with Young Audiences so far.
The Baltimore Improv Group is a talented ensemble that came aboard our roster in 2013, and their performances and residencies never fail to evoke laughter and learning. Read on to find out why they became a Young Audiences roster artist, what they learned through our Teaching Artist Institute, and why they believe improv works so well in the classroom.
What is your background as an artist?
The Baltimore Improv Group is celebrating its 10th year as a theatre company in Baltimore. We started small but have grown close to 60 performers, and we perform 90+ shows a year, including our annual Baltimore Improv Festival. We also teach classes to adults, teens, and children. Our performers have studied and trained all across the country, and we continue to host the best improvisers in Baltimore.
How did you hear about Young Audiences?
Our Education Director, Bridget Cavaiola, worked with Young Audiences for years in her position as the Residential Life Director for the Upper Chesapeake Summer Center for the Arts. The center would bring in Young Audiences artists to perform for its campers. She knew it would be a perfect fit for BIG and made the suggestion that we audition.
What made you decide to become a Young Audiences roster artist?
Improv is such a natural fit with children. It encourages risk taking, creativity, and collaboration. We have hosted our own kids’ shows and classes but knew this would be a perfect match for us.
Have you had any programs through Young Audiences yet? What was the most memorable part?
YES! We had more than 10 assemblies at schools this year and our first residency, too! We are looking forward to more in the coming school year. Some of our favorite memories are watching the students come up on stage and perform in front of their peers and receive that amazing confidence boost that comes from taking a risk within a supportive environment! We certainly have traveled Maryland quite extensively, and we will certainly remember the fun trek to Flintstone Elementary School in Allegany County!
You recently completed the Teaching Artist Institute Seminar this spring. What was your favorite part of the program? How has that experience changed your approach to a program or your teaching practices?
The Teaching Artist Institute is an amazing opportunity where artists, educators, and staff truly collaborate to help process, define, and designate the importance of art in the classroom. We loved the guided lessons, hands-on experience, and being around such amazing, talented individuals. We felt that this experience helped to shine a new light on our own experiences as a teaching artist.
What does your art form in particular teach students?
Improv teaches a lot! Listening skills, taking risks, collaboration, the power of “yes,” learning from failure and mistakes, and much more!
Why do you believe it is important for every student to have access to the arts?
Art is the glue that solidifies education for so many kids. It allows them to access their own creativity and instills a level of respect and ownership over a child’s education.
Keep an eye out for more interviews featuring our newest roster artists!