Broken Arrow Express
VALUABLE INSTRUCTION: Singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth coaches Broken Arrow student Caleb Cline during a master class held in front of a packed house at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center on March 13. The event featured 10 area high school and college students who each performed and then received critiques and instruction from Chenoweth.
EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers
Tony and Emmy Award winning singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth returned to her hometown and alma mater to celebrate the recently-completed construction and renovations at Broken Arrow High School. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held March 13.
Made possible by the 2009 bond issue, the 93,000-square-foot addition to the high school encompasses a completely remodeled façade, a new media center two times the size of the old, administrative offices, five additional classrooms, six science labs and two preparation rooms, an official spirit store with apparel and more, a coffee shop, a college and career planning center, and numerous fine arts spaces. Hallways connect the new additions to the existing buildings.
“This ceremony is a culmination of 18 months of hard work and perseverance,” Broken Arrow Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jarod Mendenhall says. “We couldn’t be more proud of the incredible learning environment that has been created at Broken Arrow High School, and what better way to debut this exciting chapter in the school’s history than having Tiger alumna and Tony and Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth come home to give her official stamp of approval.”
Later that day, Chenoweth shared her years of experience and expertise with area high school and college fine arts students at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center (BAPAC) and the Kristin Chenoweth Theatre. She spent the evening teaching the 10 students as they individually performed in front of a live audience. In addition, she performed and hosted a question-and-answer session with the audience.
Recently partnering with the BAPAC Foundation, Chenoweth has refocused her philanthropy efforts to support fine arts and community relations in Broken Arrow, establishing the Kristin Chenoweth Fund for Arts and Education. Her first venture has been to raise money for the 200 Broken Arrow Public Schools students who are performing at Carnegie Hall on April 20.
“What Kristin wants to do for our town, her alma mater and the BAPAC is nothing short of amazing,” says Mark Frie, BAPAC executive director. “She has such a passion for helping students pursue their love of the arts while at the same time wanting to get surrounding communities involved.”
All proceeds from the master class benefit the Carnegie Hall Experience, as well as the Kristin Chenoweth Fund for Arts and Education.