National Arts in Education Week: Spotlighting New Victory Teaching Artist Dwayne Brown!

Three multi-color arrow graphics pointing to a man in a blue shirt with short, black and silver hair looking to the left and smiling against a white background, with the text Celebrating National Arts in Education Week with New Victory Teaching Artist Dwayne Brown on the left side of the image

To kick off the start of a new school year with creativity and inspiration, the New Victory Theater is excited to welcome back the 50+ member New Victory Teaching Artist ensemble. These dedicated educators and artists work to spark curiosity and artistic expression in kids’ hearts. Among this group, we’re shining the spotlight on New Victory Teaching Artist Dwayne Brown, who recently completed his first year at the New Victory. We spoke with Dwayne to gain insight into his experiences.

What inspired you to be a Teaching Artist, and why did you choose to join the New Victory?

Dwayne Brown: I have always recognized the value of arts in education and how it can act as a catalyst to engage students in new ways. It allows me to serve the arts community and have a lasting impact on individuals and communities. My introduction to the New Victory was as a professional dancer with Seán Curran Company in New Victory Dance 2021. After one of the performances, Assistant Director of Artistic Planning & Artist Services Laura Hamilton mentioned the opportunity, and I decided to apply.

How was the overall experience finishing out your first year as a New Victory Teaching Artist?

Dwayne Brown: Reassuring. The New Victory’s mission and culture aligns with my artistic and professional values.

Was there a significant lesson you learned going through your first year? What’s something that surprised you that you didn’t anticipate about your first year as a New Victory Teaching Artist?

Dwayne Brown: Yes! Try as much as possible to have a clear objective, or agenda, and also know how to be adaptable and flexible. I can thrive in collaborative work environments.

How do you think the performing arts can enrich young people’s lives?

Dwayne Brown: The performing arts build confidence, and teach skills like problem-solving, communication and critical thinking. It helps young audiences cultivate an appreciation for the arts, which is essential for future generations of artists, enthusiasts and supporters.

Funding for arts education tends to be the first thing cut from school budgets. Why do you think it’s important to teach kids about the arts, and what do you think is lost if arts education is not taught?

Dwayne Brown: The arts help kids discover and define their unique self-expression, develop new ways of thinking that can be innovative, serve as an outlet for stress and increase one’s resilience. If arts education is not taught, we lose critical emotional and creative skills necessary to thrive as individuals, a culture and society.

How do you create an inclusive and accessible environment in the classroom?

Dwayne Brown: Before I launch into any lesson, I always provide a clear agenda and communicate expectations for myself and the other people present. Based on what’s available, I also provide written, verbal and visual aids to accommodate varying degrees of access.

What are the real-world applications of your art form that kids can learn from and apply in their lives?

Dwayne Brown: Dance as an art form requires discipline and focus, confidence in front of an audience, and oftentimes can lead to cultural exploration and social interactions.


Want to follow Dwayne Brown and other New Victory Teaching Artists at the New Victory Theater? Follow New Victory on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn to get an exclusive look at the lives of these exciting Teaching Artists.

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