Wolf Trap Awards Seven Washington D.C.-area Performing Arts Public School Teacher Grants for Innovative Projects | Wolf Trap

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Wolf Trap Awards Seven Washington D.C.-area Performing Arts Public School Teacher Grants for Innovative Projects

Wolf Trap Grants for High School Performing Arts Teachers offer opportunities for local performing arts teachers to help students foster a love of arts through creative and ambitious projects

Vienna, Virginia (December 2, 2019) — Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts recognizes seven outstanding high school performing arts teachers and their exceptional programs through the annual Wolf Trap Grants for High School Performing Arts Teachers. Teachers from Fairfax, and Loudoun counties in Virginia; Montgomery and Prince George’s county in Maryland; and the District of Columbia received grants for innovative performing arts projects that enrich their school’s curriculums, culminating in final student performances. For additional information on the program, please visit http://www.wolftrap.org/education/programs/grants-for-performing-arts-teachers.aspx

Awardees for the 2019-2020 school year are: Sandra Atkinson, Dance Teacher, Northwestern High School (Prince George’s County); Shanelle Ingram, Theater Teacher, Herbert Flowers High School (Prince George’s County); Shannon Lynch, Theater Teacher, Lee High School (Fairfax County); Ivan Navas, Music Educator, Columbia Heights Educational Campus (DC Public Schools); Angela Ramacci, Director of Theater Arts, Heritage High School (Loudoun County); Nicole Sherlock, Instrumental Music Teacher, Rockville High School (Montgomery County); and Russ Staggs, Theater Teacher, Loudoun Valley High School (Loudoun County).

The annual grants acknowledge high quality instruction and performance achievements of public high school music, dance and theater teachers. Awardees receive a grant of $5,000 in support of special projects that parallel Wolf Trap’s performance and education priorities, including artist residencies, commissions, master classes, and technology in the arts. Grantees are selected through a competitive application process, and are nominated by a panel of judges consisting of arts supervisors from each of the local counties represented in the program, former grantees, and Wolf Trap Teaching Artists.

“The arts are about inspiration, transformation and aspiration. It is an honor to recognize these remarkable teachers and their projects which provide rich learning opportunities for area high school students. On behalf of Wolf Trap Foundation, we congratulate the grantees on their outstanding efforts to create meaningful arts experiences for their students and communities,” said Akua Kouyate-Tate, Vice President, Education, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. “Wolf Trap grants allow educators to create innovative arts projects that continue to support arts education. We are so proud of this program and of all the grantees.”

Sandra Atkinson, Northwestern High School, Prince George’s County
Sandra Atkinson will utilize her Wolf Trap grant to provide a comprehensive study of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. Students will partner with a guest choreographer and composer to create a dance performance inspired by Morrison’s work. The dance showcase will take place at Northwestern High School on April 29th and 30th and then at High Point High School on May 7.

Shanelle Ingram, Herbert Flowers High School, Prince George’s County
Shanelle Ingram will use her Wolf Trap grant to bring the production of Dreamgirls to the Herbert Flower’s High School stage. This project will allow over 200 students to participate in the performing arts, thus enriching their high school experiences and providing invaluable life skills. Dreamgirls will be performed at the end of April 2020.

Shannon Lynch, Lee High School, Fairfax County
Shannon Lynch will be using her Wolf Trap grant for her project called, Synetic Synthesis. Advanced theater students will partner with Synetic Theater Teaching Artists and use the company’s distinct physical theater style to devise personal and meaningful original pieces. The students will showcase their work on March 27.

Ivan Navas, Columbia Heights Educational Campus, DC Public Schools
Ivan Navas from Columbia Heights Educational Campus will launch the project El Tumbao Del Barrio (The Swing of the Neighborhood) using his Wolf Trap grant. With the Conga Drum as a bridge, students will explore the links between musical styles from Africa and the Americas. Community performances and workshops throughout the school year will foster cultural awareness, curiosity, and pride in the area’s diverse history.

Angela Ramacci, Heritage High School, Loudoun County
Angela Ramacci is bringing mental health awareness in the form of arts education to Heritage High School with the Wolf Trap grant. The theater department will use circus elements to investigate mental and emotional health. Students will work with artists and medical professionals to present the story of a young man searching for his place in the world. Their Circus of My Mind production will be performed in the spring of 2020.

Nicole Sherlock, Rockville High School, Montgomery County
Under the direction of Nicole Sherlock, Rockville High School music students will explore compositional principals by working with a local artist to arrange a four-movement cinematic orchestration. The final movement will incorporate a film produced by the school’s TV/Media production students. They will present their work in a concert on April 30.

Russ Staggs, Loudoun Valley High School, Loudoun County
Loudoun Valley High School Theater teacher Russ Staggs will use his Wolf Trap grant to showcase his Shakespeare Under the Stars outdoor production. Theater students will work with a voice coach to study vocal techniques and practice various dialects for The Taming of the Shrew. The grant will allow the performance to be offered to community members free of charge at the beginning of May 2020.

The 2019/2020 Wolf Trap Grants for High School Performing Arts Teachers program is made possible by support from Sue Henry and Carter Phillips. Additional funding provided by Mark and Jennie Bishof.


Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues: the outdoor Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the national park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. The 7,028-seat Filene Center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and annually showcases an extensive array of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theatre, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns at Wolf Trap is operated by the Wolf Trap Foundation year round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy-nominated Wolf Trap Opera, one of America’s outstanding resident ensemble programs for young opera singers. Wolf Trap’s education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, grants, and a nationally recognized internship program.


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Erick Hoffman | Director of Communications
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Emily Stout | Manager, Media Relations
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