Wolf Trap’s virtual Field Trip Fridays for students are back

For the second year in a row, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is hosting virtual Field Trip Fridays for teachers and students to enjoy from their classrooms or homes.

Performed by the Wolf Trap Teaching Artists, the Field Trip Fridays program consists of interactive videos for children and accompanying handouts for their parents or teachers to use as educational tools.

“The hope is that children will find joy in the experience and develop a love of the performing arts that their parents/guardians will continue to foster,” Cate Bechtold, Wolf Trap’s director of internships and community programs, said.

Usually, Wolf Trap hosts thousands of school-aged children from across the D.C. area for in-person field trips at its Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods events, but in-person activities were suspended last spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bechtold says Wolf Trap had seven of its teaching artists pre-record performances of a variety of art forms in their own homes for the first Field Trip Friday series. The videos were then sent to teachers each week, along with the educational handouts.

“It is my hope that the Field Trip Friday videos open children’s eyes to new experiences, places, instruments, and art forms and in turn, instill a lifelong love of learning and the arts,” said Bechtold.

This year’s series began on April 16 with a rainforest-related dance by Natasha Mirny. Leading up to the Filene Center’s 50th Anniversary season this summer, there are four remaining Field Trip Friday performances:

  • May 28 —  The Recycling Pirates
  • June 11 — How We Grow! (presented in English and Spanish)
  • June 25 — The Language of Djembe
  • July 9 — Cruising the Caribbean

The videos are released each Friday on the Field Trip Friday page. There are additional resources for parents and teachers as well.

“Making performing arts experiences accessible to the children and families in our community is essential to ensuring that the arts are valued and can thrive for generations to come,” Bechtold said. “We have the privilege of being part of an extremely diverse community and the arts are such a beautiful way for children to expand their knowledge on new topics and deepen their appreciation for the people and cultures that are sharing the information.”

Photo courtesy Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

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