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© JENNIFER TAYLOR

Tales of Wonder
In June 2013 at the Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, middle-school students in our Silk Road Connect program not only performed with members of the Silk Road Ensemble—they also developed their own scripts, created their own props and costumes, and wrote their own music, all to celebrate a year of passion-driven learning with "Tales of Wonder."



Silk Road Ensemble members at Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in December 2012

© HEIDI KOELZ

Silk Road Connect Outreach

To share the impact of Silk Road Connect more broadly, the Silk Road Project has conducted an outreach program during the 2012-2013 school year at Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The Silk Road Connect Outreach program at Orchard Gardens is designed to extend the school's arts-rich culture by providing support for arts-integrated work in the classrooms.

Our work with Orchard Gardens began on December 6, 2012, with a visit by Yo-Yo Ma, former New York City Ballet star Damian Woetzel, and nine professional musicians from the Silk Road Ensemble. This visit took place as part of the Turnaround Arts initiative of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. 

The Ensemble gave a musical presentation, "Music Travels the Silk Road," in an assembly for third- through eighth-graders, and visited several classes to interact with students.

News Stories from the Event

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma inspires students at Roxbury school
December 7, 2012 – Boston Globe

With arts designation, Orchard Gardens school welcomes famous mentors
December 7, 2012 – WBUR

Support this Program

Your donation to the Silk Road Project will support innovative arts education outreach programs such as our work at Orchard Gardens.

Activities Throughout the Year

Led by cellist Mike Block, Silk Road Ensemble members returned to Orchard Gardens throughout spring 2013 for a series of visits designed in collaboration with classroom teachers Suzie McGlone and Erica Pastor. About once a month, from February through April, artists worked with students on interactive lessons that addressed the learning goal of perspective taking, and facilitated reflections on learning.

Lessons were connected to topics being studied in the classrooms and culminated in a performance, by the students in the two classes involved, given for each other.

Through a combination of teaching artist visits, performance residencies and professional development, Silk Road Connect Outreach activities support and augment work already underway at the school, helping build capacity for teaching and learning through an arts-integrated approach.


"The message is given in so many different ways, but you need to participate, respond, connect, and be constantly curious."
 – Yo-Yo Ma to students at Orchard Gardens