Calling all teenagers! Infinity Visual and Performing Arts, Inc. is excited to announce a new series of student-driven classes, experiences, and learning opportunities designed by teenagers, for teenagers!
Launched in 2020, Generator Z is a teen-led initiative to reimagine the future of afterschool. More than 1,000 ‘Generators’ from across Southeast Michigan and Western New York shared their afterschool experience and insight online. Afterschool providers stepped up with ideas to turn that teen insight into action. Over 90 providers across both regions received $4 million to bring their ideas to life in the next year and Jamestown’s own Infinity Visual and Performing Arts is one of them!
Generator Z is driven by teens and powered by Lakeshore Connections with support from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. Learn more at www.generator-z.org.
Infinity read the Generator Z ideas from teens across Western New York, and listened to our own students at the Infinity Center, to develop a program idea that we cannot wait to have more local teenagers help us bring to life.
This grant award will allow teens at the Infinity Center to create original music, theater, dance, and artworks through “Originals Labs”, with their completed original works becoming final products such as original albums, books, framed displays, videos, and more!
Funding will also provide area teens with opportunities to develop portfolios, attend student-driven discussion groups to talk about topics that are important to them, attend performance workshops to learn skills such as performance technique, stage/equipment troubleshooting, MC skills, and more, participate in performance events and opportunities, and even help to plan field trips and special workshops.
Infinity Executive Director, Shane Hawkins, says, “This was my favorite grant that I have ever worked on. I love that youth voice was the driver, and that we were able to incorporate every creative and advanced performance idea we’ve always dreamed of being able to offer to Infinity Students. The funder’s approach was incredibly unique and impressively visionary. We are so excited to follow the students’ lead and watch this unfold!”
Along with all of the incredible new learning and performance opportunities that will be available at the Infinity Center with the support of this grant funding, Infinity has hired a new full time Artistic Director, Jamie Lee Bonfiglio-Davis, to implement this programming, connect students and their families with opportunities, and strengthen Infinity’s performance and talent-showcasing experiences for students.
Hawkins states, “We are kicking off our new program year in a big way, and a big part of that is adding Jamie Lee to our full-time staff. She has been a popular Infinity instructor for many years, and brings a unique set of skills to the program and performance team. Our instruction team is so strong, and this grant will allow us to add new instructors, too. We are thrilled to watch this year unfold, and so excited for the students who will benefit in unprecedented ways at Infinity because of this outstanding grant award! If a student is interested in performance and collaborative creativity, THIS is the year to join Infinity.”
Jamie Lee, Artistic Director, states, “There is so much we can do with this grant and I’m just waiting to hear from our youth to find out what it is they want to do! Infinity plans on setting up a few days in September to get together with local teens and see exactly what type of programming they want to see at Infinity this year and then I’ll do my best to make it happen! So, if you’re an Infinity teen you may be hearing from me soon! Also, if you’re a parent who thinks their child would like to be part of this process, please contact Infinity at 716-664-0991! The more minds the merrier. We’re hoping for an eclectic think tank of excited youth to help grow arts in our community through Infinity. How awesome is that? To say I am merely excited seems like an understatement. I’m bursting with enthusiasm being part of it all.”
If you are a local teen and are interested in taking a part of our Teen Think Tank Sessions please contact the Infinity Office at 716-664-0991 to learn about dates and times. If you’re a student interested in joining Infinity, please visit our website at www.infinityperformingarts.org/register to complete registration for our upcoming program year. Scholarships are also available for students and families who need financial support.
In support of these incredible efforts, Infinity is seeking to hire additional instructors for both private lessons and group class experiences in the following areas: Strings (violin, viola, cello), Piano, Drums, Theater, Art, Dance (hip-hop and lyrical), Infinite Exploration (introducing multiple instrument and art forms at beginner levels), and Woodwinds (flute, saxophone, clarinet).
If you feel you would be a good fit for the Infinity Instruction Team, please visit: www.infinityperformingarts.org/employment for more information and application instructions.