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Rock Odyssey

“I loved it!” - Taniya Smith, Fifth Grader
“The lessons that have been developed as follow-up to Rock Odyssey are all integrating core academic areas that fifth graders need to learn.”
- Milagros Fornell, Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Miami-Dade Public School System

The Adrienne Arsht Center’s current levels of public and private funding are enough to sustain our outreach and arts education programs this year. But we can–and must–do more as an institution and as a community. The next step in maximizing the Center’s community influence will be expanding the initiative to reach more than 75,000 students each year.

Cementing Miami’s standing as a national leader in arts education through the expansion of programs like LEARNING THROUGH THE ARTS will require the private sector to match the public sector’s unwavering level of support. Corporations, philanthropic individuals and grant-making institutions all have a unique opportunity to realize a return on these investments through economic development, advances in arts education, and the enhanced cultural vibrancy of our community.

Now it’s time for our private sector partners to make an impact on the hearts and minds of our community’s youngest members by seizing that opportunity.

Our plan is ambitious, but it can be accomplished as long as we can count on you. We need your personal support. For more information about how you can help expand our children’s universe through the performing arts, please call 786.468.2256.

“It was awesome!” - Kemely Blaise, Fifth Grader
Rock Odyssey is a fast and funny theatrical adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey that transforms the epic work into a rock musical for young students. Students travel from the heights of Mt. Olympus to the darkest Mediterranean caves with all the great characters from the greatest adventure tale of them all—the warrior Odysseus, his smart and soulful wife Penelope, his boy-band wannabe son Telemachus, the powerful gods Zeus, Athena and Poseidon, the one-eyed monster Cyclops, and the magical temptress Circe.

LEARNING THROUGH THE ARTS is the Adrienne Arsht Center’s model for integrating the arts into classroom discovery – a first-of-its-kind partnership between the Adrienne Arsht Center and Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Since May of 2010, nearly 200,000 local fifth-graders have attended a live performance of Rock Odyssey at Miami’s premier performing arts center!

Live performances, transportation to and from the schools, and in-class learning tools are provided completely free of charge for students and their schools, thanks in part to Convention Development Tax proceeds from Miami-Dade County that have been allocated to the Center in recognition of its role as an engine for economic growth in downtown Miami. In directing these public funds to Learning Through the Arts, the Arsht Center is solidifying its mission-driven focus on arts education at a time when such programs can make a dramatic impact.
Rock Odyssey would not be possible without the generous support of Green Family Foundation, Florida Blue, Ocean Reef Community Foundation and Key Biscayne Community Foundation.

More than a one-time trip to the Arsht Center, Rock Odyssey equips teachers to use innovative drama concepts to teach reading, math and other core subjects back in the classroom. Additionally, as part of the Learning Through the Arts initiative, the Arsht Center offers the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) program, Kitty Hawk, to all M-DCPS seventh-graders.
The Arsht Center plans to expand Learning Through the Arts over the next five years to reach ninth-grade classrooms as well – providing students countywide with live performance experiences three times over the course of their education. This expansion would eventually provide arts adventures for over 75,000 young people each year, enriching their studies, enhancing their exposure to the arts, and cultivating their creativity.

Rock Odyssey was created by Emmy Award-winning composer Billy Straus and Kleban Award-winning playwright Stephen Cole. It is directed and choreographed by Emmy- and Parent’s Choice Award-winning Douglas Love.

Adrienne Arsht Center’s Learning Through the Arts: Rock Odyssey program is made possible thanks to the support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, and the Florida Department of State/Division of Cultural Affairs, as well as the private support of Green Family Foundation, Florida Blue, Key Biscayne Community Foundation, Ocean Reef Community Foundation and rbb Public Relations.
If you wish to help support this program with a philanthropic gift or become a sponsor of this initiative, contact our Advancement Team at 786.468.2020 or at

All actors and stage managers are members of Actor’s Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.


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