Press Release Kitty Hawk takes flight September 18-22 - The Arsht Center's STEAM-powered program inspires innovation in Miami seventh-graders


Taking flight September 18-22


Miami, FL – September 12, 2023 – The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County (@arshtcenter) presents Kitty Hawk, an Arsht Center Learning Through the Arts initiative that aims to fuel students’ interest in pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, arts or mathematics –- collectively known as STEAM. Soaring into its seventh year, Kitty Hawk bridges the STEM gap through the arts with a live musical stage production, an accompanying curriculum and a series of hands-on workshops – all provided free of charge for seventh graders in Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Kitty Hawk takes flight September 18-22 when thousands of Miami-Dade County seventh grade students take a free field trip to the Arsht Center to enjoy a live musical performance produced by the Center that brings to life the story of Wilbur and Orville Wright’s historic first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903. The program was created and offered by the Arsht Center for Miami-Dade County Public Schools and students, thanks to the generosity of the philanthropic community, including lead supporter, The Boeing Company, who will announce a significant new grant to the program on September 21.

Watch a preview here.

“By integrating the arts into STEM education, the Arsht Center has designed a STEAM initiative that has the power to unleash imagination in young students,” said Johann Zietsman, Arsht Center President and CEO. “Exposure to artistic experiences opens young minds to infinite possibilities and, in the long run, leads to a more inclusive, diverse and creative workforce.”

The original, Broadway-style production – which features a life-sized replica of the original Wright glider – was created by the Center as a musical adventure with themes of ingenuity and persistence. It is written by playwright Tom Bryant, with music and lyrics by Erik Della Penna and artistic direction by Nathan Allen, founder of The House Theatre of Chicago.

Prior to the performances, a professional development workshop for M-DCPS middle school teachers equips them with lesson plans to carry enthusiasm from the show back into their classrooms for continued learning. Following the field trips to the Arsht Center, 100 seventh graders will participate in a series of hands-on STEAM workshops and aviation-themed field trips. Students will learn to build and code drones, build model airplanes, use 3D printing and take part in visual art, theater and more in these after-school programs, which culminate with a final presentation at the Arsht Center. During the 12-week series of workshops, students will be guided by aviation professionals, multi-disciplinary artists and STEM educators.

Kitty Hawk is offered free of charge for Miami-Dade County Public School students and schools. Private schools are invited to purchase tickets ($20 per person) for select performances of Kitty Hawk. For more information or to book a field trip, visit here.

Kitty Hawk is made possible with leadership support by The Boeing Company and additional support provided by Mary Spencer; Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation; The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation at The Miami Foundation; The Kirk Foundation; Wells Fargo; Ocean Reef Community Foundation; and Isermann Family Foundation.


@ArshtCenter                       #ArshtCenter

*All programs, artists, ticket prices, availability, dates and times are subject to change without notice. Visit for up-to-date information.

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is made possible by the public support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council and the City of Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency, as well as the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. The Adrienne Arsht Center also receives generous support from individuals, corporations and local, state and national foundations.




Set in the heart of downtown Miami, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is committed to welcoming and connecting ALL people to the arts, to the Arsht Center and to each other. Our stages are alive year-round with artists from around the world, innovative programming from our resident companies and local arts partners, free community events that reflect Miami’s unique identity and arts education experiences for thousands of Miami children each year.

 Since opening in 2006, the Arsht Center, a 501C3 non-profit organization, has been recognized as a catalyst for billions of dollars in new development in the downtown area, a leader in programming that mirrors South Florida’s diversity, a host venue for historic events and Miami’s hub for arts education.

Each year, we serve more than 60,000 young learners and offer more than 100 culturally diverse and inclusive education programs — many enhanced by the Arsht Center’s relationship with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, local teaching artists and Miami-based arts organizations.

The Arsht Center is also a home stage for three resident companies — Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet and New World Symphony — and a launch pad for local artists to make their mark on the international stage. Our 300+ events each year include the Center’s Signature Series of classical, jazz, Broadway, local theater and much more. We present a robust series of touring Broadway musicals direct from New York, the largest jazz series in South Florida, a major annual Flamenco Festival and an award-winning Miami-based theater program. In addition, our Family Fest, Free Gospel Sundays, CommuniTEA LGBTQ+ celebration and Heritage Fest are among dozens of free events that bring together people from all corners of our community. For more information, visit




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Suzette Espinosa Fuentes   

Alexandra Medina