JMArts: New York Arts Adventure 2019

From JMArts
Posted 4/17/19

Eight upperclass artists from Jordan-Matthews High School in Siler have flown to NYC for five daysto explore the city and gain new perspectives that will influence their work. JMArts has partnered with the Chatham News + Record  to get trip diary updates next week from the program's ace correspondents. Thanks to Chip and Rose Pate for sharing photographs and working with these students.

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JMArts: New York Arts Adventure 2019

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Eight upperclass artists from Jordan-Matthews High School in Siler have flown to New York City for five days over spring break to explore one of the world's great cities, gain new perspectives that will influence their work, and experience the very best in theater, music and visual arts.

JMArts has partnered with the Chatham News + Record  to get trip diary updates  from the program's ace correspondents: Lindley Andrew, Jennifer Henderson, Natalie Santiago, Sydney Suits and Samantha Zarate.

Saturday Morning Dim Sum, Chinatown and a Look Back at Five Days in New York

by Samantha Zarate

On our last day here in the city that never sleeps, fully packed, we made our way to the lobby for our last adventure. We took a taxi down to Chinatown and met up with Kirby Pate, a podcast producer and JMArts member, at Nom Wah Tea Parlor for dim sum. We had an incredible time while trying authentic Chinese dishes like turnip cakes, soup dumplings, pork siu mai and steamed spare ribs.
After that, we split up into two groups. One group went to the Law and Order courthouse that’s used in the show, while the other group went to Canal Street, a well-known area for its great bargaining. I was in the group that went to Canal Street and I bought some cute and inexpensive gifts for my parents back in Siler City.
Sadly, this trip filled with music, art and food had to come to an end. We went back to the hotel to get our luggage and made our way to LaGuardia Airport. As soon as I got on the airplane, I felt just a little bit sad having to leave the busy city. But if I’m being honest, all of that sadness drifted away when I looked at my airplane window and saw North Carolina’s beautiful pastures.
I have enjoyed every second of experiencing this crazy city. Being there made me realize that the arts is like a little family full of love and desire to see everyone succeed. All I can say is that I can’t wait to go back.

Friday with Peter Marks, “Chicago” and a Late-Night Session at Jazz at Lincoln Center

By Sydney Suits

This morning, while most of the group explored downtown Manhattan, Corrine, Lindley and I walked Washington Square Park and surrounding areas. The park was gorgeous; all the plants in full bloom. Music was playing and there were plenty of dogs to meet.
The group that traveled downtown went to the 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street and took a ferry ride past the Statue of Liberty. The trip was full of great views and the emotional experience of the memorial reignited strong patriotism throughout the group.
For brunch, we met with the renowned Broadway critic and Pulitzer Prize winner Peter Marks. He was the embodiment of a down-to-earth New Yorker. And to prove his NY authenticity, he enjoyed his fourth cup of coffee for the day as we discussed our thoughts of the new show, “Tootsie.” We also talked about shows JMArts has done and our experiences in them. I told him about my time playing Sonny in “In The Heights” and how it connected with me personally. Afterwards, he said he couldn’t wait to tell his buddy Lin — Lin Manuel Miranda — all about our experiences with his musical. Needless to say, that made our day. Peter was a pleasure to talk to and showed us how, even with all of his accomplishments, he’s a regular person with a great heart and a common love of musicals.
After a well-needed nap, we headed to “Chicago” — the musical that is. We collectively held this musical to a very high standard, for it is a well known and very long-running show. The musical was entertaining and comedic yet didn’t entirely meet our expectations. The lead for the show was much more of a model than an actress. Nonetheless, we still enjoyed ourselves. Our seats were to die for. Often I made eye contact with the actors and actresses, making my heart skip a beat every time.
To end our day, we walked to Columbus Circle. Mentally preparing to leave, our anxiety was soothed by the good, good vibes, and fabulous music. Not to mention the view that was to die for.


Thursday with a street art tour and workshop with JCORP and “The Play That Goes Wrong”

By Natalie Santiago

We woke up to bagels and cream cheese from Murray’s Bagels, which was really good. Then we went on a graffiti tour around the city and made a piece of our own in a studio.
We went to Katz’s for lunch and I had tuna salad sandwich which was really good. Katz’s is known for their salami sandwiches. After lunch we went to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), which was really cool. There were a lot of amazing pieces.
In the evening we went to the “Play That Goes Wrong.” It was really funny and I enjoyed it a lot. We went to the Shake Shack for dinner. The burgers were really good and they are known for their fresh lemonade.


Wednesday with Jessie Austrian, “Tootsie” on Broadway, Andy Grotelueschen and “La Traviata” at the Metropolitan Opera

By Jennifer Henderson


After our first day in New York, we were ecstatic to begin our next day’s adventures. We woke up to car horns and doughnuts from the Doughnut Project. The doughnuts were amazing and my favorite had to have been the vanilla bean doughnut.

After a bit of exploring, we headed to Joe Allen for lunch with Jessie Austrian, an actress and director who is the cofounder of Fiasco Theater Company. Jessie discussed life in the theater business with us and gave us wonderful advice for our futures in theater. The food was incredible, but Jessie was even better!

Following our amazing lunch with Jessie, we arrived at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway to watch “Tootsie.” The show was hysterical and filled with incredible actors. Following the show, Andy Grotelueschen, who played Michael’s roommate Jeff, showed us around backstage and even introduced us to costars Santino Fontana and Lilli Cooper! Seeing how they ran the show backstage was insightful and a great look into what a career in theater is like.

After much, much more coffee and getting lost in the subway, we took the 1-train to the Metropolitan Opera House to watch “La Traviata.” We got to watch many incredible opera singers perform, including world-famous Plácido Domingo. Their talent was inspiring to all of us and will be undoubtedly be a highlight in our trip.

To end off the day, we ate a very late dinner at Chandni, an Indian-Pakistani food buffet. While the entire meal was delicious, the naan bread with tikka masala sauce stood out. It was life changing. I will probably have dreams about it.

Tuesday with Sleep No More

By Lindley Andrew

This morning we departed from RDU, and after an hour in the air, landed at LaGuardia international airport. We then took a van ride to our hotel where we got our first true look at the city. 

Next, we took the subway to Ellen’s Stardust Diner, where we ate lunch while listening to waiters and waitresses, all of whom have been on Broadway, sing and dance. The food was delicious, and the fun atmosphere was even better! 

After eating lunch, we walked through Times Square and headed towards the Empire State Building. Once there, we went all the way up to the observation deck where we were able to get a great 360-degree view of the city. The wind was intense on the observatory, but the amazing views were totally worth the crazy, wind-blown hair! 

After visiting the Empire State Building, and taking a little bit of rest time at the hotel, we headed to our first theatrical experience of the trip, an interactive show based on Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” called “Sleep No More.” The interactivity of the show was unlike anything any of us had ever done before, and all of us left more excited and chattery than we came in! 

To end the night, we grabbed a late dinner at NY Pizza Suprema. The pizza was amazing! It was  authentic and delicious! Definitely a must-try in New York!


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