MALTZ JUPITER THEATRE
KIDS NEED MORE ART
TO SHARE SPACE, RESTART CONSERVATORY CLASSES OFFSITE
Broadway’s Becky Timms selected as new director of education for the not-for-profit regional theatre’s Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts
June 15, 2021 (Jupiter, Fla.) — Through a unique collaboration between two local arts organizations, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s Conservatory will soon be back in business – with a new leader at its helm.
Closed since last spring due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Theatre’s Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts and the popular children’s art studio Kids Need More Art have joined forces to open a one-of-a-kind collaborative fine arts space in Juno Beach for students to pursue the arts.
During the first half of each day, the 1,254-square-foot studio will offer fine arts classes, camps and homeschool classes through Kids Need More Art. At 3:30 p.m. and into the evening, the studio will offer dance and acting classes through the Conservatory. Featuring coastal chic décor with vinyl plank floors, full-length mirrors, portable art tables and shelves stocked with high-quality fine arts supplies, the space is carefully designed to switch easily between mediums.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, parents have been asking when we planned to resume Conservatory classes. Thanks to the ingenuity of staff member Kelly Morgan, we decided to dream big with another arts organization and think outside the box to make that happen – and we couldn’t be happier with the result,” said Andrew Kato, the Theatre’s producing artistic director and chief executive. “This space-sharing cooperative with Kids Need More Art will allow students to pursue multiple artistic interests in one place while we work to complete the Conservatory’s permanent space.”
Karen Nobel, owner of Kids Need More Art, said she feels extremely excited about the collaboration. The mother of a daughter who took classes at the Conservatory prior to its closure, she said she is looking forward to providing a place where students can pursue many forms of art and discover new classes in one exceptional space.
“I believe that we have a moral responsibility to continue to offer the high-quality in-person arts classes that students are passionate about – especially for students in their pre-teen and teen years, when arts involvement shapes who they become as adults,” she said. “We are creating a safe space where students can put down their phones, reengage with their peers and rediscover the joy of dance, theater and visual arts classes after this difficult time period.”
The Conservatory’s classes will start at the new space in August, while Kids Need More Art began offering its annual Take Flight Summer Art Series summer camp sessions on June 1. In August, the art studio will resume its popular Mommy and Me art classes for toddlers, Kids Art Express studio sessions and School’s Out Art Workshop camps for days that Palm Beach County schools are closed for holidays, in addition to classes and availability for special events and parties on weekends. The Conservatory will offer a selection of dance, acting and musical theatre classes for different ages and experience levels.
Leading the way for the Conservatory’s new incarnation and future vision is its new director of education: Broadway veteran Becky Timms, a multi-talented artist with extensive professional experience on Broadway, Off-Broadway, national tours and regionally. A teacher, director, choreographer and performer, Timms has more than 35 years of teaching experience at such prestigious institutions as the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City and the famous Perry Mansfield summer camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She has worked with such legends as Jerome Robbins, Harold Prince, Michael Bennett, Bob Fosse, Susan Stroman and Trevor Nunn, and has directed and choreographed more than 60 productions for professional Equity theatres across the U.S. She served as co-choreographer for the Tony Award®-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2002.
“Becky Timms is an outstanding fit for the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s Conservatory, and she is tremendously well-qualified for the job,” Kato said. “She will bring her years of experience to the planning table as we forge a way forward during this time of transition and map out a vision for the Conservatory as we create plans to move into its permanent new home.”
A Palm Beach County resident who moved from New York City four years ago, Timms has been involved with the Conservatory for several years, teaching master classes, preparing student performances for the Theatre’s annual gala and serving as co-choreographer for the Conservatory’s 2019 acclaimed production of CATS.
Within the new collaborative space, Timms will manage the day-to-day operations of the studio, teach classes and help guide plans for the Conservatory’s future as funds are raised and plans are made to move back to the Theatre. Preliminary plans are being discussed to restart the Conservatory’s popular summer camp programs at the Theatre’s new space in summer 2022, even if the new studios aren’t completely done yet.
“I’m honored to have been chosen to lead such an important organization with such a rich history in the community, and I’m beyond excited about this collaboration with Kids Need More Art,” Timms said. “My focus will be on providing the best performing arts education possible for local students at the new collaborative space, as well as growing the Conservatory into a world-class arts school as soon as the new building is completed.”
The Conservatory has been without a home this past season while the Theatre completes its much-anticipated $31 million expansion, which entailed tearing down and rebuilding the studios that the Conservatory had operated in since its founding in 2007. Fast-tracked due to the Theatre’s COVID-19 closure, the Theatre’s new expanded space will feature a Broadway-scale stage that will allow the Theatre to qualify for a pre-Broadway or national tour development production, three floors of state-of-the-art production facilities with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, an innovative dining experience, expanded Conservatory and lobby, redesigned entrance and second theater space.
Designed by Oscar Garcia in tandem with visionary architectural firm Currie Sowards Aguila Architects, the work set to be completed this fall entails first framing out the “shell” that will house all aspects of the expansion, giving priority to completing the stage, production support facilities and lobby to ensure that the Theatre can move seamlessly into its 2021/22 season as planned. With the Theatre open, the Theatre will continue to fundraise to put the finishing touches on the remaining inside portions of the building, such as plumbing and electrical work for the Conservatory.
“With our new state-of-the-art facilities, the Conservatory will be spectacular. We expect to grow exponentially once it’s finished – but we still need to raise $5 million to complete the work before we can open back up in its new space,” Kato said. “This innovative collaboration with Kids Need More Art will enable us to reopen the Conservatory while we continue to fundraise.”
As with all arts organizations during the worldwide pandemic, the Theatre took quite a hit this past season. Without sufficient revenue from performances — typically attended by more than 100,000 visitors annually — the Theatre was forced to furlough 80 percent of its staff, slash its annual budget by 80 percent and close the Conservatory, which had previously served about 600 students each year.
For information and questions about the Conservatory’s reopening collaboration with Kids Need More Art, please check the Theatre’s FAQ document on its website at www.jupitertheatre.org, which is updated regularly as new information becomes available. The Kids Need More Art/Maltz Jupiter Theatre collaborative fine arts studio is located in the Plaza Del Mar studio at 839 Donald Ross Road in Juno Beach.
About the Maltz Jupiter Theatre
The not-for-profit Maltz Jupiter Theatre has become one of Florida’s preeminent professional theatres, committed to production and education through its collaborations with local and national artists. Currently the state’s largest award-winning regional theatre, the Theatre draws 100,000 people annually, serves a subscription base of more than 8,250 and is in the process of rebuilding world-class classroom facilities for its Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts, which historically has served hundreds of youth and adults each year. The Theatre is a member of the prestigious League of Resident Theatres. For more information about the Theatre and Conservatory, visit www.jupitertheatre.org.