March was another COLD month on the road! Honestly, I think you could have plotted our tour by watching the Weather Channel – wherever the bad winter weather was located, we seemed to be right in the middle of it! In spite of frigid temperatures and sometimes blizzard-like conditions, we experienced wonderful audiences and remarkable residencies. Working with theatres who believe in the power of the arts beyond what happens on their stages and in their buildings is one of the greatest privileges of my job.
In March, I had the honor of spending a week with The Lone Tree Arts Center in Colorado. I wanted to share a small part of what the executive directors had to say: “We have just finished a week-long residency with Kevin. In that week of workshops in the community of people with special needs, we have made an enduring and important difference. Kevin delivers lessons of empowerment, determination and joy, one person at a time. This is incredibly powerful, and by facilitating Kevin’s work here, the Lone Tree Arts Center has made a difference in our community that will be remembered, perhaps even more than some of the work we present on our stages.”
MARCH IN REVIEW
I started the month of March participating in the Midwest Symposium on Leadership in Behavior Disorders (MSLBD) in Kansas City. After my workshop presentation, one of the participants emailed this comment to my office:
“Kevin brought me some awesome ideas to work with my students! I did not know what to expect but he surpassed anything I had imagined! He was absolutely amazing! Loved it – every minute of this 3-hour workshop I was on the edge of my seats waiting for the next shared thought and research. Most impressive – he offered a wide range of interventions toward creating positive classroom and school environments to promote optimal learning.”
I have been looking forward to working with Texas A&M University for more than a year! In the fall, you may remember that I was invited to come to College Station so we could explore potential partners for our time together this month. As a result, our time together was packed with meaningful activities that resulted in real transformational experiences for everyone who participated – including me.
“We were fortunate to have the Spencers here to perform their magic for our audiences. However, the real magic happened when we took Kevin into our community for three days. We still laugh and cry when we think and talk about the impact of those residency activities. Thank you, Kevin Spencer, for bringing magic to our kids!” - Executive Director, MSC OPAS
“What an amazing week we had during Kevin’s stay in Bryan/College Station. Seeing him work is wonderful…seeing him work with the kids is incredible! It was 4 straight days of magical moments as we saw the awe and pure joy on every child’s face as they learned to perform magic! They left having mastered something, not necessarily easy, that they could take and share with their friends and family with a sense of pride and accomplishment.” - Director of Education/Outreach MSC OPAS
This was my first time to perform at the Amarillo Civic Center. The Globe News Theatre is one of the most uniquely beautiful spaces in which we’ve ever performed. And the crew is friendly and professional. Top it all off with an audience that was enthusiastic and engaged and it made for the perfect weekend!
“You won’t regret booking the Spencers Theatre of Illusion. The cast and crew were a joy to work with and Kevin brings passion and skill to his work. Kevin immediately established a great rapport with the audience and they loved the show! We are looking forward to having them return in the future.” - CFE/General Manager, Amarillo Civic Center Complex
This was my second visit time to work with the Lone Tree Arts Center. This week was dedicated totally to outreach activities. This is one of those places that “gets it,” one that understands completely the power of the arts to transform a community. We partnered with Developmental Pathways. Together, we reached out to individuals in the community who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. We spent 5 days serving several hundred young adults, parents, therapists, and support staff with arts-integrated approaches designed to help improve the skills that some individuals find challenging – academically and functionally. It was a phenomenal week – one that I look forward to doing again!
“For many presenters (myself included), a focus on the bottom line is a critical part of our business. Presenting work that is artistically excellent AND will sell lots of tickets is a winning combination, and our reputations grow when we can make both things happen. This is one way we can make an impact on our community. There’s another way, too, and one that we have found profoundly meaningful: by looking outside traditional ways of reaching audiences in our buildings and instead taking artists to the community in unexpected ways. We have just finished a week-long residency with Kevin and in that week of workshops in the community of people with special needs, we have made an enduring and important difference. Kevin’s work, based in science and research but cloaked in the art of magic, is an example of how one person can make a difference in the lives of many. By teaching children, adults, caregivers, and therapists the simplest of magic tricks, Kevin delivers lessons of empowerment, determination and joy, one person at a time. This is incredibly powerful, and by facilitating Kevin’s work here, the Lone Tree Arts Center has made a difference in our community that will be remembered, perhaps even more than some of the work we present on our stages.” - Executive Director, Lone Tree Arts Center (CO)
After being in Colorado, I made a quick flight home so I could get my hair cut…and meet up with Cindy and the rest of the crew. While I was in Colorado, they drove on to Minnesota and flew home for a few days. The weather was nice in Virginia – at least for a few days – but then the cold weather moved in. A blizzard in Minnesota and an ice storm in North Carolina threatened our return to Minnesota for the show at the Ames Center. Our flights were canceled TWICE but we finally got a confirmed flight out and arrived at our hotel at 1am the day of our show.
This was our second time to perform on the stage of the Ames Center. I really enjoy working with everyone here – great crew, terrific staff, and such a fantastic audience!
From Burnsville, MN, we travel back to Eau Claire, WI for our next show. We last performed at the State Theatre was in 2007.
It was great to be back with a new show. It was an enjoyable day working with the crew and performing for such a wonderful audience.
We were at the Paramount Theatre several years ago so it was great to be back! This time, we partnered with a STEAM School in Austin for 3 days to work with 6th graders, teaching them lessons in fractions, motion, friction, force, energy transfer and a little Newtonian theory using the art of magic. The week ended with a nearly sold out house of wildly enthusiastic families! There was a great article in the Austin Daily Herald too!
After wrapping up in Austin, MN, we started the drive WEST toward Wyoming…..