Arts in Education
Reggie Harris has been affiliated with the John F Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program for over two decades, offering both multimedia performances for students and communities as well as and in-depth workshops for educators at all grade levels. His writing, research, field work and recordings have amassed an amazing repertoire of African American music, blending spirituals and freedom songs, the old with the new. Mentored early on by Dr. Charles Blockson and by using music and storytelling to create captivating performances for audiences of all ages, he has raised awareness of the Underground Railroad, in young school audiences, college symposiums and adult concerts.
Lectures and teacher In-service presentations, some developed in collaboration with the Kennedy Center Partners in Education program are also available.
Performances: For students of all grade levels (pre-K and right through College Honors/Convos):
Reggie Harris is a "must have" in your school. Whether as a master story teller and musician presenting to a large audience or as an artist encouraging a small group of students to dig deep and write songs and stories to be shared. Reggie is a staple at Hartshorn School. Yearly he comes to share his wealth of knowledge as an outstanding educator exploring the history of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement with students from kindergarten through fifth grade.
Reggie's knowledge and sensitivity to the subject make him perfect for middle school, high school and even college classes. Reggie Harris has a unique ability to bond with an audience and take them on a journey of deeper thinking and self-awareness.
I guarantee his performance in your school will generate the conversations that we as teachers hope for.
- Amy Blake, second grade teacher, Short Hills, NJ
Music and the Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad is one of the most important chapters in American History. This engaging, interactive concert of songs, stories and narratives about slavery and the quest for freedom reveals the hope, power and eventually, the triumph that was accomplished by shared by a network of multicultural allies. Through song, story, audience involvement and a multi-media presentation, Music and the Underground Railroad provides an understanding of the secrets and passion of this powerful era.
(Multimedia, K-6, 6-8)
Dream Alive: A Celebration of Black History
The stories of people such as Harriet Tubman and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have become a familiar part of the study of American History. The accomplishments of other significant African-Americans, from every walk of life and field of endeavor, are not as well known.
Dream Alive, a multi-media presentation, brings to light these artists, educators, inventors, explorers, scientists, poets, and other important contributors to the life and culture of America and the world.
One Family/One Planet
One Family/One Planet is a fun, entertaining and thoughtful look at friendship, ecology, tolerance and freedom, topics that are important to people all over the world. In songs, stories and audience involvement, Reggie explores the world of friendships, recycling, and water conservation and celebrates the diversity that makes the earth such a wonderful home.
(Environmental, AIE or Family Entertainment events)
Freedom Songs and the Civil Rights Movement
With recent 50-year remembrances of the Modern Civil Rights movement, and ongoing activism, Reggie has begun working with classroom groups and assembly programs for students, to address this history. Drawing upon his extensive visits to sites in Alabama, Mississippi, and Memphis, this program incorporates a strong storytelling segment alongside music and meaning of the movement. Students of all ages and backgrounds are given an opportunity for discussion and reflection on race, slavery/human trafficking and justice issues in today’s world.
Additional Assembly Programs
- Freedom Songs and the Civil Rights Movement (adapts to K-12 and college)
- Seminars and Symposiums for College and High School
Professional Development for Educators
Sing to Freedom: Music & Stories of the Underground Railroad
This proven in-service workshop offers a “hands on – classroom ready” historical and musical workshop on the Underground Railroad. Teachers receive valuable tools for building the knowledge base of students through effective art based curriculum connected lessons designed to open classroom study to a more vibrant exploration of history, music and language. Copies of their highly praised CD “Steal Away,” and an extensive teaching guide are included.
Freedom Songs of the Civil Rights Movement
For Teachers of Grades 3-8
In this upbeat workshop Kim and Reggie Harris share ways to teach about the history of African-Americans’s struggle for equal rights. Explore how music and storytelling can be used to extend students understanding of the freedom movement, from the Underground Railroad through the modern Civil Rights era.