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Artist in Residence

An artist-in-residence is a professional performer with a dual role as a “teaching artist.” During a multi-day stay on campus and in the community, an artist-in-residence shares their expertise and insights on creativity during close interaction with youth and adult learners.

Wharton Center’s Artists-in-Residence programs provide a nurturing environment for students to engage in the creative process and to discover the fundamental value of performing arts.


This unique collaboration between the Wharton Center Institute for Arts & Creativity and Happendance Modern Dance Company and School will bring professional teaching artists to select elementary schools of the Lansing School District. 

Alarmed by cuts to dance education programs in the region, the Institute, and Happendance felt it was critical to create a residency that would restore some of what has been lost and keep young people learning through the arts. The residency connects dancer/teaching artists with classroom teachers to focus on dance integration and connecting dance to other academic areas. 

Selected Past Residencies

  • Courtney Reed, Broadway Actress – worked with area high schools and MSU Dept of Theatre students on song coaching, scene work, and video auditions
  • David Gonzales, Musician, Poet, Performer – worked with area senior citizens on creating their own poetry slam and book
  • Paige Hernandez, Actress, Director, Educator – worked with high school students on creative expression
  • Gina Chavez, Musician – workshops with MSU Classes in Gender Studies, Chicano/Latino Studies, Social Change, and Sex, Gender, and Sexuality
  • Stuart Pimsler Dance Company – Residency with MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • José RÍvera, Playwright – Workshops with MSU Classes in THR, FLM, Theatre and Social Justice, CL