Smith Center educational consultant Jenna Gabriel doesn’t sugarcoat how screen-based learning poses enormous challenges for students with disabilities.
“The unilateral nature of screen-based learning can be extremely difficult for students with high-incidence disabilities like learning and attention issues, and even traumatic for students with autism who find their regular routines disrupted,” Gabriel says.
Since Smith Center Camp Broadway alum Christopher Convery moved on from Broadway to a film and television career, the 12-year-old now boasts an IMDb account with a lengthy list of prominent roles, including costarring in films with Katie Holmes and Claire Foy, as well as acting in hit shows such as "Stranger Things," "The Blacklist," "MacGuyver" and "Gotham."
Supporting the Arts /
The Smith Center’s stages may be dark, but that hasn’t stopped several of the center’s veteran volunteers lending a listening ear. “With The Smith Center experiencing such a financial setback, our need to raise money is critical,” says Director of Annual Fund Carol Hollatz. “That’s why we enlisted some of our most dedicated volunteers."
“I yearned to work here,” says Smith Center volunteer Mary Richard, whose career as a singer, dancer and actress includes performing off-Broadway and appearing in “Miss Congeniality” and other feature films. She now urges others to volunteer and offer support during The Smith Center's closure.
Steve Smith may not be logging in any hours as a volunteer usher at The Smith Center these days, but he is stepping up in other significant ways to help both his beloved performing arts venue and his Southern Nevada community as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to have a wide-ranging impact.
Smith Center supervisor Carnell Johnson says he originally started working at The Smith Center because he loves the performing arts and wanted to be closer to them. A professional singer for more than 20 years, Johnson, who also sings the national anthem at Vegas Golden Knights games, says being close to live music is what he enjoys most about his job at The Smith Center.
After Southern Nevada youths from Broadway in the HOOD saw musical “Once on This Island” at The Smith Center, they stood outside and had a long talk. “This was their first time seeing themselves represented in a Broadway show, with the majority of the cast being of color,” says Torrey Russell, founder of Broadway in the HOOD, a nonprofit youth theater company. “It’s life changing.”
Discovering The Smith Center /
When Marise Mizel first moved to the Sun City Summerlin active-adult community, she immediately joined the community’s travel club. “I wanted to go places and do things, and meet new people,” explains Mizel, now club president.
Claudia Newbury knew she wanted to volunteer at The Smith Center the first time she stepped foot there in 2012, the center’s opening year. “I describe it when I do tours as ‘a happy building,’” Newbury says. “You walk in and you just smile because it’s such a beautiful place. The people are so nice, and there are so many things going on.”
Community Impact /
Supporting the Arts
When Janice Haupt Allen attended The Smith Center's opening-night event, she shed tears of joy the entire evening. “To be a part of this unbelievably beautiful auditorium was breathtaking,” Allen remembers. As a Smith Center founder, Allen helped make the center’s opening possible with a donation of $1 million.