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Buffalo State's Joy Guarino receives prestigious educator award


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Joy Guarino, associate professor of theater and coordinator of dance, has been named a recipient of the 2018 Broadway League Educator Apple Awards. 

Since 2003, this organization has recognized teachers, administrators, and arts advocates for their commitment to arts education and collaboration with League member venues that present touring Broadway shows across the United States.

Four recipients, including Guarino, were selected this year.

“We are proud to honor these outstanding individuals,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League. “Enriching young minds with the power of the arts is crucial to our communities and the future of live theater. Through this award and other initiatives, we encourage the ongoing development of theater education programs nationally.”

Shea’s Performing Arts Center nominated Guarino for her work as a teaching artist for its performing arts program, a role she’s held since 2009.

“I had no idea I was nominated,” Guarino said. “I am thrilled to have received it.”

As a teaching artist, Guarino goes into the K-12 classrooms across Western New York to teach creative movement and dance concepts to students. She designs and implements trainings for local performance artists and teachers who work students prior to their visiting Shea’s.

“We prepare students to get the best aesthetic experience out of the performance,” she said. “Because I focus on musicals, I work with students using movement and dance. Prior to their seeing The Sound of Music, for instance, I taught children the folk dance that takes place when Maria and Captain von Trapp fall in love. When the kids watch that segment during the musical, they better understand the emotions behind it.”

Guarino also works with high school students who come to Shea’s for performing arts programming.

“My intention is to get them to understand themselves as artists through dance and movement,” she said.

Guarino has worked in some kind of teaching artist position since earning her master of fine arts degree from Temple University in 1986.

“I want to pass my love and commitment for this type of work onto my Buffalo State students,” she said. “I want them to see that working through an organization to work with the community is valuable and that they should be doing it, too.”

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