Sharron Miller's Academy for the Performing Arts


14 South Park Street
Montclair, NJ 07042
County: Essex


Ms. Sharron Miller

Grant Amount


Program Area



Grant Details

For an extensive dance residency serving 2,100 students in grades 1 through 5 in the East Orange school district during 2016-17.

Organization Background

The mission of Sharron Miller's Academy for the Performing Arts is to provide inclusive, comprehensive, developmental training to children, teens, and adults with interest and ability in dance without regard to cultural ethnicity or economic background. SMAPA was founded in 1996 by Sharron Miller - Juilliard-trained, former soloist with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Broadway veteran. Year-round training at SMAPA's facility is offered to more than 1,700 students in four divisions: Preschool (2-5), Junior (6-11), Prep (12-18), and Adult (19+). The most advanced students from the Prep division are invited to join SMAPA's Performance Workshop Ensemble (PWE - 15 members), which provides the opportunity to work with directors/choreographers on presentational material culminating in community performances. SMAPA's Junior PWE (eight members) is a preparatory program for children ages 10-13, and a Boys Ballet program meets each Saturday (two classes; 14 boys ages 6-15).

Beyond its East Orange partnership, SMAPA has worked with students at Newark's Quitman Street Community School since 2005, among others. Each year, SMAPA is contracted by The Craig School (Mountain Lakes) and The Children's Institute (Verona) to provide arts education residencies for their elementary students with cognitive, behavioral, and developmental disabilities.

SMAPA's outreach capacity is enhanced through a partnership with the Montclair Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs, which co-sponsors Prime Time Summer Arts, SMAPA's six-week summer arts program serving approximately 150 children ages 6-14, and our Senior Exercise program that meets twice each week. SMAPA also offers Preschool Prime Time Summer Arts for an estimated 140 children ages 3-5 over a period of nine weeks.

SMAPA is dedicated to developing the whole child and nurturing the creative possibilities within every student through the arts. No student is ever turned away, and participating students reflect the richly diverse cultural and ethnic populations of Montclair's Essex County and the surrounding counties of Hudson, Passaic, Morris, Union, Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, and Somerset.

In addition to Artistic Director Sharron Miller, SMAPA operates with a lean staff including a Business Director and an Administrative Assistant. Part-time positions include 34 teaching artists, a Financial Director, a dance store salesperson, and two receptionists.

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