While much attention for educating today’s youth has been focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) initiatives, many thought leaders and education experts are now advocating for incorporating arts education to develop a well rounded next generation of young learners. The movement, called STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math), emphasizes how arts engage the brain in a completely different way. By using both the left and right side of their brains, children are exposed to creativity, curiosity and imagination. As a result, kids learn to experience situations through multiple perspectives. It teaches empathy and what it means to relate to one another on a deep level.

The Jewish Community Center of Dallas’ (The J) Jewish Performing Arts Space (JPAS) is one such place in North Texas where children ages 6 to 18 can explore and embrace a passion for the arts. JPAS offers classes and workshops on a variety of subjects led by well-renowned veterans in the performing arts industry. These experiences include acting, Broadway dance, musical theater and movement, on-camera work (for TV commercial and film), monologue preparation and more.

“The benefits of exposing children to the performing arts are countless,” said Alise Robinson, manager of JPAS. “They learn how to explore and create, but they also learn very practical skills that can translate into any vocation such as public speaking. The arts are also wonderful for boosting a child’s self esteem and self confidence.”

On Thursday, January 15 JPAS will hold auditions for its spring production of Guys and Dolls, Jr. in Zale Auditorium at 7900 Northaven Rd. in Dallas. Auditions, open to children ages 6 to 18, will take place from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Actors must register in advance, complete an audition form (available here) and bring a head shot. They should also come prepared with 16-32 bars of a song of choice and sheet music. Set in New York City, Guys and Dolls is a Tony-award winning musical comedy about rolling the dice and falling in love under the bright lights of Broadway. The production will be directed by Linda Leonard (senior cast) and Joe Trifiletti (junior cast) with music direction by Cherish Robinson. This full-scale production will take place at The J on March 19, 22, 26 and 29. For more information about auditions or JPAS, contact Alise Robinson at (214) 239-7140 or



The Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas (The J) is part of an extended family, a home away from home − providing programs and services for all ages and stages of life. Within its walls or around the world, The J’s members gather together to meet, play, learn, celebrate, and be part of the community. Everyone, regardless of age, race, religious affiliation, or any other protected status, is welcome. The Aaron Family Jewish Community Center is located at 7900 Northaven Road in Dallas. For more information, please visit or call (214) 739-2737.