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K-12 Students

The Arts Education program at The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts provides free multi-disciplinary programs and performances by international artists to underserved communities in the San Fernando Valley. The program is guided by the belief that the performing arts are an essential part of the core curriculum for students of all ages because they play a critical role in the development of compassionate and informed citizens, and builds bridges between the communities and cultures of our vibrant and diverse region and beyond.


Bringing the entire world to your own backyard

Free to public schools, The Soraya Student Matinee Series presents international and local artists to K-12 students throughout the San Fernando Valley. Up to 1,200 students attend each performance, most of whom attend Title 1 schools and count The Soraya as their first professional performing arts experience. The Soraya sends educators a Study Guide for each matinee performance crafted to link with curriculum offered in the classroom.

65,000+ Over 65,000 students and educators served since 2011 70% of the schools we serve receive Title 1 funding


The Nile Project


National Acrobats of China


Our arts education programming always prioritizes the rich diversity of our artists to match the diversity of the K-12 students we serve.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo


Step Afrika!

Taj Express



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Ignite your students’ imaginations with captivating live performances, fostering creativity and cultural exploration.


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Teacher Testimonials: What teachers are saying about The Soraya’s Student Matinees

“Love everything about the way you organize your programs. Thank you for providing our students with an opportunity that they may not have otherwise.” – Mishal W., Elementary Teacher

“We are so grateful that our students get a chance to explore the world—through music and culture—at The Soraya.”  – Kris B., K-8 Principal  

Master Classes Arts Education


Inspiring Educators With Arts Across the Curriculum


The Arts Education Partnership states unequivocally, “Every young person in America deserves a complete and competitive education that includes the arts.” A thriving arts education increases academic performance, improves school culture and peer engagement, and drives the creativity and innovation necessary for 21st Century learners.


To help address the vital issue of limited access to comprehensive arts education in local San Fernando Valley schools, The Soraya hosts an annual teacher professional development program — The Soraya Summer Arts Institute. This cross-curricular, arts-infused institute helps promote sustainable arts integration curricula to ensure that every student can benefit from the proven outcomes of a robust arts education. Each year at the Summer Arts Institute, 30 – 50 educators acquire arts integration strategies for their lesson plans to help stimulate active learning and create a dynamic classroom environment.

The Soraya Summer Arts Institute has changed me as an educator.
– Judith Q., High School English Teacher

Words to describe this training: riveting, interactive, engaging, and thought-provoking.
– Robin B., Teacher

This is an outstanding program and should be compulsory for all teachers.
– Elementary School Teacher

Teacher Resources

Programs and resources for K-12 teachers


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Soraya Arts Ed Resources Image

Audience Policy for K-12

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Ticket Cancellation, Exchange, Refund Policy

To cancel complimentary ticket orders for Student Matinee Series, contact Anthony Cantrell at or call at (818) 677-8847. Please include school and district information and reasons for cancellation.


For Student Matinee Guests:

Parking for the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts is located in the G3 parking structure. The G3 structure is accessed by entering Prairie Street from Zelzah Avenue.

Parking for the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall is located in the G4 parking lot. The G4 lot is accessed by entering Zelzah Avenue.

All vehicles, including those with handicap placards, must display a valid permit to park on campus. Parking permits are $9.50 per vehicle. Permits are required 24/7 and can be purchased from permit dispensers within the parking lots and parking structures or from on-site parking attendants upon entering the parking facility.


For Bus Drivers:

Passenger drop-off is located on the D1 lot. The D1 lot is accessed by entering Lindley Avenue from Nordhoff Street.

Parking is located on the F10 Lot, located on the corner of Lindley Avenue and Lassen Street.


Drop-off and Parking Maps:

Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya)Plaza del Sol Performance Hall (PH)



Anthony Cantrell, Ph.D.

Director of Arts Education

Dr. Cantrell currently is the Director of Arts Education at The Soraya, a position he has held for nearly twelve years. His vision for active learning and collaboration has refined The Soraya’s capacity to serve students and educators with high quality programs. Anthony is responsible for designing, planning, and implementing The Soraya’s K-12 Arts Education program, which includes the annual Student Matinee Series and the Soraya Summer Arts Institute, an annual professional development program for educators interested in arts integration strategies. Prior to The Soraya, Anthony was the founding English and Drama teacher and later the Co-Chair of the Drama Academy at CHAMPS Charter High School of the Arts, a conservatory-style training program located in Van Nuys, CA. Anthony received his Bachelor’s degree in Theatre, Film, and Television from UCLA and received his Ph.D. in Theatre Practice from the University of Michigan.

“As a San Fernando Valley resident for over 40 years, The Soraya is and has been a monumental achievement for our community. The Valley used to be described, a bit hyperbolically, as “an arts wasteland,” especially for those like myself who have been involved in the arts my entire life. The Soraya has dramatically changed this perspective as one of the shining lights for the arts in the greater Los Angeles area. I am incredibly honored to have run the Arts Education programs at The Soraya almost since its inception. I still feel so inspired and moved to greet thousands of K-12 students to their first professional live performance and am gratified to see the wonderment and joy on their faces as they leave the venue with lasting memories. Our mission to provide quality arts programming for underserved students remains as strong as ever, and I sincerely believe that The Soraya will have a lasting impact for students and arts education in the future.”

To learn more about Arts Education, contact Anthony Cantrell at

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