Educational Outreach Programs: There's Magic In The Air!
Community outreach is one of the many great things the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall does throughout the Tampa Bay area to schools, neighborhood centers, hospitals, specialty residences and more.
Magician-turned-educator Kevin Spencer is one of our partners who does community outreach on behalf of the Hoffman. Kevin works with students of varying abilities and education levels – from those undergoing occupational therapy to those that are nonverbal. His magic tricks require student involvement and are used to assist individuals towards their therapeutic and educational goals through strengthening cognitive skills, motor skills and teaching routine. Kevin’s work does not end when he leaves – the teachers are trained to integrate and continue his efforts throughout the school year and beyond.
“Kevin Spencer has made a life-long impact on the students at our school. He has empowered them to learn and master social activities that positively impact their education and lives. He does this in such a fun way they never realize they are learning!” says Julie Bush, Family & Community Liaison at the Nina Harris Exceptional Student Center.
Kevin Spencer first got involved with Ruth Eckerd Hall as a performer on the Main Stage with his theatrical illusion production. After he found out that Ruth Eckerd Hall did a lot of its own outreach, he became involved.
Sharon Reid-Kane, Vice President of Education at the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall says, “Reaching all ages and abilities through the arts is at the heart of what we do, and coordinating Kevin’s annual residencies is an honor. The work he is doing is incredibly significant, and I am dedicated to bringing him into our community each year. Limitless joy - and magic! – fill the hearts of all involved when Kevin comes to town!”
In a recent interview, Kevin told us that there is a very personal reason why he does what he does: “I became a magician because of my love for the art of illusion. But early in my career I was involved in a bad car accident that left me with a brain injury and lower spinal cord injury. I spent several months in rehabilitation working hard to regain the skills that I lost. It was then that I made the connection that magic tricks could disguise therapeutic activities and that my abilities as a magician might be able to help others in similar situations.”
Kevin’s program has the support of the American Occupational Therapy Association
and is being used in more than 2,000 rehab facilities in over 30 countries.
For more information about Kevin Spencer, please visit: www.spencersmagic.com.
For more information on outreach programs offered by the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts, please visit: https://www.rutheckerdhall.com/marcia-p-hoffman-school-arts/outreach-programs.