Success Stories

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ShopRite Supermarkets (NY) - Helping spread the arts by the trunk-full
ShopRite Supermarkets (NY)
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Helping spread the arts by the trunk-full

Most music fans know Bethel Woods Center for the Arts as the site for the iconic 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair. Today, Bethel Woods is home to a cultural center, outdoor performing arts pavilion, amphitheater, event gallery and history museum. Their mission, while timely, is still true to their historic roots: to inspire creative expression and civic engagement to enrich the human spirit.


To help foster that engagement with a younger generation, Bethel Woods launched a Traveling Trunks program, which takes the center’s resources into local classrooms. Today, three trunks make their way to schools in rural areas that often have limited access to the arts.


Music around the Globe explores music and musical instruments from fourteen different cultures on six continents. Personalities of the Sixties profiles groups that defined the 1960s. The Times They are A-Changin’ places the 1960s within broader changes in America from the end of WWII to the Bicentennial in 1976. All trunks include touchable objects, primary documents, and lesson plans for hands-on learning experiences. The musical instruments in particular are high quality, usually made by hand in their country of origin, so that students are encountering a “real” object.


The trunks are available to teachers--and scout leaders, children’s librarians, and other youth service providers-- free of charge. And that’s where ShopRite Supermarkets comes in. As a community grocery store, they know the importance of education and community outreach. “ShopRite is pleased to support Bethel Woods and its Traveling Trunks program,” said Tom Urtz, vice president of human resources and community affairs, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc. “Their unique approach to providing an educational experience through the arts is consistent with ShopRite’s goal of reaching out and connecting with the communities we serve.” As part of their partnership and to help Bethel Woods generate interest and support, ShopRite displayed the trunks in their grocery stores to introduce the program to area neighbors.


The result? Bethel Woods got some much-needed exposure and saw outreach to schools substantially increase. And ShopRite helped to cement its reputation as a good neighbor and community activist.


Now that’s what we call a creative win-win.

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