History lessons for NYC students at 'Hamilton'

- On Tuesday, 1,300 New York City public school students had quite a field trip. History class was held at the Richard Rogers Theatre with the cast of Broadway's "Hamilton."

This was a result of a partnership the hit musical has with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. President Jim Basker says it is a win-win for everyone.

"This is a double opportunity. We're going to have a generation of students now, thanks to 'Hamilton,' who believe in the Founding Era, who think it matters to them, who have ownership of it," Basker says. "And at the same time they feel it's possible, because they see people that look like them on the stage, to have performing arts careers, to have careers as writers and composers. So, it's a win-win for kids across the spectrum."

The partnership was funded through a $1.46 million grant provided by the Rockefeller Foundation. And each student earned their ticket.

"All of the kids in every school have done their own original poems, songs, rap pieces based on original historical documents and their own research into an historical figure or an event," Basker says.

After a morning Q&A with cast members, a few of the students were able to show their pieces on the "Hamilton" stage.

"I love performing, but I never got to do it since high school started," Stephanie Garcia, a junior, says. "Now I'm almost done and I got to do something so amazing."

"I still can't believe it. We seriously got to perform on Broadway," Aziza Abedrouf, a junior, says. "It's all been a dream come true."

And many were inspired by lights of Broadway.

"They inspired me to continue on. Now I want to take vocal lessons," Roman Sushevskyy, a junior, says. "I want to take dance lessons and try to build myself up so I do this. This made me feel alive."

"This is the most exciting educational project that I've ever been involved with in 40 years as an educator," Basker says.

Because of the Rockefeller Foundation grant, each student's ticket cost only $10. Can't beat that price! 20,000 students will participate in the "Hamilton" education program through 2017. It is an experience they will never forget.

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