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Take the


Take the Stage logo

Take the Stage is a series of interactive videos and lesson plans that teach elementary curriculum through the arts.

Each lesson is offered in both English and Spanish, fits within a 45-min class period, and aligns with state and national standards.

Research shows elementary school students have a higher rate of retention when they learn academic curriculum through the arts whether it is through music, dance, theatre, creative writing, or visual art.​   However, many schools around the country are not equipped with the resources to integrate the arts into the curriculum or have adequate funding to bring in outside art teachers.

Take the Stage fills this gap in educational resources by providing 100% free arts-integrated lessons used in all 50 states with some international use.

There is no catch.  All Take the Stage videos and materials are funded by foundations and individuals who believe that quality educational resources should be free and accessible to parents, teachers, and students.   Please use, download, share, and enjoy!


To make performing arts education free, fun and accessible for all kids.  And, to use the power of the arts to:

  • Improve the learning impact of educational curriculum

  • Promote diversity and understanding

  • Cultivate creative expression

Brief History:

Dan Gordon worked as a teaching artist for many years and time and time again, he witnessed the positive effects that the arts have on youth.   This led him to launch a nonprofit, Gordon Education, and create Take the Stage so all kids could have free access to arts education through interactive media.   

Kathy Starr, with a professional background in education and heart towards the towards the arts, enthusiastically came on board as a full-time General Manger.  Together, they run the daily operations of the nonprofit that produces Take the Stage. 

With the same educational goals, Houston Public Media and the Houston Independent School District teamed up with Gordon Education to produce educational media that taught the core academics through the arts.  All three entities work in collaboration to make Take the Stage a nationally recognized series trusted by parents and adored by kids

After reading the Sesame Street biography, Dan discovered that Lloyd Morrisett was the force behind Sesame Street's creation so Dan looked him up and gave him a call.  With Lloyd's advice about producing kids TV and a referral, he met Carol-Lynn Parente (former executive producer of Sesame Street) who later came on board as Executive Producer of Take the Stage and helped direct and edit the series in Houston.

Take the Stage is a success today because of the many producers, researchers, educators, artists, designers, technicians, interns, actors, and community members that come together and make it a quality program.

Collaboration makes it happen.


Advisory Team

The Kid Advisory Team is important as we believe young voices are absolutely necessary when creating content for them. 
The Kids Advisory Team reads the scripts and provide comments before they are finalized along with helping make very important decisions regarding content, humor and music on the show. 

Education Teams

A team of education professors provide learning pedagogy during script development.  The school districts assist with curriculum alignment, and classroom teachers are consulted throughout the entire process from brainstorming to filming.

PBS Station Affiliates

We love PBS!  Houston Public Media partnered with Take the Stage to produce the pilot episode, educational videos, and the "Inside Vibes" interstitial series in Houston. 

Now, as this media expands its reach across the country, Take the Stage looks to partner with all PBS stations that believe in the vision to provide free arts education for kids.

Research Teams

Research ensures the Take the Stage videos and materials are educationally effective and they are enjoyed by kids, parents and teachers.  With a team of researchers led by Allison Caplovitz, Ph.D. (BLUES CLUES), Take the Stage conducts qualitative and quantitative assessments on every video and lesson plan that is brought into English-speaking and Spanish-speaking classrooms.  The feedback from teachers and students guides edits and refinements in all current and future Take the Stage media.

Kathy Starr is the General Manger of Gordon Education and runs the daily operations of Take the Stage.  Contact:


Take the Stage is Generously Supported by:
The Brown Foundation of Houston, Inc., The Houston Endowment, Fondren Foundation, BNSF Railway, Houck Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, The Baxter Trust, The Burk Family,
Wu Family, Arthur & Philamena Baird, James & Krista Calaway, Andrew Gordon, Victor Kendall, Juliet McBride, Georgia McBride, Chuck Still, Penelope Warga, Jason Bernal, Kristen Golden, Daniel Cohen, Jessica Fuentes, Victor Kendall, Cindy Leong-Wu, Janice Martindale, Georgia McBride and Rob Shaw.

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