Next Gen Events

Current Events

Virtual Event: Bill Blagg's Magic Science Lab

Free Virtual Experience Streaming October 25 - January 21
2nd grade and up
Science • Discovery • Scientific Principles

Illusionist Bill Blagg’s brand-new Magic Science Lab will have kids on the edge of their seats…in the classroom or at home…as they discover how science creates magic right before their very eyes! During this digital “Arts Engagement” viewers join Bill inside the Magic Science Lab where they will explore how magicians use the “secret” five-step process (The Scientific Method) to create their illusions! Together with Bill, they will use the “secret” five steps to make a person magically float in mid-air! As a bonus, Bill teaches a science-based magic trick that students can do at home or in class – how to make a pencil float in the palm of their hand!

Learning Connections:

  • Science (The five-step Scientific Method)
  • 21st Century Skills (Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication)
  • Drama / Theatre (Character development, Technical elements, Audience role)
  • English Language Arts (Speaking and Listening, presentation of knowledge and ideas, vocabulary, acquisition, and use)

*Streaming content will be four 15-minute video segments

Register Bill Blagg Study Guide

Warriors Don't Cry

February 22 • 9:30AM & 1:00PM

Communication, Language Arts, Music, Technology, Social Studies
Grades 7-12

Reluctant to cope with one more tragedy in a school—raise your hand if you feel me!—young activist Ya Girl is ready to call it quits on leading her million-plus Instagram followers in the fight for social justice. When Melba Pattillo Beals steps out of history and into Ya Girl’s phone to share the story of her battle to integrate Little Rock Central High School in 1957, Ya Girl learns to see herself in Melba—and in all the young warriors who came before her to raise their hands and make a difference.

Inspired by Dr. Melba Pattillo Beals's Little Rock Nine memoir Warriors Don't Cry, this production is a catalyst for deeper discussion about social responsibility, civil discourse, social media, and community engagement.

Warriors Don't Cry is co-conceived by award-winning playwright Donnetta Lavinia Grays (Where We Stand) and director Tamilla Woodard (Associate Director, Hadestown), featuring original music by Toshi Reagon, spoken word, and video projection. This production is a collaboration between The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts and TheaterWorksUSA.

Register your class! Study Guide

Past Next Gen Events


Click Clack Moo

Communication, Family & Relationships, Music
K To 2nd Grades Attended 

Over 1,000 kindergarten through second grade students enjoyed the musical Click Clack Moo, Cows That Type at the Center. Education Director Heather Russell visited all 17 attending schools in the week prior to read the Caldecott Award winning book and show students a now obsolete typewriter. 

Schools from Mackinaw City to Bellaire, Charlevoix to Inland Lakes and many in between were able to attend this Next Gen matinee offering free of charge, thanks to the generous family of donors who support the educational programming at the Center. One student gave the experience “10,000 thumbs up!” 

Lesson plans were provided to teachers that tied in with the state standards, and students learned about compromise and relationships in the “mooooving” and hilarious musical. 

McLean & Eakin Booksellers of Petoskey partnered with the Center to offer books for purchase to students, and several of their community patrons donated books which were given to every school.


Interlochen Ballet Sleeping Beauty

7th & 8th Grades Attended

I really liked the ballet because it was something that most of my students would never have had the opportunity to experience without your grant and program. I would love to have my students watch a musical also; our school no longer has a theater program.

Area Teacher,



Walk On: The Story of Rosa Parks

7th & 8th Grades Attended

Nearly 1,000 middle school students learned important lessons about the nation’s civil rights movement through the musical, Walk On: The Story of Rosa Parks, at the Center.

Robert Jensen Dau Foundation

Mansfield Family Foundation

The Meijer Foundation

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs/National Endowment for the Arts