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October 21, 2016

“Hamilton’s America” NYC Educator Event Packs Trinity Church

Last night WNET’s Education Department presented a screening of Great Performances: Hamilton’s America for New York City educators. The event was held at Trinity Church, which also happens to be the final resting place of Alexander Hamilton, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, Phillip Hamilton, Angelica Schuyler Church, and Hercules Mulligan.

Trinity Church_ Hamiltons AmericaThe screening was advertised to educators in the city and the event was at capacity in under two hours, proving the high level of interest and demand for this film from educators. More than 230 guests attended the event from school districts throughout New York City and were given the chance to not only watch the film but hear from speakers regarding the relevance of the film and musical in the classroom.

Before the event, attendees were invited to explore the church grounds and visit the graves of the Hamilton’s and other figures. Before the film, emcee Chris Czajka, Senior Director, Education, encouraged educators to engage with the conversation about the film on social media and to utilize the film in their classrooms. In addition, WNET President & CEO Neal Shapiro gave welcoming remarks, describing the incredible success of the musical, the event at Trinity Church, and the huge potential for using the documentary with students. Educators also heard from Reverend Phillip Jackson, the Vicar of Trinity Church.

An educator's son dressed as a revolutionary soldier in honor of the screening

An educator’s son dressed as a revolutionary soldier in honor of the screening

Valerie Rockefeller Wayne, member of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History President’s Council, also spoke, explaining the Institute’s commitment to bringing thousands of New York City high schoolers to Hamilton the musical and described the way the show excites and engages young people. Finally, Education Producer Kristina Kirtley gave a presentation about PBS LearningMedia and the education resources that have been created to accompany and support the film. These resources include materials on “Lin-Manuel Miranda, Shakespeare, and Hip Hop,” “Adapting History into Musical Theater,” “Understanding the Burr-Hamilton Duel,” “Reconciling History: the Founding Fathers,” and many other resources that provide ways to delve into the history and material featured in the film. The Hamilton’s America Collection will be available after the film officially airs, tonight at 9PM.

At the end of the event each attendee was given a roll of historic posters from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History as well as a large Hamilton’s America poster to hang in their classrooms.

Educators were thrilled about the documentary, the event, and the myriad of thorough resources that have been created for the classroom. Many went to Twitter to express their enthusiasm:

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