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Janelle Monáe surprises students at NSA

Nashville School of the Arts has worked feverishly to create an environment that integrates arts and academics, as well as marketing it’s abilities to music industry’s best and brightest. On November 11th, 2013, Janelle Monáe caught wind of NSA after her Ryman Auditorium performance and set out to meet and chat with the reputable students. Janelle is dedicated to giving back and is known to drop-in high schools around the country as she tours. An innovative artist on the rise, her incredible spirit and wise words were beyond inspirational for all of the juniors and seniors from Nashville School of the Arts who were lucky to partake in the impromptu interview and show.

Earlier this year, NSA created a series entitled “NSA presents..” which incorporates both Inside the Actors Studio and the CMT Crossroads format. Our students research and prepare for a very in-depth interview with artistic individuals and perform for our guests showcasing their talents and abilities. Students also manage the entire production from the lights, videography, and stage management.

With this format in place, visits from professionals in the arts and entertainment industries are beautifully orchestrated and have been well-received by each artist since inception, including Nashville’s Ruby Amanfu, Lighting 100 DJ Wells Adams and Janelle Monae.

Janelle confirmed with NSA at noon that she would be by the school at 1:45pm. The dance department quickly choreographed an incredible dance to ‘Sincerely Jane’ and the swing band was set to perform the song ‘The Walk’ by Mayer Hawthorne, a tribute to her roots in soul music. The NSA theatre management class prepped the auditorium, the NSA presents... team finalized the interview, all in a staggering whirl-wind hour and a half.

Janelle’s hour at NSA was incredible. She told stories about how she came to be the artist she is, inspired the students with tales of her trials and tribulations, endurance, and her passion for everyone to pay tribute to their community.

“It is both our duty and mission as Nashville's arts school to provide each student with a complete education, which includes helping them find ways to translate their passions into careers and exposing them to professionals who have created their own artistic success,” says school counselor Julia Hoge. “There’s no doubt we did that today.”

Thank you to Ms. Monáe for coming by and speaking with students. They will never forget it!