“The innovative curriculum of integrating the study of science with the arts developed by Mr. Small is a remarkable contribution to the field of education. Kuumba staff remarked that this is the most useful in-service they have participated in. Cultural based learning, teaching to address multiple intelligences and creative exploration, formulate the basis of the pedagogy Mr. Small is sharing across the country.” H. Raye Jones-Avery (Executive Director, Christina Cultural Arts Center, Wilmington, Delaware
In 1992, Tony partnered with microbiologist Dr. Jean Jackson-Swopes to serve as co-founder of a STEM and Arts Camp that impacted 175 at-risk youth in collaboration with North Chicago Schools and the Urban League. The rest is history! Since then, Tony has curated Edutainment and Arts + STEM = STEAM Programs in 5 cities that includes serving as Training Director for the American Association for the Advancement of Science national pilot (the world’s largest science consortium). He has created 100’s of original Edutainment songs, 3 eco-musicals and Directed innovative after-school programs and camps across the country for the past 30+ years. Some of the Edutainment highlights include writing The Underground theme song for the Underground Exhibit opening and sharing the stage with Bill Nye the Science Guy at The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry or composing the ACRO Dinosaur (Acrocanthosaurus Atokensis Song) for it’s opening exhibit at the North Carolina Natural History Museum. In 2014 the Kennedy Center debuted his Eco-Insect Musical called RUKA based on an African Fable; and in 2017 another Tony’s brainchild included the commissioning and composing original music for another eco-musical called Endangered debuted off Broadway for 8 months at the Davenport Theatre.
“For the first time in the camp’s 16-year history (Madame Walker Theatre), students receive lessons in science, math, culture and self-esteem. Surprisingly, the children don’t seem to mind. Academic lessons are masked by the arts through a curriculum called “In the Mix,” which Small developed in 1993 with a team of scientists after noticing that many inner-city students were performing poorly in those subjects.” Reporter Shelby Roby-Terry (The Indianapolis Star)
Below are a few of Tony’s Edutainment/STEAM songs, eco-musical excerpts and STEAM talks.