BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) announced today a new initiative, Give Back to Berkeley Heights, to show support for its hometown of nearly a decade with community events and an array of special discounts for Berkeley Heights residents including private lessons, group classes, and summer camp. Beginning at the Winter Open House on January 26 and concluding at the Berkeley Heights Mother’s Day 5K on May 10, Wharton’s Performing Arts School welcomes Berkeley Heights residents and non-resident 5K participants to experience its program offerings at reduced rates. A complete list of discounts can be found online at www.whartonarts.org/give-back-to-berkeley-heights. As part of this initiative, Performing Arts School students and faculty will perform throughout the community including at the Autumn Lake Healthcare at Berkeley Heights, the Berkeley Heights Senior Center, and the Mother’s Day 5K.

The Winter Open House will take place on Sunday, January 26 from 1:00pm until 4:00pm at the Performing Arts School located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights. The public is invited to this free event to meet faculty, participate in demo classes, tour the facilities, and enjoy light refreshments with the staff. Stop by K&S Music’s table for information about discounted musical instrument rentals and to try a variety of instruments on hand. In addition to kicking off Give Back to Berkeley Heights, an Open House discount of $25 off is offered on all enrollments taken at the event. The Open House discount cannot be combined with any other offer.

Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts is thrilled to return this year as the host of the 19th Annual Berkeley Heights Mother’s Day 5K Race on Sunday, May 10 at 9:00 a.m. at Memorial Field in Berkeley Heights. The course runs through neighborhoods on rolling hills and flats and is a chip-timed, USATF-sanctioned Grand Prix event (500 points) with digital clocks at each mile. Race registration is available at www.whartonarts.org/mothers-day-5k-race.

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On average, over 1,300 runners register for the race to help raise funds for performing arts education and free after-school music programming and includes a free Tot Trot as well as additional activities for the family to enjoy together. This year’s race will feature special music performances, an instrument petting zoo and musical activities in the Children’s Zone, and the last day to enroll in the Give Back to Berkeley Heights initiative.

For more information, visit www.WhartonArts.org.

The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ mission is to provide the highest quality performing arts education to a wide range of students in a supportive and inclusive environment, where striving for personal excellence inspires and connects those we teach to the communities we serve.

Wharton is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts education center serving over 1,500 students through a range of classes and ensembles including the 15 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony, which serve 500 students in grades 3 – 12 by audition. Beginning with Out of the Box Music and Pathways classes for young children, Wharton offers private lessons, group classes, and ensembles for all ages and all abilities at the Performing Arts School. With the belief in the positive and unifying influence of music and the performing arts and that arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay, Wharton teaches all instruments and voice and has a robust musical theater program. Based in Paterson, New Jersey, the Paterson Music Project is an El Sistema-inspired program of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts that uses music as a vehicle for social change by empowering and inspiring children through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing.

Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 10 counties. All of Wharton’s extraordinary faculty members and conductors hold degrees in their teaching specialty and have been vetted and trained to enable our students to achieve their personal best.