Reaching Our Kids Through Theater

children theater kid boyGrowing up in downtown Boston as an inner city kid, the performing arts were more than just a fun place to spend my time after school. Theater was where I could learn and dream and activate my physicality and my intellect. And yes. There was a lot of pretty cool stuff to do!

I was lucky enough to benefit from donors and supporters, completely anonymous and ordinary people, whose generous contributions directly and indirectly allowed me, through creative arts & culture programs, to safely engage, develop and eventually become an artist. But more, a human being committed to giving back and helping others find their way through the arts and beyond.

Here is a representative sample of arts organizations in Los Angeles which provide outreach through theater to kids in need, every day.

Each one, large or small, needs support in order to foster education, imagination, healing and strength through the arts.  Donations do make a difference and will ensure that their efforts will continue in the days and years to come.

24th Street Theatre Arts Education
24th street theatre square logoNow more than ever, young people need a well-balanced education, strong life skills and the ability to perceive a better life for themselves in order to become self-sustaining members of our community.  Enter Stage Right is a cross-curricular program using theatre to teach math, history and language arts while teaching the California Visual and Performing Arts Standards. The program has served over 60,000 students in the greater Los Angeles Area since 2003.  The After ‘Cool Theatre Program offers free professional theatre arts activities to inner-city and “at greater risk” students and is designed to stimulate young minds, offer creative approaches to thinking “outside the box,” and a forum for presenting a wide array of perspectives and cultures.

Antaeus Odyssey Artists Workshop
antaeus square logoAntaeus Arts Education programming has been in existence since 2009, and provides learning opportunities to students, educators and audiences by connecting the essentially human elements in classical texts to contemporary issues and ideas. Antaeus’ vision is a community where youth have access to positive adult role models and programs as an alternative to incarceration and to recognize the “hero” potential that each possesses. Their flagship education program, the Antaeus Odyssey Artists’ Workshop, is a creative writing and theatre residency for at-risk youth and young adults.

Center Theatre Group
center theatre group square logoCenter Theatre Group’s education programs support the next generation of theatregoers, artists, and artisans, encouraging them to learn more about themselves, the world, and the arts. Through workshops, events, discussions, and other programs, they encourage, support, and connect young people with theatre, and with one another.  They also support educators and schools through a variety of programs and resources designed to bring theatre into the classroom, bring students to the theatre, and improve the quality of arts education for all students.

HIPPOLife  – Humanity. Inspiration. Preparation. Perseverance. Originality.
hippolife square logoHIPPOLife uses art as a means of rehabilitation and social awareness while providing an innovative culture of creative expression and empowerment with programs dedicated to performance art for underserved children as well as children with disabilities. Their goal is to change the lives of all involved and to create a wide-spread community of artists with a core belief in helping their fellow man.

 

One World Stage & Screen
one world square logoOne World Stage & Screen believes that the composition of the acting field should not be dictated by financial ability. Their goal is to level the playing field and create opportunities for talented youth to gain access to the support and training they need to take their careers to the next level. The mission of One World Stage & Screen is to make high quality training accessible to gifted, professional-grade, young actors who lack the financial resources to access the education and mentorship necessary to cultivate their craft. One World Stage & Screen specializes in actors of all ages, but with a focus on youth and young adults ages 11 – 21, who primarily come from underserved areas in Los Angeles, with special outreach to foster and LGBT communities.

The Wallis Annenberg
wallis logoArts education outreach is a major part of The Wallis’ mission. GRoW @ The Wallis offers a diverse series of arts education initiatives like master classes, courses for young artists, community classes, school partners program (that serves as many as 10,000 LA pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students each year through student matinee performances), workshops, and has partnerships with many LA and national organizations (i.e. The Miracle Project, Broadway Dreams Foundation).

About Tracey Paleo

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Tracey Paleo is Associate Editor at FootLights Magazine. She's also the Founder and Chief Editor of the arts and culture site, Gia On The Move, where she often reviews live performance events.

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