Long Wharf Theatre Gets $10,000 Grant For Arts Education Video

Hartford Courant

A video created by Long Wharf Theatre’s education illustrating the importance of arts education won a $10,000 award from the National Corporate Theatre Fund.

 The funds were awarded at the NCTF’s Annual Chairman’s Awards Gala April 30. The gala, hosted by David Alan Grier and featuring Harry Connick Jr., raised $473,000 for Impact Creativity, a new nationwide arts education initiative, and the Fund for New American Theatre, which helps fund theatre across the NCTF national network.

 NCTF’s member theatres were challenged to submit a video outlining why theatre and arts education is critical for student success, taking arts education out of abstract terms and personalizing the impact.

A panel made up of playwright David Henry Hwang, Executive Director of the Educational Theatre Association Julie Woffington, and President of the Jim Henson Foundation Cheryl Henson, chose the overall winner of the competition. Long Wharf Theatre’s entry was selected from a field of seven finalists.

 "We are extremely grateful to NCTF for their support of theatre education through Impact Creativity,” said Annie DiMartino, director of education. “Creating the PSA allowed us to shine a light on many of the lessons we teach our students on a daily basis.  It’s not just about memorizing lines and acting on stage; it is about team-work, strengthening one’s imagination, and taking ownership of your voice.”

 Long Wharf Theatre’s education public service announcement featured a young man’s voice reading out typewritten words on screen. “Act One,” the young man says, describing the tense moments before a 14-year-old boy walks out on stage for the very first time. He recalls something he just learned in a Long Wharf Theatre acting class: “Be loud, be proud. Loud and proud.”

 Fast forward ten years to Act Two. That same young man, now 24-years-old, puts on a suit, makes eye contact, and successfully executes a key business presentation to a room of clients. The same advice rings through his ears, leading him to success. The video concludes with a direct message: “Theatre education prepares disadvantaged youths for the workforce. That’s not an act.” “What we do encompasses all students,” DiMartino said. “Our goal is to empower, engage and encourage in a way that leaves a lasting impression.”

 Long Wharf Theatre’s grant-winning PSA can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtHqiFK4224&list=PL547E5143D7E0E9C3

 For more information about Long Wharf Theatre’s education offerings, visit www.longwharf.org or call 203-78

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