Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Pollyanna Theatre and Long Center Announce Alliance
Pollyanna Theatre Company announces new Strategic Alliance with
the Long Center for the Performing Arts
The ‘Good Neighbor Arts Education Project’ will reach Austin’s most at-risk kids
Central Texas’ most well-known children’s theatre company, Pollyanna Theatre, in strategic alliance with the Long Center for the Performing Arts, is excited to launch THE GOOD NEIGHBOR ARTS EDUCATION PROJECT; designed to enhance the general education of some of Central Austin’s most at-risk young people.
The new alliance, through shared services and coordinated outreach efforts, will establish sustained educational relationships with up to seven elementary schools within its first two years, all located within three miles of the Long Center with an at-risk population averaging over 70%. In the first year, immediate service areas include Baty, Dawson, and Becker Elementary Schools.
The program includes pre and post production activities for students and teachers as well as tickets to three productions slated for the 2012-2013 school year. Arts education outreach efforts will also be coordinated with Extend-A-Care for Kids. Pollyanna Theatre Company will provide professionally-trained drama teachers to develop and teach classes on all three campuses before each Pollyanna production.
Six-week classes thematically linked to upcoming Pollyanna productions will offer children a variety of opportunities for creative expression and mentoring. Then, as a group, students will travel to the Long Center’s Rollins Studio Theatre to experience professional theatre presentations written and designed with their developmental and educational needs in mind. Post-show follow-up visits to each school will further expand the learning begun in the theatre.
Currently, over 70,000 students travel each year to the Long Center for arts performances. However, many of these students have no sustained exposure to professional arts presentations or classes. “The Long Center and Pollyanna Theatre Company wish to provide sustained, life-changing arts experiences for young people through ongoing, repeated visits to the Long Center where children will consistently explore and make discoveries through theatre,” says Judy Matetzschk-Campbell, Ph.D, founder and Artistic Director of Pollyanna Theatre Company.
Although many local children pass the Center almost daily with their families, many have yet to realize that the Center and the arts, is there for them, to enrich their lives.
THE GOOD NEIGHBOR ARTS EDUCATION PROJECT is an effort to break down this invisible wall. Jamie Grant, Executive Director and CEO of the Long Center states, “We strive to ensure our youngest neighbors can fully experience the arts as audience members through regular visits to the theatre and moreover, can become artistic creators in their own right.”
The collaboration is a natural fit. Since the opening of the Long Center four years ago, Pollyanna has made the Long Center’s Rollins Studio Theatre its performance home. The two organizations’ shared desire to better serve young people through the arts became apparent, leading to a partnership to leverage resources to educate through the arts.
ABOUT POLLYANNA THEATRE COMPANY: The founders of Pollyanna Theatre Company believe that theatre is a powerful teaching tool that speaks to people of all ages in a unique and powerful way through a variety of visual, aural, and emotional languages. Therefore, theatre should be a part of all general education from Pre-Kindergarten through adulthood. Toward that end, The Pollyanna Theatre Company strives to work alongside educators to inspire, motivate, and teach audiences of all ages. Although the company’s primary focus is upon young audience members, the ensemble performs top quality theatrical productions that speak to and illuminate the human spirit and condition for all ages. www.PollyannaTheatreCompany.org
THE JOE R. AND TERESA LOZANO LONG CETER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS (Long Center) is a world-class, sustainably built cultural centerpiece located along Lady Bird Lake with spectacular views of Austin’s downtown skyline. The Long Center is Austin’s iconic cultural hub and community gathering place, showcasing, inspiring and nurturing the best in professional creative expression. www.TheLongCenter.org.