March is Arts Education Month in California, which means we are trying to raise awareness about the importance of supporting not only our educational programs, but programs within the community and schools that provide quality arts education for people of all ages. Here at International City Theatre, we are proud to offer SIX different opportunities to make theatre accessible to all, which is only possible with the help of our generous donors.
The first program we talked about this month was our Performing Arts Classroom Teaching (PACT) Program, which is an in-school series of sequential learning theatre arts workshops that promotes the third grade curriculum in the areas of literacy, language skills, critical thinking, and creativity. Next was Free Saturday Family Theatre; interactive and informative performances which promote understanding and inclusion through topics such as self-esteem, cultural and ethnic differences, history and great works of literature at no cost to children and their families. Another program offered for kids is our 4-week Summer Youth Conservatory. During this month, our participants will receive training in acting, singing, dancing, AND playwriting; all leading up to a final performance created by them! ICT also offers free tickets to students through their Students to Stage program which helps introduce young people in the community to live theatre. Our work extends beyond youth at ICT, as we aim to include our senior community. As a generation that grew up going to the theatre, our mission is to keep senior citizens active and involved by providing tickets and transportation to HUD residing, low-income seniors.
The last educational program offered at ICT is one I hold close to heart, internships. The person writing this is the current student intern at ICT. Hi, I’m Johnny. Through my university, I am spending a semester at ICT doing an independent study to learn skills that will set me up for a lifelong career. ICT also offers paid summer internships (in Development and Marketing) for college students that are seriously considering a profession in the theatre and I couldn’t recommend this program more. The extra-curricular activities that theatre provided kept me focused, scheduled, and open to the world around me. The arts have taught me many things I could never find in a science textbook; creativity, people skills, public speaking, emotional availability, culture and connection. The last one especially, connection.
I encourage you to find ways you can support or foster the arts in your community! See if there are programs that need your donations or volunteering to survive, or buy a ticket to see a local high school theatre performance. Call or write your representatives, local all the way to federal, and inform them of these benefits an arts education has for students:
- 5x less likely to drop out of school
- 4x more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
- 3x more likely to receive a bachelor’s degree, and more likely to receive A’s
- 30% more inclined to pursue a professional career
- 10% more likely to complete a high school calculus course
- Have higher levels of civic engagement
… and that’s just a few.
On behalf of International City Theatre, thank you for the support you’ve given us to help provide the arts and theatre to our community. Whether you have seen one show, every show, donated to our programs or have just stopped by our social media, you are a part of our journey to service our community.
For more information on ICT’s educational programs, please visit our website at www.InternationalCityTheatre.org
If you would like to make a contribution to support ICT’s education programs, you can do so by clicking HERE.