Tams-Witmark Music Library is thrilled to fund a new initiative from the Educational Theatre Association: The EdTA’s New Troupe Charter Grants will assist theatre students in financially challenged communities across the United States.
The new grants enable schools to fund the charter of an International Thespian Society troupe and induct up to ten students for free. The ITS, founded in 1929, provides students with resources beyond those available at their schools. Participating students are eligible for leadership opportunities, college scholarships, and invitations to perform at state and national venues.
The Educational Theatre Association explains, “Membership in an honor society instills students with pride and confidence, confirms the value of their work, and inspires them to continue their efforts. An international honor society adds to a school’s stature and leads to increased awareness and support for its theatre program.”
Sarge Aborn, President of Tams-Witmark, agrees. “Anyone who has sat in a theatre audience and has been transported beyond the realm of time and space can attest to the power and possibility of drama,” he says. “In the perpetual fight to keep arts in schools, powerful voices have spoken out for the benefits of providing theatre arts for children, among which are: self-expression, self-knowledge, creativity, social awareness and, of course, education. Tams-Witmark is proud to be a catalyst in bringing theatre to children… especially children who have the most to gain and benefit from its limitless effects.”
The EdTA has announced the first six recipients of the grants:
- Jurupa Hills High School in Fontana, CA
- Mira Monte High School in Bakersfield, CA
- Frankfort Community High School in West Frankfort, IL
- Russell County High School in Russell Springs, KY
- Western Middle School in Louisville, KY
- Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Senior High School in Houston, TX
“We are delighted with the immediate response,” says Julie Cohen Theobald, Executive Director of the Educational Theatre Association. “Educators know this opportunity is valuable for students as an affirmation of the value of their artistic work. Our aim is to grow our funding and encourage more school theatre programs. Theatre provides a home where students can feel accepted, valued, and part of something larger than themselves. We are deeply grateful to Tams-Witmark for pioneering this effort with us.”
The announced grants are for the 2016-17 school year. Limited funding is still available. For more information, visit schooltheatre.org/newtroupegrants. Additional inquiries can be made at CharterGrants@schooltheatre.org.