A community is oftentimes defined as a group of people with a particular characteristic in common; a fellowship, and a common set of goals or interests. Community has a deep meaning and defining purpose to the Academy.
“The arts are a community builder,” said Executive Director Geoffrey Kershner. “The arts gather people together to share in an experience in real space and in real time. Very often these experiences involve powerful emotions or the exchange of meaningful ideas. When this happens, the boundaries that divide a community are broken down and people find common ground. This common ground is the basis of any healthy community. A community that shares experiences and finds commonality can grow.”
As community is a foundational driver in Academy programming, you’ll see a mass of programming surrounding it moving forward. Last weekend, the Academy was host to our local high school theatre community in our High School Theatre Showcase. Over 90 students from 6 area high schools participated in two days of theatrical training and performance.
Day 1 of the showcase comprised workshops led by our region’s top collegiate theatrical professors. From singing to improv, and technical training in scenery work to lighting software, thespians had their pick of workshops. Day 2 was under the stage lights, with troupes showcasing theatrical selections they’ve been working on for upcoming school performances.
“Academically it’s proven that students who participate in the arts and theatre test stronger and have better in-school attendance than those who do not,” said Director of Education Kelly Posenauer. “The arts have a huge impact on the lives of youth in our community. There’s nothing I love more than to see teens bond because of programs happening at the Academy. ”
Our High School Theatre Showcase was an early addition to the Academy’s Community Engagement and Outreach Initiative, purposed to introduce new outreach programs that will strengthen our community and build a culture of inclusion and accessibility within the arts.