TIPS AND PAST RECIPIENTS
- Propose a project that fills your school’s needs and is achievable on your proposed timeline.
- Assign a main contact for the project who will be available throughout the entire grant process, including the implementation of the project should the grant be awarded.
- Provide as many details as possible about your school's culture and the theatre program.
- Focus your narrative on the impact the proposed project would have on students, both current and future.
- Look at the example projects below for reference.
- Apply early! You can submit your application anytime during the application period, don’t wait until the deadline.
- Call or email the ATW offices for guidance or assistance.
Successful Proposed Projects:
The following are examples of some of the projects we have funded in the past.
Broome Street Academy (New York, NY) for $12,000 to invest in their theatre arts program. Broome Street Academy is a tuition-free public charter high school devoted to preparing New York City’s most vulnerable students for a successful future beyond high school. BSA opened in 2011 and now has 330 students from all five NYC boroughs in grades 9-12. The Performance and Theatre program is built into the eleventh grade curriculum—giving students access to learn about various forms of theatre, practice their technical skills, attend professional performances, and take pride in creating their own performances and productions. Support from the Initiative will allow for expansion of the theatre program to produce work in a fully equipped space with working lights and sound. After a recent renovation financed through the sale of air-rights, the students have a theatre for the first time, but have no equipment for that performance space. This grant will allow students to fully explore the possibilities of the theatrical arts, develop a range of performing skills, and stage new, powerful productions.
Calumet New Tech High School (Gary, IN) for $15,000 to purchase and install lighting equipment in service of productions like this spring’s The Wiz. Calumet New Tech High School serves a portion of the community of Gary, Indiana and surrounding area. This area is culturally diverse yet with a strong sense of community that blurs racial and socioeconomic lines. Due to reduced funding the building and theatre equipment have fallen into disrepair over 30 years of use. This year they there is a musical theatre class with plans to produce The Wiz on stage, but won't have the resources to provide all the supplies needed. This once thriving school was a bastion of the arts at its peak, and with a new music and theatre teachers on staff, they seek to restore it to its full potential with more robust technical resources available for lights and sound.
Covington High School (Covington, LA) for $35,000 for technical support resources and new instruments. Located in south Louisiana, approximately one hour north from New Orleans and students are bused from a 30 mile radius. The culture and socioeconomics of the students changed dramatically in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Now a larger and more diverse population, parent occupations range from rural fishermen in Lake Pontchartrain to professionals. The Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance presents an average of nine theatrical productions annually. Licensing House MTI, notes Covington High as producing more than any other school in the United States. The grant will fund resources for every aspect of the theatre program, funding many resources to improve theatre instruction and allow every student who wishes to participate the opportunity to do so. There is especially high demand for Piano classes, however, the program struggles to keep enough instruments in working order. The program has 15 5-octave keyboards that have no pedals, and two 88 key digital pianos that are 20 years old. Students playing more advanced pieces need full touch sensitive pianos with pedals. This grant will greatly improve classroom instruction with equipment that is more closely aligned with current trends in theatrical equipment and technology.
Fern Creek High School (Louisville, KY) for $14,000 to further theatre instruction – focusing on equipment to formalize learning in scenic, costume, light , sound, hair/makeup, and props for design and construction. Fern Creek High School (FCHS) opened its doors in 1923 and today, FCHS is one of only three high schools in the district offering the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Communication and Media Arts program, which includes Instrumental/Vocal Music and Theatre; among other concentrations. Also, more than 125 languages are spoken in this school’s large and diverse school district. Technical theatre instruction is critical to prepare students for careers in the theatre. Currently, the only technical theatre instruction taking place at FCHS comes from reading a textbook, watching videos, and drawing designs for set, lighting, or costumes. Currently students do not have access to good, hands-on experience constructing the elements of technical theatre. By concentrating on the connections between design and construction in all disciplines connected to production, students will learn skills to allow them to work in a theatre, or other technical areas. Students will also be able to use these skills and equipment in the production of full plays to start building portfolios before they graduate, giving them better chances of entering a theatre program in college. They would also have the opportunity to pursue a career or apprenticeship in a theatre immediately out of high school.
Sky Harbour Elementary (San Antonio, TX) for $27,000 to further improve their production values. Sky Harbour Elementary School sits on the Southwest side of San Antonio, Texas with a mission to provide the highest quality public education and instruction, so the students know what they can achieve, anything is possible, no matter what circumstances they may live in or face. There are many challenges facing these students as Texas has cut so much from education budgets that money for elementary theatre is just nonexistent. Sky Harbour is the only elementary school in their district that has a theatre program. The families of the students support the program through fundraisers, sewing costumes, building sets, and much more. The excitement amongst students and parents about learning about the theatre and careers in the field has grown since the program began. Students at Sky Harbour are offered only two after school extracurricular activities, one of those is theatre. The proposed production improvements in light and sound are important to the future of the program. The shows have casts of approximately 75 elementary students, but are presented to a school of 650 along with the community, parents, and other visiting schools. These performances are providing theatrical experiences to a community that wouldn't otherwise access it. The teacher believes they need to create the best productions possible to give the entire community an unforgettable experience that will make theatre belong to them for a lifetime.
Fort Walton Beach High School (Fort Walton Beach, FL) for $22,000 to create a safer performance space for the school’s active theatre program. FWBHS is located in the panhandle of Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico in an area where the school population is largely influenced by the military and its support industries. The school’s auditorium facility was built in the 1960’s, and as arts funding is a low priority in the district, the rigging system, curtains, and lighting systems are damaged and unsafe for the production level that the faculty and student body are capable of accomplishing. The program is committed to safety, quality performance, and excellence in theatre—even with limited resources. Every student in the program helps with the productions-- sets are built by the 13 to 18 year olds in the program under the direction of faculty. Teachers feel that ownership of the work makes a positive difference in the culture of the school. Fort Walton has a reputation as one of the strongest theatre departments in the state of Florida, producing quality plays that showcase the talents of students and brings value to the community--Producing challenging work that not only is entertaining and provocative, but that is also engaging and relevant to their audience.
Arlington Middle School (Lawrence, MA) for $16,900 to purchase lighting equipment to convert a former media center into a black box theater classroom in which their "Language of Play" arts integration program may engage more students with complex text though not only the acting of but the producing of theater. Arlington Middle School is in the urban district of Lawrence, Massachusetts which has been in receivership by the state of Massachusetts for the past five years. Enrollment is 600 students, 39% of whom are English Language Learners (ELLs). They have conducted the "Language of Play" program for the past 3 years with the goal of teaching literacy through theater. Each year, plays are student written and acted but they have not had a space to perform the fruits of the young students' labor. As a result, opportunities for students to engage with text through technical production are non-existent. With the new lighting system, students will be able to design a theatrical experience that will transport the audience to South Sudan, or the farms of Southern California, or the mills of Lawrence, MA in 1912. Their goal is to give students the opportunity to experience a hands on teaching laboratory, so they can they can create the magic themselves
Cordova High School (Rancho Cordova, CA) for $12,000 to produce the first musical at Cordova High School in twenty years. Cordova High School is located in Rancho Cordova, California. The students cannot afford any of the local "pay to perform" theater programs, so their only opportunity to gain the experience of performing is with the school. Last year they were able to mount two full productions and are averaging an audience of 100+ per night, with 90% of the students making their acting debut. Their drama teacher continues to give them the best experiences possible, but nothing ever matches the excitement of a musical. With this funding, they will take the next step and produce a musical, using the grant money to purchase show royalties, microphones, and materials for sets and costumes. This will allow the students to have more elaborate sets and costumes, and they will learn what is involved in building and running a show with more elaborate tech.
South Plantation High School (Plantation, FL) for $5,320 to purchase foldable mirrors for use by the theater, dance, and Deaf and Hard of Hearing programs. South Plantation High School is the only high school in Broward County, Florida, that offers a specialized Deaf and Hard of Hearing program and the only public high school integrating that program into our the theater program, specializing in Theatre for The Deaf, in order to continually and regularly be accessible to all students and the greater community. The Theatre Program at South Plantation High School’s mission is to empower youth through the arts, while embracing a culture that takes risk without fear of failure, and provides excellence in theatrical programming that is accessible to all audience members engaging, challenging, and inspiring the community in which they live. Every mainstage production is interpreted in American Sign Language by actors on stage, side by side with voice, to engage all performers and audiences equally. The purchase of glassless mirrors, which fold and roll for storage, will greatly improve the instruction and practice of theater, dance, mime and American Sign Language, since facial expressions and body language are an essential element.
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