Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 4:23 PM on Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Theater programs empowers young

Thank you, Wells Fargo Bank, for your generous donation toward the Homer Council on the Arts Emerging Performers Program. Your sponsorship will make this program accessible to any child who wishes to participate.

This year HCOA will be combining the Emerging Performers Program with the HCOA/Pier One Musical Theater Program, which will culminate with the production of "Annie" at Pier One Theatre in May. Classes and rehearsals will happen at HCOA starting Feb. 1 and move to Pier One when the weather warms up. The final performances will be May 18 and 19 in the Pier One Theatre.

The Emerging Performers program is also funded in part by the Association for Alaska School Boards and the Alaska Initiative for Community Engagement, whose mission is to build personal assets in youth (leadership, confidence, tolerance, responsibility ...) through a community project with youth and adults. The adults in the "Annie" cast will participate not only as cast members but also as mentors to the youth, developing relationships, role modeling and offering a positive, asset building experience in community.

Theater is a perfect environment to nurture personal assets. Last fall HCOA gave the students and parents of the TheatreShakes youth theater program a survey to fill out. The words that came back to describe what the children gained and how they felt after class were: happy, confident, empowered, team player, better in school.

Support from Wells Fargo Bank will allow for more children to have the opportunity to participate in a program that will not only develop performance skills but improve self-esteem, scholastic and social skills as well. Additional funding for the Musical Theatre program comes from the Homer Foundation, Pier One Theatre and the Alaska State Council on the Arts Cultural Collaboration Grant. For more information about this program visit homerart.org or call HCOA at 235-4288.

Gail Edgerly, executive director

Homer Council on the Arts