Grantee Spotlight: Pensacola Little Theatre Goes ‘Beyond Boundaries’

Provided by Pensacola Little Theatre

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Realizing the success of the arts and arts education in the community, Pensacola Little Theatre began taking their shows on the go with a traveling theatre troupe in 2008. PLT’s traveling theatre, Beyond Boundaries, takes theatre into underserved communities where children and parents from low-income or minority households can enjoy watching a performance or take part in a production through workshops and classes. Beyond Boundaries’ performances have also been well received by audiences at nursing homes, community centers, Title I schools, and other areas throughout the community.

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Past seasons have included such plays as Cooking It!, an original musical centered on the puppet characters “Sprout”, the Brussel Sprout, and “Brock Broccoli” who both don’t understand why children don’t like them. The program was developed to address the growing problem of childhood obesity by using fun, interactive theatre to promote healthy eating. A school nutritionist supported the lessons from the show by teaching students how to make healthy meals and snacks.

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You’ll almost always catch Beyond Boundaries in local libraries the weeks before performances in their children’s series (Treehouse/Acorn) with characters from the production reading to the children in costume. If you can’t come to them, they come to you!

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For more information, visit http://www.pensacolalittletheatre.com/.


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Grantee Spotlight: Zoo Miami Animal Fun Factory

Provided by Zoo Miami

Presented by the José Milton Foundation, Zoo Miami’s Animal Fun Factory is a one-of-a-kind interactive exhibit where zoo visitors can learn about animal welfare and environmental conservation through hands-on creative play. Enrichment is used to promote the natural behavior of the animals at Zoo Miami.  Visitors are guided by zoo educators to create enrichment items that provide this physical and mental exercise for Zoo Miami’s animal residents.

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A visitor to the Animal Fun Factory might make a papier-mâché zebra for the lions to “hunt” or a birthday cake made out of cardboard boxes to celebrate an animal’s birthday. In creating these enrichment items, visitors gain awareness of and insight into how the animals are cared for and how important it is that everyone do their part to conserve and protect our natural resources.

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Other activities help stimulate awareness of endangered animals at Zoo Miami. Zoo Miami recently celebrated the 52nd birthday of Dalip, one of the oldest and largest Asian Bull Elephants in the country. Dalip was treated to a birthday cake and birthday banners as well as painted barrels and other items for interactive play created by the Animal Fun Factory visitors. Each activity provides a unique and creative opportunity for visitors to connect with the animals, to help them understand Zoo Miami’s dedication to caring for the animals and their welfare, as well as increase community awareness on how they can help protect these animals in the wild by shopping for sustainable products to prevent further habitat loss.

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The Animal Fun Factory has received over 13,000 visitors since opening in March 2017 and is the first exhibit of its kind. It is open on weekends from 11am-3pm. For more information, visit http://www.zoomiami.org.


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Grantee Spotlight: Pensacola Symphony Orchestra ‘Beyond the Stage’

Provided by Pensacola Symphony Orchestra

Pensacola Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Stage program builds lifelong relationships through responsive musical experiences. From introducing musical instruments to providing comfort with music in a health-care setting, this program nourishes the musical culture of our community as connections are made in key moments between people, music, and musicians.

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Beyond the Stage brings teaching and mentorship to the Community Music School, Tate High School, Ransom Middle School and Brown Barge Middle School with recurrent monthly or bi-weekly visits. Children in hospitalization or treatment at The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart and Nemours Children’s Specialty Care hear performances and participate in hands-on musical activities to reduce their anxiety and improve how they feel about their care.

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Adult learners at Azalea Trace Retirement Community and Artel Gallery hear chamber ensembles perform and engage in thoughtful programs that feature historic and insightful commentary in addition to art. Patients and families at Covenant Care’s hospice facilities experience performances intended to soothe and uplift. Through these partnerships, small groups of PSO musicians are able to foster musical excellence, benefit health and wellness, inspire music participation, and promote lifelong learning.

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For more information about Pensacola Symphony Orchestra and Beyond the Stage, visit PensacolaSymphony.com.

Grantee Spotlight: Miami City Ballet’s Ballet Bus

provided by Miami City Ballet

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Ballet Bus students

Now in its third year, Ballet Bus is a Miami City Ballet outreach initiative designed to reach deep into the Miami-Dade County community to provide underserved children with a comprehensive, full-scholarship dance-training program as a gateway into the arts. The nine-month, thirty-four week program provides local children, ages 7-10, with everything they need to succeed and excel in one of the nation’s premier dance training academies: fully subsidized tuition, dance attire, family support and counseling, bus transportation to MCB Studios, and an invaluable opportunity to engage with critically acclaimed teachers and artists. Scholarship students are integrated into the MCB School student body, and each year each student will be evaluated and have the opportunity to move on to the next level of study. This long-term investment in each child will have a transformative impact on his/her future. Continue reading

Grantee Spotlight: Creative Clay

Creative Clay’s General Support Grant helps the organization fund their day-to-day activities. Their core program is the Community Arts Program, which serves 50-60 adult artists with neuro-differences each week. Through the implementation of additional offerings, such as the inclusive Art Around the World summer camp, Summer Studio for older teens and young adults, Artlink employment program, Creative Care Arts in Wellness outreach program and the Pinellas County Schools’january-february-2018-final partnership Transition program, individuals of all ages and abilities are mentored, taught and empowered to become working artists who actively create, market and sell their work. The end result is that a formerly stigmatized population, through the art it creates and sells, demystifies stereotypes surrounding those with disabilities and creates a culture of acceptance throughout the community.
Visit Creative Clay at their website or their new location at 1846 First Avenue South in St. Petersburg.

GRANTEE SPOTLIGHT: OSCEOLA HISTORICAL SOCIETY’S GENERAL STORE FOR PIONEER VILLAGE AT SHINGLE CREEK

The Osceola Counoctober-2017-newsletter-finalty Historical Society (OCHS) used their Cultural Facilities grant to expand the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek. OCHS has recently built three replica buildings: a schoolhouse, a train depot, and a church. The most recently completed building is the General Store.

The general store was one of the focal points of a pioneer village. What made the store “general” was that it sold a variety of items. Many pioneers grew or raised their own food, but having a local store gave them an opportunity to purchase things they could not procure elsewhere. These items would have included clothing material, tools, dried goods and even horse saddles. The general store also provided a place for the locals to see each other and swap news and stories.

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The General Store replica takes shape

OCHS’s new General Store is a replica of the H. E. Page General Store, which served those who lived in and around Narcoossee. Included inside is the town Post Office, which boasts the original post office boxes for the town of Narcoossee from the 1880s to the 1940s. The General Store’s grand opening was during the 26th Annual Pioneer Day, November 11, 2017.

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The original H.E. Page General Store

 

Grantee Spotlight: Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s Stage of Discovery Summer Camp

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Dancer Derric Gobourne shows off his moves while other campers look on

Photos by Greg Kaspar

Actors, dancers and singers ages 13-18 took the stage with Sarasota’s Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe this summer after a successful pilot of the “Stage of Discovery” program last year. From June 12-July 16, WBTT presented the second installment of “Stage of Discovery,” an intensive summer musical theater program. The 23 participating teens were under the direction of WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs and Stage of Discovery coordinator Joey James. In addition, WBTT staff and guest instructors such as choreographers, actors and vocal coaches led sessions with students taking lessons in dance, acting, singing and improvisation as well as gaining behind-the-scenes experience with set and costume design. The program culminated with two public performances of Folktale Follies, an original musical showcasing the students’ talents, on July 14 and 16.

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Campers Tianna Harris and Daysha Brown receive dance instruction at Stage of Discovery summer camp

The camp, which was completely free, took place at the Westcoast Black Theatre in Sarasota. “Hands-on Discovery,” an optional post-camp theatre arts program offered further exploration in the visual arts, prop making, and costuming.

This program was underwritten by The Robert E. Dods Family Foundation and Designing Women Boutique, with additional funds raised at the recent WBTT April Fools’ Fete fundraiser.

“Many of these young people, while naturally talented, have never had any formal theater experience. We work them fairly hard – while having lots of fun – to bring their individual talents out and give them a basic understanding of the art of theatre,” said Jacobs. “While WBTT is dedicated to producing the finest dramatic and musical theatre, my dream – my true calling and purpose for founding this organization – has always been to help young aspiring artists who may otherwise be overlooked to develop their talents and have the opportunity to achieve success.”

When asked what she liked best about Stage of Discovery, 16-year-old Moenasia Beall said it was the people she got to know while they learned and performed together. “If it wasn’t for the camp, you wouldn’t get to meet so many people and you also get to discover yourself and talents that you didn’t know you had,” Beall said. “You discover that you can do it.”

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The teens of the 2017 Stage of Discovery summer musical theatre camp

The mission of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc., is to produce professional theatre that promotes and celebrates the African-American experience, to attract diverse audiences, to support and develop African-American artists, and to build the self-esteem of African-American youth. For more information, visit the website at westcoastblacktheatre.org or call (941) 366-1505.