Pittsburgh CLO Academy Awarded Grant from PNC

June 18
3:57 PM 2014

Pittsburgh CLO, a leading non-profit musical theater organization located in downtown Pittsburgh, announced today that it has been awarded a four-year, $800,000 grant from the PNC Foundation to strengthen and expand the CLO Academy of Musical Theater. The funds will support the Children's School, a program of the Pittsburgh CLO Academy, which teaches children ages 3 to 10 the fundamentals of musical theater. The school will be renamed The PNC Children's School.

The PNC Children's School program encourages young students to explore their creativity through musical theater. Students as young as 3 years of age use their imaginations to sing, dance and act in programs that teach fundamental performance skills and creative thinking while building character and confidence.

The PNC Foundation grant will help Pittsburgh CLO enhance curriculum development at the Children's School, attract and retain experienced professionals, and support the ongoing needs of young performing arts students from low- to moderate-income families.

"Studies have proven that an arts-rich environment helps children succeed in school," said Eva Blum, chairwoman and president of the PNC Foundation. "Our support represents a commitment to the rich, cultural energy that has distinguished Pittsburgh and furthers our investment in school readiness through the arts."

The grant will also allow Pittsburgh CLO to pursue several new children's initiatives, including expansion of its financial aid program, outreach for its Creative Vision program and development of a pre-kindergarten musical theater program.

"I am so thankful for PNC's support and generous donation on the 25th anniversary of the CLO Academy," said Van Kaplan, executive producer of Pittsburgh CLO. "Making the arts available to all children is yet another example of how PNC enhances the lives of the people in our community. We, like they, see Pittsburgh's promising future in the education and advancement of our young people."

Programming in the arts offers many benefits to young children. Research has shown that they establish an engaging foundation upon which to promote early education across all curriculum areas. In addition, they help children develop cognitive skills important to long-term learning and help improve their social skills.

About the PNC Foundation

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. For more information about the PNC Foundation, please visit http://www.pncsites.com/pncfoundation.

About Pittsburgh CLO

Since 1946, the Pittsburgh CLO has been the driving force behind live musical theater in Pittsburgh and the entire Southwestern Pennsylvania region. Under the direction of Van Kaplan since 1997, this not-for-profit arts organization appreciates the support of nearly 200,000 patrons each year and produces a subscription series, educational programs, national tours and develops and invests in new works, including 19 Broadway shows (25 Tony Awards®) featuring the current productions of Cinderella, Kinky Boots and Matilda. Its dedication to the musical theater art form extends to include such programs as the CLO Academy, the CLO Mini Stars, the Gene Kelly Awards, the Richard Rodgers Award the National High School Musical Theater Awards, the Construction Center for the Arts and the CLO Cabaret.

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