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AT&T Performing Arts Center Awarded Grant for Disney Musicals In Schools Program

AT&T Performing Arts Center Awarded Grant for Disney Musicals In Schools Program

The nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center today announced that Disney has awarded the Center a grant to bring the Disney Musicals in Schools program to the Dallas area. The three-year program is an initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Productions to create sustainable theatre programs in under-resourced public elementary schools. The Center and Disney will select five Dallas Independent School District elementary schools to participate in this year's program. An additional five schools will be chosen for the program in 2020. The Center is one of the first organizations chosen for the program in the southwest United States.

"This allows us to reach more students with meaningful and memorable performing arts experiences, and at a younger age than ever before," said Debbie Storey, interim president and CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. "This expands the Center's education initiatives to formally include, for the first time, elementary schools. We're excited at the opportunities we can provide through Disney Musicals in Schools."

The selected schools will participate in a 17-week musical theatre residency, led by a team of teaching artists trained by the Center and Disney Theatrical Productions, at no cost. Each school will receive performance rights, education support materials and guidance from the teaching artists. The program features a professional development focus, through which participating school teachers partner with the Center's teaching artists to learn how to produce, direct, choreograph and music direct, culminating in their first 30-minute Disney KIDS musical at their school. As a capstone to the experience, the Center will host a Student Share Celebration in which each school performs one number from their

show on the stage of the Winspear Opera House on the Center's campus for an audience of students, teachers, family, and community members.

Using the unique world of musical theatre, Disney Musicals in Schools helps foster positive relationships between students, faculty, staff, parents, and the community. Students and teachers work in teams, developing the wide spectrum of skills needed when producing a piece of musical theatre, including: critical thinking, problem solving, ensemble building, communication, self-confidence, and interpersonal skills.

Dallas ISD elementary schools may begin applying for the spring 2019 program on Monday, August 27, 2018. For more information on how to apply, please visit attpac.org or email education@attpac.org.

Disney Musicals in Schools was launched in 2010 in response to Disney Theatrical Production's concern that under-resourced public elementary schools were not afforded equitable access to the arts. After successfully offering the program in New York City schools, Disney Theatrical Productions began partnering with organizations in other communities across the United States.

Disney KIDS musicals, created in partnership with Music Theater International (MTI), are 30-minute musicals designed for elementary school performers and have been adapted from the classic Disney films 101 Dalmatians, Aladdin, The Aristocats, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, The Lion King, and Winnie the Pooh.

Photo courtesy of Disney Theatrical Group

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