King Foundation Grant to Expand ASC's Makerspace Theatre Program

 Students in the Arts & Science Center’s shadow puppet program shared the product of their work with family and friends May 23 during Family & Community Night at ASC. The evening was a culmination of a 12-week after-school theater program with students from the Boys & Girls Club. The program was facilitated by Leonor Colbert (above), ASC Public Program Coordinator, and Lindsey Collins, director for "Sister Act," ASC's summer musical. The King Foundation grant will help to support ASC's youth theatre-immersion program.

Students in the Arts & Science Center’s shadow puppet program shared the product of their work with family and friends May 23 during Family & Community Night at ASC. The evening was a culmination of a 12-week after-school theater program with students from the Boys & Girls Club. The program was facilitated by Leonor Colbert (above), ASC Public Program Coordinator, and Lindsey Collins, director for "Sister Act," ASC's summer musical. The King Foundation grant will help to support ASC's youth theatre-immersion program.

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The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas has received a grant of $35,000 from the Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation in support of ASC's expanded youth theatre-immersion program, "The Stage," ASC Executive Director Dr. Rachel Miller announced June 13. "The Stage" is a makerspace for innovation and creativity through theatre.

 students in The Boys & Girls club get ready to show off their shadow puppetry for family and friends at ASC on May 23.

students in The Boys & Girls club get ready to show off their shadow puppetry for family and friends at ASC on May 23.

Building upon ASC’s established STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ART, and Math) programming foundation, “The Stage” takes a holistic approach to theatre by engaging students in all aspects of theatre: directing, acting, playwriting, scenery construction, costume design, light and sound design, stage management, playbill design, and marketing and promotion of productions. All components are considered STEAM learning. By incorporating technology, students will learn coding and circuitry for scenery special effects, audio and film for documenting, and basic graphic design — all which ASC already provides through our programs.

Involving youth in community arts programs provides opportunity to cultivate civic engagement, which benefits the community at large; develop practical and personal skills considered instrumental in academic and career success, such as creative thinking, self-confidence, identity building, problem solving, collaboration, communication skills, and valuing constructive feedback, and ensures access to the arts for youth from low-income families who don’t possess the means to participate in programs in arts-resource rich regions of Arkansas.

ASC leverages funding from local and state grants, sponsorships, and foundations to provide half and full scholarships for “The Stage” summer program for ages 7-17. The all-day, month-long camp kicked off Monday, June 18, and culminates in an all-youth production of “It’s Not Ugly ... It’s Art!” on Friday, July 13, and Saturday, July 14.

In addition to the summer program, “The Stage” offers professional development workshops, internships, and free after-school theatre programming. This spring, Leonor Colbert, ASC Public Program Coordinator, and Lindsey Collins, director of ASC's summer musical production of "Sister Act," led the Boys & Girls Club 12-week shadow puppet program.

The King Foundation grant will assist the growth of ASC’s scope of community outreach through “The Stage” project. Starting this fall, programming will include an in-school component, a “digital” tool box for educators, and regional outreach.

ASC is immensely grateful for the King Foundation's support of our endeavors to provide access to the arts for everyone.

About the King Foundation

Carl B. and Florence E. King started the foundation that bears their names in 1966. Since then, the King Foundation has distributed more than $64 million to agencies operating in Texas and Arkansas while maintaining the legacies created by Carl “Big Jim” and Florence “Meemaw” King and their daughter, Dorothy.