As we approach the end of the FY22 fiscal year, The National Theatre Foundation team is reflecting upon the milestones we’ve reached with each of our community programs. As COVID-19 restrictions slowly began to lift, we were able to provide in person programming to our partner organizations once again. Additionally, we continue to make creative use of virtual platforms to provide live entertainment to those who are unable to leave their home. We were able to provide over 30 in person and virtual concerts to Children’s National Hospital, Alexandria Adult Daycare Center, Prince William County Adult Daycare Center, Fairfax County Adult Daycare Center, and Grace House Assisted Living. Read on to find out some key accomplishments of the program this year.
The National Theatre Foundation partnered with DC based hip-hop non-profit Words, Beats, and Life to provide Children’s National Hospital with three recorded lessons that taught children on the dialysis unit how to mix their own music on iPads. Patients then made their own album art to accompany their songs.
Teaching artists Lori Pitts and Devin Smith met with students from The Social Justice school over a series of ten weeks to teach their ANCRD voices curriculum. These students were identified as being affected by the incarceration system and the school to prison pipeline. ANCRD is an acronym which stands for Anchored Navigators Creating and Reaching our Destiny and was created by Devin Smith during his time in the incarceration system. The curriculum utilized techniques from Theatre of the Oppressed and creative journaling practices to allow students to explore social justice issues and become voices of change within their communities. The curriculum culminated in the students creating and presenting their own original play.
For the first time in Community Stage Connections history The National Theatre was able to invite program participants to perform at The National in the Helen Hayes gallery. Parents, teachers, and community members came out to support the work of the students.
This year we successfully piloted a workshop model with several of our Community Stage Connections venues. In addition to ANCRD Voices and our workshops with Children’s National Hospital, we collaborated with Prince William County Adult Daycare centers to present two different workshop series as a part of the Virtual Center for Active Adults. This online senior center provides opportunities for homebound seniors living throughout the Northern Virginia area. Artists Lisa Jan Sherman and Noa Baum each met with seniors on Zoom for a series of three weeks throughout the summer. Program participants learned how to write and share their own unique stories.