Music Theatre International To Match Donations To Jumpstart Theatre Program

Music Theatre International To Match Donations To Jumpstart Theatre Program

May 5, 2015— The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), Music Theatre International (MTI), and iTheatrics have selected three pilot schools for JumpStart Theatre, a new pilot program designed to build sustainable theatre programs in middle schools that do not offer curricular or after-school theatre education opportunities. This year, three Cincinnati-area schools have been selected for the program.

MTI will match gifts to JumpStart Theatre on a dollar-to-dollar basis up to $10,000. The matching period ends June 22, 2015, at the Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska. To qualify for the match, the donor must indicate that his/her gift is made in response to the MTI Matching Challenge.

According to MTI's John Prignano, an EdTA Board member: "Musical theatre is great for building a positive culture within the school and with the parents and greater community. We are very excited to be able to provide opportunities to the students in the Cincinnati-area pilot program and we hope to expand the program in coming years."

JumpStart is modeled on programs developed by MTI and iTheatrics and embraced in co-partnerships with The Shubert Organization, the President’s Committee on Arts and the Humanities, New York City’s Department of Education, NBC Universal, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and The Blumenthal Center. JumpStart will provide direct financial support to these schools for three years that includes educator training, mentors, scripts, and study guides, as well as teacher stipends and modest budgets for sets and costumes.

There are three easy ways to make your tax-deductible donation in support of the MTI JumpStart Challenge:

1. Send a check to: EdTA, Attn: MTI JumpStart Challenge, 2343 Auburn Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45219.

2. Call Marion Combs at 513.977.5539.

3. Donate online using a credit card—be sure to check JumpStart Theatre MTI Matching Challenge as your gift purpose.

“The program will make a powerful impact on hundreds of students over the next three years, providing them with a more expansive education to teach life skills that can be applied in other subject areas, such as creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking," explains Julie Woffington, Executive Director of the Educational Theatre Association. “A 2012 U.S Department of Education survey of arts education found that only 28 percent of high poverty schools offer theatre education.  JumpStart is a way to address this access and equity issue. Plus, musical theatre is a great way to build a positive culture within the school and with the parents and greater community. We are very excited to be able to provide these opportunities to the students in our community and we hope to expand the program beyond the Cincinnati area.”

About JumpStart Theatre

JumpStart is sponsored by the Cincinnati-based Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), a national organization with approximately 100,000 members nationwide, and New York City’s Music Theatre International (MTI) and iTheatrics. EdTA is dedicated to creating theatre education opportunities for all students, taught by trained educators. JumpStart Theatre is designed as a scalable three-year musical theatre pilot program that can be adapted into a sustainable model for underserved schools nationwide. EdTA, MTI, and iTheatrics will support the program for three years through educator training, mentors, scripts, and study guides. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund JumpStart Theatre with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. JumpStart Theatre is also supported by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.

About the Educational Theatre Association

The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) is a national nonprofit organization with approximately 100,000 student and professional members. EdTA’s mission is shaping lives through theatre education by: honoring student achievement in theatre and enriching their theatre education experience; supporting teachers by providing professional development, networking opportunities, resources, and recognition; and influencing public opinion that theatre education is essential and builds life skills. EdTA operates the International Thespian Society (ITS), an honorary organization that has inducted more than two million theatre students since its founding in 1929. EdTA also publishes Dramatics, a monthly magazine for high school theatre students, and Teaching Theatre, a quarterly journal for theatre education professionals.

About Music Theatre International

Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting schools as well as amateur and professional theatres from around the world the rights to perform the largest selection of great musicals from Broadway and beyond.  MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists and book writers of these shows to provide official scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to over 60,000 theatrical organizations in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide.