We bring teens together across cultural/economic boundaries, help them develop as performers, and give them access to Broadway mentors.
WHO ARE WE?
BROADWAY FOR ALL provides middle and high school performers of varying ethnic and economic backgrounds an opportunity to take part in a professional caliber, musical theatre program. Originally born out of a Public Service Fellowship through Harvard University's Office of the President, it is now a current summer project in New York City. In addition to offering daily classes in acting, music, dance, and improvisation to improve rehearsal technique and performance fluency, BROADWAY FOR ALL is a project that will build bridges between various demographics and promote the development of invaluable, creative relationships across cultural boundaries.
WHY HELP US, IN PARTICULAR?
There are some musical theatre-focused programs in NYC that are similar to us, but they charge thousands of dollars for participation. Unfortunately, this means that students without the necessary economic resources have fewer opportunities to develop their techniques in the performing arts. Sadly, that situation perpetuates a problematic lack of diversity in the American arts & entertainment industry.
BROADWAY FOR ALL, on the other hand, believes that what makes us special is our commitment to diversity. We purposely ensure that our ensemble is as diverse as possible because this is what will help our kids commit to peace and global understanding in the future. This year, our students represent: over 15 ethnic identities; over four races; four NYC boroughs and Westchester County; lower-income, middle-income, and higher-income statuses; and single-parent and two-parent households.
WHAT DO WE DO?
BROADWAY FOR ALL will grant middle and high school teens the following:
- Eight one-hour classes per week (Monday through Friday) in acting, singing, dance, and improvisation at an excellent space in Midtown, NYC.
- 70 hours of musical theatre production rehearsal time.
- A musical revue production to be performed in Manhattan on August 6, 2012 with a VIP pre-show reception.
- A sneak-peak, break-out performance at Teach For America's 2012 NYC Institute Closing Ceremony at St. John University's Carnesecca Arena on July 26, 2012.
- One to two Master Classes per week led by Broadway performers who are currently performing in (or were performing in) Mamma Mia, The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess, The Lion King, Avenue Q, CATS, and Xanadu, among others.
- Attendance, personal post-show Q&As, and backstage tours at current-running Broadway musicals.
High school participants will leave with tangible skills: audition technique, two new, contrasting monologues, one new song, and a 16-step dance routine to enable them to be successful when auditioning for local productions and college auditions.
Middle school participants will leave with tangible skills: audition technique, one new monologue, one new song, and a 16-step dance routine to enable them to be successful when auditioning for local productions and NYC specialized arts high school auditions.
High school participants will also practice community service through our Literacy Initiative, where they will mentor our middle school participants (who come from The Children's Aid Society in Washington Heights) one-on-one, ensuring that they get their summer reading done. The Literacy Initiative will require the middle school students to read for 30 minutes on the train during their commute to Midtown, supplemented by an additional 90 minutes of reading at home. We tested them at the beginning of the program with our reading specialist and will test them on their way out to see that they progressed and did not regress. Unfortunately, many kids regress during the summer - especially those who are behind grade level - and the Literacy Initiative seeks to prevent that in BROADWAY FOR ALL students.
Our high school participants are responsible for holding the middle school students accountable for daily reading logs and summaries. They will stress to their middle school mentees the necessity of becoming a proficient reader because it will bring them success in school and as actors. While BROADWAY FOR ALL is a musical theatre program, we believe literacy is crucial. In the end, successful performers must be proficient readers and writers - and without those skills, no theatrical training will benefit the students in the long run.
WHY DO WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT?
Your support will keep the program going by helping us to meet our costs, which include: paying musicians for our final performance, performance royalties for our production, set/costume/light/props designers and materials, staff members, healthy snacks for program participants, videography, T-shirts, publicity, VIP reception, small stipends for Broadway guest artists, website maintenance, marketing/publicity costs, and donation processing fees.
Please note: BROADWAY FOR ALL is currently only happening this summer. However, some philanthropists are challenging us to raise our summer budget on our own through Kickstarter. They will be closely watching our achievements this summer with the hope of helping us to become a permanent organization. Therefore, raising more funds than our current summer goal will help our chances of becoming a permanent program for the years to come.
THE FOUNDER'S INSPIRATION FOR BROADWAY FOR ALL
Directly after middle school, I was fortunate to participate in a unique program in Chicago called Gallery 37, created by Chicago’s Former First Lady, Maggie Daley. Gallery 37 auditions over 2,000 teens and selects a few hundred talented teens (regardless of income or ethnic background) to work for the city. For three summers in a row, I developed my skills as an actor, playwright, and singer, where I subsequently learned how to fill out a tax form, ensure timeliness to work, and deal with an employer. The most crucial thing I attained, however, was the opportunity to forge healthy relationships with my colleagues from different backgrounds. I received the opportunity to attend Quinciñeras, Passover dinners, and Chinese New Year celebrations, among many other memorable events. My development in the arts and exposure to diverse cultures transformed me into an adventurous, ambitious child. As a result, college was never a question, but was instead a reality simply because I was immersed in positive environments that fostered that notion, regardless of the financial circumstances into which I was born.
This experience was so impressive that it shaped my educational philosophy many years later as I pursued my undergraduate degree in Theatre, English, and Secondary Education. Through my extensive experience with clinical studies and student teaching, I became increasingly privy to the harsh reality of Chicago being one of the most segregated cities in our country. That inspired me to create the Theatre For Diversity Project as my senior thesis. This project was successful in many aspects; affluent students from Chicago’s suburbs and students living in poverty in the inner-city sharpened their skills in a bevy of theatre master classes led by myself and my peers; where they later demonstrated their development in a showcase. Additionally, it was easy for such a diverse group of students to build a rapport with one another due to our work as a tightly knit ensemble. I found them to be candid about their personal experiences with one another over lunch breaks, and naturally, I noticed solid relationships in the making. Interestingly, my own peers were changed as a result; some of them had never been exposed to people from the backgrounds that the Theatre Diversity for Project represented.
Fast forward six years later, and I am now pursuing my dream of training at Harvard University to become a competitive actor. Through a generous Presidential Public Service Fellowship that I received from Harvard’s Office of the President, I have created BROADWAY FOR ALL and decided to team up with The Children’s Aid Society to afford teens from all ethnic and economic backgrounds an opportunity similar to the one that Former First Lady, Maggie Daley, afforded many of Chicago’s teens and young adults. It is my goal to build upon the success and experience of the Theatre For Diversity Project to create a program that will not only enrich the lives of the individual students, but also the communities to which they belong.
Public schools, non-profits, and government agencies are responsible for my success, so I firmly believe that it is not enough to assign the task of cultivating responsible and cultured citizens solely to families. I believe our country has to be committed to developing a child holistically, and I would love it if you would join our efforts to continue this work by making a donation of any size or type.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Website name credit. (Your name listed on our website as a donor who made this year possible.)Estimated delivery:
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Website and Documentary name credit. (Your name listed on our website and your name listed in the closing credits of our program's inaugural year documentary.) Plus, a letter of appreciation from one of our program's participants.Estimated delivery:
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All the above, plus a BROADWAY FOR ALL poster signed by the entire cast.Estimated delivery:
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All the above, plus a general admission ticket to our final musical revue performance on August 6, 2012 in Midtown, NYC. ***Please note: all donations made after August 6 will receive a DVD copy of the performance in lieu of the ticket.Estimated delivery:
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Website/Documentary name credit and a VIP ticket to our final musical revue performance on August 6, 2012 in Midtown, NYC. (VIP ticket includes a pre-show light reception with snacks.) ***Please note: all donations made after August 6 will receive a DVD copy of the performance in lieu of the ticket.Estimated delivery:
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Website/Documentary name credit, a VIP ticket to our final musical revue performance in Midtown, NYC, and a BROADWAY FOR ALL 2012 inaugural year T-Shirt. (VIP ticket includes a pre-show light reception with snacks.) ***Please note: all donations made after August 6 will receive a DVD copy of the performance in lieu of the ticket.Estimated delivery:
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Website/Documentary name credit and a poster of the the 2012 Tony Award-Winning musical that some of our Broadway guest artists are currently performing in: The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess (officially signed by the cast).Estimated delivery:
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Website/Documentary name credit, a poster of the the 2012 Tony Award-Winning musical that some of our guest Broadway guest artists are currently performing in: The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess (officially signed by the cast), and a VIP ticket to our performance.(VIP ticket includes a pre-show light reception with snacks.) ***Please note: all donations made after August 6 will receive a DVD copy of the performance in lieu of the ticket.Estimated delivery:
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All the above plus a BROADWAY FOR ALL T-shirt and a free musical theatre singing coaching (singing, building your musical repertoire) for 2 hrs in NYC with our Director of Music & Dance (and former Music Assistant on Broadway's GODSPELL), Brandon Magid.Estimated delivery:
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All the above (minus the musical theatre coaching) and personalized catering for a small soirée (up to six people) in your home in NYC or Boston. Osh Ghanimah is known for his Middle-Eastern delicacies. (Delivery date is negotiable).Estimated delivery:
- (19 days)