The American Theatre Wing has announced the recipients of the 2017 Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative Classroom Resource Grants. Grant requests of up to $100,000 were considered for K-12 public schools, with nearly 200 applications received from across 40 states. Requests totaled nearly $4.2 million.
Thanks to the Edwin Barbey Charitable Trust, an additional $100,000 were awarded this year, for a total of $240,000 in grants, doubling the number of schools served to 14. This year’s recipients are: Arlington Middle School (Lawrence, MA), Bryan Community Focus Program (Lincoln, NE), Charlestown High School (Boston, MA), Cordova High School (Rancho Cordova, CA), Cypress Creek High School(Orlando, FL), Eagle Rock Elementary School (Los Angeles, CA), North Graham Elementary School (Graham, NC), Oakland Technical High School (Oakland, CA), Mickey Mantle School PS 811 @ 149 (New York, NY), Ron Brown Academy Middle School 57 (Brooklyn, NY), Snipes Academy of Arts and Design(Wilmington, NC), South Plantation High School (Plantation, FL), Southaven High School (Southaven, MS), and Western Middle School for the Arts(Louisville, KY)
“Arts education, and making theater available to all young persons, is vital to the growth of our culture and society. The grant proposals received this year have shown the widespread need for arts funding in primary and secondary schools across America. I am proud that we are now entering the second year of this program, and am excited for the years to come,” said Andrew Lloyd Webber.
“Since we launched Andrew’s amazing Initiative last year, we have expanded our program to cover even more schools across every corner of this country. With almost a quarter million dollars available for this year’s Classroom Resource Grants, we have been able to double the number of recipient schools. I am beyond thrilled for the additional local programs we can help bolster, along with the countless students who will reap the benefits,” said Heather Hitchens, President and CEO of the American Theatre Wing.
With the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation’s help, the American Theatre Wing is investing in Public Schools to help drama teachers get more of the resources they need to provide quality drama instruction in their schools. Through this Classroom Resource grant-giving program, funding is provided directly to under-resourced public schools to provide instruments, dance floors, lighting grids, and other necessary materials to help create new and enhance existing theater programs.
These grants are part of the American Theatre Wing’s Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative, a major new national program which received $1.3 million in seed funding from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation to promote diversity, equity, and access to the arts. This project is an expansion of the work that the multi-Tony Award-winning composer and producer has been doing to promote and fund arts education through his Foundation in the United Kingdom. The Initiative’s focus is to bridge the gap between talent and opportunity, creating a stronger pipeline to the professional theater for promising artists of all backgrounds—fostering a future generation of theater makers and patrons that reflects the diversity and dynamism of America as a whole.
The three components of the initiative are annual Classroom Resource Grants, Training Scholarships for middle and high school students covering the costs to attend summer study and after-school training programs, and University Scholarships providing financial support of $40,000 over 4 years for students to pursue theater studies at the University level.