The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, committed to arts education that celebrates Black achievements, history and culture, recently received a $100,000 grant from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation to support WBTT’s education programs for youth and adults.
The funds will support Jazzlinks, which brings history lessons to life for area high school students; Stage of Discovery, a free summer musical theater camp serving minority students; Rhythm & Tales, which offers important life lessons for elementary students through musical fables; the WBTT Voices free community forums; and staged play readings.
The grant effectively doubles WBTT’s budget for educational programs while covering guest artists’ fees for new afterschool programming. WBTT is also planning to expand its adult education to include dance, acting and playwriting lessons. Current and expanded education programs are being overseen and implemented by WBTT’s new Education Director/Artistic Associate Jim Weaver.
“We are so grateful to the Barancik Foundation for this investment, which will enable us to increase our reach, capacity and impact,” said Julie Leach, executive director of WBTT. “Not only does this grant affirm our place in and objectives with regard to the local arts education realm, it also ensures the continued growth and stability of our education programs so that we can better serve the community for years to come.”
Recent funding of $2.4 million from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation supports workforce pipelines, health equity efforts, and boosts work to promote diversity, equity and access through the arts.
“This funding will strengthen the organization’s educational outreach at a time when inclusive and integrated arts experiences are so critical,” Barancik president and CEO Teri A Hansen said. “We hope others join us in this support for a treasure of our community.”
Submitted by Sharon Kunkel
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: WBTT education program expand with $100,000 from Barancik Foundation