In three months' time, Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation's Destin Community Outreach has already exposed 5,700 children in Okaloosa and Walton counties to a new theater experience.
The original touring productions, “The Snow Queen” and “The Reluctant Dragon,” by The Atlantic Coast Theatre (A.C.T.) for Youth, were experienced by 20 school groups and Boys and Girls Clubs.
Through the generosity of the Dugas Family Foundation, as well as Keith and Laura Howard, the two-week artist residency program has enabled MKAF to offer arts-based learning to at-risk youth, Title 1 schools and students in underserved or rural areas.
"We were delighted to be able to inspire and educate so many local youth through live theater," said Melanie Moore, education director for MKAF. "We further appreciate how each A.C.T. production is accompanied by a study guide exploring state and national learning standards, underscoring our commitment to being a proactive education partner to our local school districts."
This residency, as part of MKAF's Community Outreach Arts Empower initiative, has already exceeded the total number of all other programming from 2018 in the first quarter of 2019, making it one of the most successful programs in the history of the organization.
The program is a welcome addition to students' education.
"On behalf of the faculty and students at West DeFuniak Elementary, I would like to thank the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation for providing our children with the performance by the Atlantic Coast Theatre," said Darlene Paul, principal of West DeFuniak Elementary. "This is such an enriching experience for our student population. Your efforts are truly appreciated."
For more information on MKAF Community Outreach programs or to join MKAF to receive added valued benefits, including preferred member pricing at special events, or to inquire about getting involved by volunteering or joining the Board of Directors, visit www.mattiekellyartsfoundation.org, call 650-2226 or follow them on Facebook.