Laguna Playhouse was awarded a 2019 Festival of Arts Foundation grant of $5,000 to support its year-round, award-winning youth education programs, a statement from the Playhouse said. Programs include youth theatre, conservatory and workshops.
“The youth education programs at Laguna Playhouse are perfectly aligned with the mission of the FOA Foundation. Making the arts accessible to the youth of our community is our primary goal and the youth theatre, conservatory and workshops help fill that purpose” said Scott Moore, board member of the FOA Foundation.
Ann E. Wareham, Laguna Playhouse artistic director, noted that the Foundation is an important partner in support of their youth education programs.
“We are convinced that participation in the arts is necessary and highly beneficial for all youth,” Wareham said. “Playhouse youth programs provide the joy of live theatre based on classic children’s literature and innovative, high-quality arts education for youth. Grant support also enables low-income children to participate. It is often their first exposure to live theatre.”
Support of these types of programs allows the Playhouse to provide innovative and high-quality arts education to thousands of children throughout the year, added Donna Inglima, former Playhouse director of youth programming.
“Arts education improves critical thinking and spatial reasoning skills, while encouraging creativity and stimulating imagination. Theatre training encourages discovery and innovation, offering children a more complete picture of their own identities and an expanded view of the world around them,” Inglima said.
The youth theatre has been recognized as an “Outstanding Children’s Theatre” by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, and Inglima was named Arts Educator of the Year in 2009 by Arts OC. The THEATEREACH program, which brings books to life on- stage for elementary school children, was awarded the “Outstanding Arts Entity Award” by Arts Orange County.