News from Act One


Seniors At Sunnyslope High School See Shakespeare's The Tempest

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Sunnyslope's Language Arts Teacher wrote the following letter to Act One about the impact of the senior class field trip in March of 2018: "I just wanted to take a minute to extend my heartfelt gratitude to you and Act One for sponsoring our field trip to see The Tempestat the Chandler Center for the Performing Arts.

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Heard Museum Field Trip Thrilling for Young Students

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On an early April morning, more than 60 wide-eyed and enthusiastic kindergarten, first and second graders got off the school bus to take in their first moments at the Heard Museum. In spite of clearly having rehearsed how to stand in lines, use "inside voices" and behave appropriately at a museum, the excited wiggling, dancing and awe-struck gasps of the children told all: they knew this was about to be an experience unlike any they ever had.

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Act One Field Trip Introduces Students to the Art of Film


It’s the weekend. Many of us are thinking about what movie we’ll see. The blockbuster "Black Panther" or the Oscar winner for Best Picture, "The Shape of Water?" Watching movies is a normal pastime in American life, unless your family lives in poverty. It’s surprising to learn that children in nearby poorer communities have NEVER seen a movie in a theater. 

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Act One Honored at Phoenix Public Library's Dinner in the Stacks


On the pleasant night under the stars at Margaret T. Hance Park, supporters of the Phoenix Public Library enjoyed the 32nd annual fundraiser Dinner in the Stacks. The Dinner last November honored Act One for its collaboration with the public library system to offer the Culture Pass. Head Librarian Rita Hamilton (photo, on left) shared how the Culture Pass makes the arts more accessible by providing more than 500,000 free tickets to the arts to library card holders on an annual basis. Through Act One's efforts, program participation now includes 55 arts organizations and cultural attractions and 60 libraries throughout Maricopa, Pima and Yavapai counties. Executive Director Geri Wright (photo, on right) accepted the award and praised the enthusiasm of librarians who administer the Act One Culture Pass, providing free public access to the arts.

Schools Have buses ... so why can't they use them?

We're often asked why it's so important that Act One pay for busing to arts field trips and why school districts that have buses can't just, well, use them for field trips. For school districts, the cost of operating their buses for what's required -- getting students to and from school every day -- already is greater than the state funding they receive, requiring them to cover those costs from their "general budgets, which primarily cover teacher salaries and classroom support," according to Arizona Ed News. For many schools, there aren't funds left over to cover field trips, so, without Act One, they just don't go.

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Act One's Second Party with Purpose a Great Success

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Nearly 150 guests came together for Act One's A Party with Purpose to raise awareness and support for educational arts field trips for students from Title 1 schools. Stephen J. Tepper, Dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, spoke passionately about the importance of the arts and creativity for students and moderated a Q&A with Laurel Farmer, District Academic Coach for The Arts at the Alhambra Elementary School District, and Valerie Bontrager, Director of Education & Community Engagement at The Phoenix Symphony. Laurel and Valerie talked about their experiences working with students and the impact arts field trips have on students. 

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Act One launches Tucson ON Stage Cover Art Contest

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How do you create artwork that captures the magic of the theater, the wonder of a symphony or the gravity-defying movement of a ballet? Act One and ON Media are searching for the next artwork that will grace the cover of Tucson ON Stage, an annual magazine that provides a preview of Tucson's arts offerings for the 2018-19 season.

Learn More and Register to Enter

Arizona Daily Star: New collaboration makes arts field trips possible for more Tucson kids

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"Thanks to a new partnership, more than 7,000 Tucson students can go on an arts field trip this school year. 

"Mayor Jonathan Rothschild announced in a Wednesday morning press conference the addition of Act One to his Great Start program. Act One is an Arizona-based nonprofit organization that provides field trips to arts and cultural events for K-12 schools serving low-income children."

Check out this article in the Jan. 24, 2018, issue of the Arizona Daily Star about Tucson Mayor Rothschild's Great Start Program merging with Act One. 

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KVOA: Tucson K-12 students experience the arts

"Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild has announced his program Great Start’s partnership with Act One.

"Together, they will provide field trips to art and cultural events, for K-12 students."

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Tucson Mayor Johnathan Rothschild's Great Start Program Combines with act one field trip program


Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Act One, several arts organizations and three school superintendents came together on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, at the Tucson Museum of Art to announce the combining of the Mayor’s Great Start program with Act One, an organization that provides field trips to art and cultural events for K-12 students in Title 1 schools.

In January of last year, Mayor Rothschild launched his Great Start program, which ultimately provided more than 2,100 passes to art and cultural institutions for distribution by Tucson area school districts.

This year, the mayor is joining forces with Act One, which provides schools with free transportation as well as free admission. Act One has capacity to bring more than 7,700 students on educational arts field trips during the 2017-18 school year, ranging from theater, music and dance performances to museum and botanical garden tours.

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Lifetime Board Member Al Priem Reflects On The Growth Of Act One

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A passionate Act One ambassador, Al was a member of the Board of Directors since the beginning (2011), served as Treasurer (2011-2015) and Chair (2015-2016) and was honored as the first Lifetime Board Member of Act One (2017). In an October interview, Al shared his reflections on the record demand for field trips, the growth of the organization and the inspiration behind his leadership.

What do you find most meaningful about your involvement with Act One?
“I find it immensely rewarding to see the look on the faces of the children at the arts venues. Their eyes are as big as silver dollars! To think that for many, it’s their first time experiencing the arts. Seeing the reaction of the children is priceless.” 

Read More of Al's Interview

Arizona PBS "Horizonte" features Act One

Jose Cardenas, host of Arizona PBS' "Horizonte," interviewed Act One Executive Director Geri Wright and Alexis Wilson, assistant superintendent of Balsz School District, about the importance of the arts in education during National Arts in Education Week.

Watch the Interview

Act One celebrates national arts in education week

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Act One, an Arizona nonprofit organization that provides access to the arts for more than 500,000 Arizonans annually, is celebrating National Arts in Education Week to bring awareness to the importance the arts play in student success.

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Bringing Field Trips Back To Public Schools

“The field trip, once woven into the American school experience, is in decline,” reported Jay Mathews, education columnist and blogger for The Washington Post. “The practice might diminish even further if we don’t do something about it,” he warned.

Like schools nationwide, many Arizona schools, especially those with federal Title 1 status, do not have the resources for field trips. At Act One, we are doing something about it.

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Mega 104.3 Interviews Act One for Community Circle Program

Mega 104.3 shared an interview about the Act One field trip and Culture Pass programs. Hear the interview with Juliet Martin, Act One director of community relations.

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KGUN features Culture Passes on Saving with $AM

Libraries are a great place to explore all kinds of things! We're so proud to partner with 57 Arizona libraries for the Culture Pass program, offering free admission to many of our state's amazing arts opportunities. Check out this segment on KGUN featuring the Pima County Public Library and the Culture Pass program.

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Act One Founder Mac Perlich Interviews Steven J. Tepper, Dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at ASU

Steven J. Tepper, Dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at ASU, spoke at a recent event to raise awareness about and support for Act One in the community. Watch a video of Mac Perlich interviewing Dean Tepper about the importance of the arts for students. 

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2 Avondale Libraries Join Act One Culture Pass Program




Act One has added two additional libraries to the Culture Pass program, bringing the total number of libraries in the Metropolitan Phoenix area to 48. Avondale Public Library's two library branches are the newest locations where the community can access Act One Culture Passes for free admission to 16 arts destinations and dozens of performances throughout the year. 

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Heard Museum Field Trips Now Available through Act One

Title 1 schools interested in going on field trips to the Heard Museum can now book three different tours through Act One. Act One covers the cost of tour fees to the Heard Museum as well as buses for the schools; participating schools are responsible for just $1 per participant. Tours include HOME: Native People in the Southwest, Remembering Our Indian School Days, The Boarding School Experience and Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera

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"It wasn’t that long ago when field trips to the performing arts and museums were a regular part of the school year. If you ask an adult to recall a field trip, they often remember the impact of that experience even years or decades later. But today, as budgets have become tighter and priorities have shifted, Arizona schools increasingly are crossing educational arts field trips off their “to do” list due to the cost of admission and the expense of busing students to the venue. This is especially true in Title 1 schools that serve a large percentage of low-income families."

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Support Act One When you Shop at Fry's Food Stores

It’s easy to help Act One when you grocery shop at any Fry’s Food Store! Just connect your Fry’s VIP card to Act One, and every time you shop your purchase total will increase the percentage of the donation that Act One receives from the Fry’s Community Rewards fund each quarter. It doesn’t cost anything to enroll and benefit Act One!

Click Here For Instructions

ASU State Press Story Highlights Culture Passes for College Students



"An age old question that plagues many college students when boredom hits is: 'What do you want to do?' With so many options surrounding ASU, the answer should be easy, but many have one devastating downfall — a dollar sign. Luckily, there is an answer to this recurring question at Hayden library, Polytechnic campus library, Fletcher library and the Downtown Phoenix campus library: culture passes. These free passes to adventure act as tickets to different facilities around Arizona, and many are just a light rail trip away. ..."

Nicole Dusanek, a reporter for the ASU State Press, shares about how  the program works in the April 1, 2016, edition.

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Tolleson Library Joins Act One Culture Pass Program


The Tolleson Public Library is the latest Maricopa County library to add the Act One Culture Pass as an option for its library cardholders. The Tolleson Public Library joins 44 other Maricopa County libraries to offer the program. Eight libraries in Pima County and the Sedona Public Library also offer the Act One Culture Pass in their libraries. In total, 42 arts partners participate in the Culture Pass program statewide.

According to Kim Eckhoff, Tolleson Public Library Manager, the library has been wanting to offer the Culture Pass for several years. “The Culture Pass offers tremendous opportunities for our residents to discover the arts around the Valley and share arts experiences with their families, children and grandchildren,” Eckhoff said. “We’re excited to be able to provide these kinds of opportunities to library visitors.”

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Act One Participates in Arizona Gives Day

Arizona Gives Day is April 5! We hope you will consider a gift of any amount to help Act One level the playing field for Arizona students and families in low-income communities. Through Act One field trips and the Act One Culture Pass, we open up a world of educational arts experiences to everyone in our community.

Join fellow Arizonans in supporting nonprofits through Arizona Gives Day, a 24-hour online opportunity to donate to causes they believe in. You can donate prior to April 5 and your donation won't be processed until Arizona Gives Day so that it counts toward our totals for Arizona Gives Day. Will you help Act One take advantage of this amazing opportunity?

Thank you to everyone who donated for the 2016 Arizona Gives Day!

Act One featured in east valley tribune

"Do you remember when you were first inspired? Maybe it was when you watched a dance performance or an opera; perhaps it was at a play or an incredible concert or you saw a painting that left you awestruck. The arts have their own language. They speak to people individually. When that vocabulary is introduced to children at a young age, they can gain a life-long appreciation for the arts."  

These words open a great article that came out Dec. 31, 2015, in the East Valley Tribune by reporter Alyssa Tufts, who talked with teachers, arts organizations and one of our founders about Act One field trips. Hear directly from those who are closest to the students about the impact that Act One field trips have on students.    

Read the Full Article

Act One Field Trip to Phoenix Ballet featured on CBS 5 News

CBS 5 News Reporter Morgan Lowe recently visited the Orpheum Theatre to see Phoenix Ballet's Act One matinee performance of "The Nutcracker" on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, along with more than 1,000 students from Title 1 schools. Act One provided admission for the students as well as the cost of transportation for 1st to 6th graders from seven different schools. Act One still has spring field trips available for Title 1 schools ... Click Here for more information!

See the Video and Read the Story

Act One founder Russ Perlich was honored on Thursday, November 5 with the prestigious Piper Trust Encore Career Prize for an Exceptional Individual at an elegant public celebration event and reception at Tempe Center for the Arts. This is only the second time that Piper Trust awarded its Encore Career Prize to an individual. 

The prize recognizes Perlich for applying his decades of business experience to addressing a social need in our community—his vision being to provide high-quality arts field trips for students from Title 1 schools, a vision that was the inspiration for the founding of Act One by Russ and his wife Mac.

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It was a bright, sunny morning in early October when school children from opposite ends of the Valley came together to experience the magic of the theater as East Valley Children’s Theater presented “The Princess and the Pea” at Mesa Arts Center. More than 210 students and their chaperones from Avalon Elementary in Apache Junction, Tartesso Elementary in Buckeye and Hawthorne Elementary in Mesa streamed off their buses and excitedly filed into the theater, full of wonder and anticipation for what they were about to experience. 

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Scottsdale Neiman Marcus Love to Give Collection to Benefit Act One


Your holiday shopping can be a snap with the Neiman Marcus Love to Give Collection, and your purchases of any of the 60 items in the collection will benefit Act One! When you visit the Neiman Marcus store in Scottsdale (6900 E. Camelback Road), make sure you stop by the Love to Give Collection on the 1st floor. A total of 10 percent of all purchases from the Love to Give Collection will be donated to Act One. 

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The Act One board of directors in September approved four new board members, bringing the total number of board members for the nonprofit organization to 11. New board members include Todd Bresnahan, Mary Heiss, Karen Mildenhall and Joette Schmidt. The new board members join seven current members including Board Chair Al Priem, CFO of Clim-a-tech; Board Vice Chair Lois Savage, president of the Lodestar Foundation; Board Secretary Judy McDermott, executive director of Tucson Conquistadors Inc.; Leezie Kim, VP/General Counsel of Fox Restaurant Concepts; Act One co-founder Mac Perlich, president of ON Media; Act One co-founder Russ Perlich, partner at PWP Capital; and Dan Schay, executive director of Theater Works.

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Act One Culture Pass Launches in Pima County



Nine Pima County arts and cultural venues and the Pima County Public Library are kicking off the Act One Culture Pass in Pima County, providing library cardholders the opportunity to “check out” free passes to arts and culture attractions and performances in Tucson. Additionally, library cardholders can check out passes to several statewide venues. In its first year in Pima County, there will be more than 32,000 free passes available for library cardholders to check out. The metropolitan Tucson program is generously supported by Cox Communications.

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A Museum with Heart: Halle Heart Children's Museum



Don’t be alarmed if you hear an unusually loud heartbeat when you walk through the door of the Halle Heart Children’s Museum. Chances are it belongs to a giraffe. After more than a decade operating as a staple field trip destination for elementary students in the Phoenix area, the Halle Heart Children’s Museum opened to the public in February 2015. It is also one of many museums that can be visited with the Act One Culture Pass.

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