Less than fifty percentage of Arizona public schools provide integrated arts education in the curriculum and budget constraints is identified as the barrier for participation. Act One Foundation was created to address this need. Its mission is based on the belief that for today's students to be the innovators and economic leaders of the future, they need to experience and benefit from the music, dance, art, poetry and drama in their community. Early arts participation contributes to student creativity, self-motivation, social connectivity and civic engagement.
In our first year, Act One has served more than 6,000 students from Title 1 schools throughout the valley. In April, more than 750 high schoolers attended a performance of The Great Gatsby at the Herberger Theatre Center. For many, this was their first experience seeing a live production; the performance was impactful because they were also studying the book in school. To further build on the educational experience, Act One gave each student a copy of the book, "The Great Gatsby" as they exited the theater. This gift was made possible through the strong relationship with our partner Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe. One student said, "Receiving our own copy of the book allowed us to expand our knowledge of the world and enabled us to be more culturally aware."