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Welcome to the EdTA Advocacy Update August 16, 2017   The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education.   EdTA NEWS EdTA National Conference Grant Recipients 2017 The Educational Theatre Association has awarded four members with the EdTA National Conference Grant for Theatre Educators in support of their professional development.   NATIONAL NEWS Federal Communication Commission to consider revised wireless microphone licensing rules   On July 13, the Federal Communications Commission took action to revise and clarify its rules to promote more ...
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One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview.   Our latest Spotlight Member is CJ Breland, theatre teacher and troupe director at Asheville High School in Asheville, North Carolina. As a past chapter director, CJ has a world of experience helping schools and teachers in her home state, so contributing to the beta test and launch of the Community was a natural fit. Since then, she’s ...
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We call our show telegrams “Drama Grams.”  This is probably not a new idea for most of you, but in what ways can you get more from your show telegrams?  Let's start with the basic idea. For $1, parents and fans can send a message backstage to any company member.  We provide a short template that they simply fill out that features our program and show logo.  The template is basic: to, from, and message space.  (Encourage them to include the last name of students in the “to” field in case two students share the same first name). We then use younger siblings of company members to send the messages backstage. We have a large company (140 students in our musical) ...
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Theatre is a collaborative art, and that collaboration is strongest when it extends to the parents and guardians of your program.   Your first line of volunteers is always your current parents and guardians. Our focus as educators needs to stay on our students and at some point, we have to create a decent work/life balance, but so many times we get bogged down with the business management of our program. Let's face it, who is more likely to drop a ball: the juggler with 10 balls or the juggler with 1?  You are the juggler with 10 balls, but your parents can be the juggler with 1.  It’s time to share your juggling balls with your parents and you’ll be surprised ...
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August 4, 2017 The Educational Theatre Association has awarded four members with the EdTA National Conference Grant for Theatre Educators in support of professional development. This grant was developed to: assist EdTA members in reaching a higher level of professional achievement by participating in EdTA’s National Conference; assist EdTA members with the cost of professional development and create access to valuable continuing education and networking opportunities; and enhance the knowledge and skills of experienced theatre educators so that they can better contribute to their school, students, and the profession. The following members were awarded the ...
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I built the Theatre program at my Middle School essentially ”from the ground up.” There was no legacy, and not even any real appreciation for Theatre. I had a pool of children with ability, but no skill; I had to teach them everything I expected them to know. At the time, my experience was as a performer and playwright. I had to learn many of the technical aspects of Theatre production while on the job. The Theatre Department has since grown, and has a pretty decent standing in the small community, but it's greatest impact is on the students who participate in the program. The Performing Arts Room, and the auditorium have become a home base for the students who ...
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Welcome to the EdTA Advocacy Update August 1, 2017   The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education.   EdTA NEWS The Educational Theatre Association Holds its Inaugural Theatre Education Advocacy Day The Educational Theatre Association convened its first Theatre Education Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., on July 21, as part of the organization’s annual Leadership Summit that gathers state chapter directors and board members. Ninety attendees from 30 states participated in a day of advocacy training that included sessions presented by co-sponsor  Americans ...
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Ripples of Advocacy

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I just wanted to share something kind of cool that was a coda of sorts to our advocacy day. One of out ITO is from Georgia- Caroline. She had a 3 pm appointment and I was her buddy for it. We had 2 hours of downtime between our senate meeting and her rep so we spent some quality time walking around DC and fangirling outside of offices. As we were walking Caroline was telling me she is a part of the Collision Project at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. I was immediately excited because I interned with Collision before I started teaching. Collision project is a 3-week intensive where high school students “collide” with a text and write and respond to it and then ...
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Youth Stage Project

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Hello, I am currently looking for middle and high school theatre programs to tell me about their upcoming 2017-2018 season performances.   I am building a new community service project called Youth Stage - a free platform that helps to promote youth theatre and music performances, located at  YouthStage.org .  I want to provide a free way for middle schools, high schools, and other youth arts organizations to get the word out about their events, and to provide an easy way for local residents to find those events and experience the amazing youth talent that exists right in our own back yards.  Visitors to  YouthStage.org  simply type in their zip code ...
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In the first chapter of this two-part blog, I talked about the difference between public awareness campaigns that help people better understand the value of theatre education, such as the Theatre in Our Schools program , and direct advocacy that focuses on a specific ask for support from legislators and policy makers, which is what EdTA’s recent Theatre Education Advocacy Day was all about. I did enough talking in part 1, so I thought you might want to hear, in words and pictures, what the Advocacy Day was like for some of those who made the journey to Capitol Hill offices on July 21, 2017.    To begin: Richard Hogle and former student Megan ...
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July 27, 2017 The Educational Theatre Association convened its first Theatre Education Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., on July 21, as part of the organization’s annual Leadership Summit that gathers state chapter directors and board members. Ninety attendees from 30 states participated in a day of advocacy training that included sessions presented by co-sponsor Americans for the Arts , before heading to Capitol Hill to visit more than 100 offices of senators and representatives. The event also included two receptions, the first a luncheon at which the first annual EdTA Legislator Leadership Award for Arts Education was presented to Republican Congressman ...
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On July 21, EdTA did something new: we held our first ever Theatre Education Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C ., It was an amazing event, driven by the commitment and passion of the state organization leaders who participated. For those of you who were not there, don’t worry—we’ll do this again. Stay tuned. I want to share some of the highlights of our Capitol Hill journey, best told by members themselves and I will in the second part of this two-chapter blog.  But the event, my own work as EdTA policy director, and our other efforts regarding improving access to theatre education got me to thinking about why we do this and how. So, your indulgence for this ...
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Hi Everybody!

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Hello, everyone! My name is Shea Haney and I wanted to introduce myself as the Advocacy Assistant here at EdTA. You may or may not remember me as the person who sent out the (probably annoying) reminder emails for Thespian Festival. Now, I’ll just keep you posted with the biweekly advocacy update. I want to hear about theatre in your home town! Please, send any publications about arts education and advocacy at your local or state level to shaney@schooltheatre.org so that I can include them in the Advocacy Update for other arts lovers to enjoy! Or, tweet your links to @edtaadvocacy
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One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview. Our latest Spotlight Member is Ken Buswell, drama teacher and troupe director at McIntosh High School in Peachtree City, Georgia, home to Thespian Troupe 3666. If you’ve been involved in the Community for any length of time, chances are that Ken has helped you find an answer or solve a problem. Ken has been participating in the Community ...
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I had the pleasure in attending, what sure is to be an annual event, the EdTA's National Arts Advocacy Day! After attending Arts Advocacy Day in March this was another great way to let my representatives know how important Theatre Education is in our schools!  It was exciting to go back to the Capitol and experience this event with one of my incoming Chapter Directors. We had two appointments with NY representatives, two of which had thespians troupes in their districts and representatives who supported the arts! For the representatives we were unable to get in touch with, we still went to their office to drop off a folder of information on the important ...
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Welcome to the EdTA Advocacy Update July 20, 2017 The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education   EdTA NEWS The Educational Theatre Association Launches Legislator Advocacy Award : The Educational Theatre Association will award the first EdTA Legislator Leadership Award for Arts Education to Congressman Leonard Lance, who represents New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District.   NATIONAL NEWS AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS STATEMENT ON ACTION BY THE U.S. HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE INTERIOR : T he U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, ...
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July 19, 2017 The Educational Theatre Association ( EdTA ) has honored two members with the annual Volunteer of the Year Award: Hunter Bell, Tony-nominated writer, New York; and Krista Carson Elhai, International Thespian Society Troupe 2129 director and theatre teacher, Claremont, California. Bell and Elhai also both serve on the EdTA Board of Directors. Bell was recognized for his leadership in planning the Broadway Back to School fundraiser in New York, and Carson Elhai was recognized for her leadership in planning the Thespians Go Hollywood fundraiser in Los Angeles. Both volunteers connected with Broadway and Hollywood stars, recruited them ...
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Auditions are tricky.  The dread you feel at the inevitable heartbreak is balanced with the joy of seeing all the possibilities for your show and students.  With over 80 students auditioning for our shows, we’ve learned a lot of lessons and streamlined our approach. Our goal is for students to have fun with auditions while still showcasing their abilities. At our annual end-of-the-year banquet, we announce the shows of the upcoming season.  The next day, we make scripts available to our company members for each show.  Our students eagerly devour the material, often reading a script that very same weekend. For most students, they will read the scripts over ...
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One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview.   Our latest Spotlight Member is Myndee Washington, the Director of Theatre at Millennium Academy in New Port Richey, Florida. Millennium Academy is home to Junior Thespian Troupe 88621 and Thespian Troupe 6630, Myndee leads both. Myndee has experience acting, directing and designing costumes, the latter earning her the 2014 title of ...
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June 24, 2017 The Educational Theatre Association will award the first EdTA Legislator Leadership Award for Arts Education to Congressman Leonard Lance, who represents New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District. Congressman Lance, a Republican, will accept the award at the opening luncheon of EdTA’s Summit Advocacy Program in Alexandria, Virginia, on July 20. The new EdTA award, to be given annually, was created to demonstrate and support the association’s ongoing and growing national and state advocacy efforts on behalf of theatre and other arts education. Legislators will be considered based on specific actions and outcomes that have demonstrated ...
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