(SUMMIT, NJ) -- Vivid Stage, in residence at Oakes Center at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit, was the recipient of a $3,200 grant from The Provident Bank Foundation for their ongoing bilingual theatre program, a collaboration with Empowering Kids Organization, also in Summit.
These funds will be used specifically for a bilingual teaching artist who will work with 12-15 teens from the Empowering Kids Organization in the Fall of 2022, and the Winter and Spring of 2023. These classes will provide Improvisational stage engagement which will give these students the confidence to use their new English language skills, teach them about teamwork and allow them to use their imagination, on stage. Vivid’s goal is to use theatre arts to support their feeling of confidence in their classroom, their neighborhood and their community.
Empowering Kids Organization was founded in 2019 and has thus far engaged almost 200 students through 11 local programs like Vivid Stage. The founders of the group are all from Latin America and have strong ties and influence in the local Hispanic community. They understand the needs and challenges of those who speak another language and yet want so badly to fit in and be engaged members of a community. Through theater arts, and in particular, Improvisation, students learn to use their new language, their imaginations and their 'stories' to build confidence, work as a team, and grow stronger as a student, family member, community member.
This grant is a part of the Provident Bank Foundation’s Community Grant program, which provides support to eligible organizations with missions that are “Helping Communities to be Healthy, Happy and Safe.”
Vivid Stage’s bilingual improv and theatre classes are offered throughout the year at the Oakes Center in Summit.
Vivid Stage was founded in 1994 as Dreamcatcher Rep, and is a non-profit professional ensemble of actors who build community with the audience by sharing contemporary, life-affirming stories that challenge, energize and entertain. Their work has at its heart a belief in the essential goodness of people and the power of live performance to connect people through our shared humanity. They expose theatregoers to ideas and lives like and unlike their own with the intention of awakening their imaginations and creating empathy for others. They deepen the experience of all their patrons with personal contact through receptions, talkbacks, and interactive programs. The company’s activities include mainstage productions, improvisational comedy and cabarets, new play readings and a variety of educational and senior outreach programs.
Vivid Stage’s programs are funded by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and many other corporations, foundations and individuals. Vivid Stage is an Equity Producing member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.
Vivid Stage, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) corporation, incorporated under the laws of the State of New Jersey.
Photo by Paola Acosta