The A.C.T. Intern Podcast Is Back! Introducing The NIA Project

Friday, August 21, 2009

posted by Rose Hogan, A.C.T. Marketing Intern

This week’s episode discusses one of the ways in which A.C.T. is involved in the community—through a student-run organization called The NIA Project.

Theater in its essence gives back to the community. The entire purpose of performing is to mirror society and inspire it. In addition, many theaters offer a wide variety of programs to better engage and help the community. A.C.T. offers several programs to encourage people that might otherwise not be able to attend the theater to see mainstage productions. One of the ways that A.C.T. is most out there and engaged in the community is through the conservatory. The A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program has several built-in ways in which the students actively involve the community in their process and use inspiration from the community in their own original works. Plus, in the second year, with the Will on Wheels program, students tour a Shakespeare play to schools around the Bay Area, teaching younger students classics in fun and accessible ways. And with the support of a recent grant from The James Irvine Foundation, the students will have many more opportunities to reach out to the Bay Area community in the future.

One of the most exciting programs at A.C.T., however, was started by students who felt that there was something missing at A.C.T. and took the initiative to make the change they wanted to see on their own. The NIA Project offers arts education to a variety of Bay Area children who have lost such programs in their schools. Arts education is hugely important for children’s development, and the mentors of the NIA project are fighting to keep it alive. Recently, I sat down with two mentors of The NIA Project to find out why and how they started the program and what they do.


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