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Theatre In Our Schools Month Kicks Off with New National Partnership Announcement and Thespian Spirit Week

As part of Theatre In Our Schools (TIOS) month, the Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF), the philanthropic arm of EdTA, announced a new partnership with the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) to bring the educational benefits of theatre to Detroit middle schools through the JumpStart Theatre program.

“The power of theatre to shape children’s lives is why we are making this landmark announcement about Detroit in coordination with the national kick-off of TIOS month, as part of raising awareness about the impact of theatre education and drawing attention to the need for more access to theatre programs for all students,” said ETF President and EdTA Executive Director, Julie Cohen Theobald.

Throughout March, thousands of students, educators, and theatre advocates will be calling attention to the impact of theatre education—online, in their schools and communities, and with their elected officials. From March 1-7, the International Thespian Officers are leading a Thespian Spirit Week challenge on Instagram.

Funded entirely by gifts and grants, the JumpStart Theatre program expansion to Detroit is made possible by a gift from Jeffrey Seller, an SMTD alum best known as the producer of Hamilton, which won 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

“I know the power of theatre, and I love Detroit,” said Seller. “Theatre is a tool for problem-solving, working together, and finding success. Getting kids involved in theatre will help create our next generation of citizens, no matter whether they become artists, doctors, lawyers, educators, accountants, or whatever else.”

Visit the EdTA TIOS page to learn ways you can spread the message in your community, pledge your participation, and prepare to qualify for a TIOS Outstanding Impact Award. TIOS is led nationally by EdTA, ITS, ETF, and the American Alliance for Theatre and Education.


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