Pushcart Players

Address

261 Bloomfield Ave, Suite A
Verona, NJ 07044
County: Essex
http://www.pushcartplayers.org

Contact

Ms. Ruth Fost

Grant Amount

$25,000

Program Area

Arts

Focus

Grant Details

To support theater programming for children that fosters understanding, discovery, learning, participation, support, and love of the arts.

Organization Background

The mission of Pushcart Players is to provide an introduction to the arts through professional (Actors' Equity Association) theater, workshops and residencies for K - 12 students that foster in-depth understanding, discovery, participation and life long love of the arts.

Pushcart Players was founded in 1974 as a professional ensemble of artists and educators whose primary goal was to increase the aesthetic world of children by introducing Theater and Arts programming that contribute to positive values, social competencies, positive identity, commitment to and love of learning. Traveling to schools throughout NJ was and continues to be a high priority so that all children in a given community have the advantage of arts programming prepared, conducted and presented by outstanding professionals in the field. Because theater is a synthesis of all the arts and provides an excellent vehicle for the introduction of music, dance, poetry, prose and other artistic expression, it is Pushcart Players' main focus and the centerpiece of many innovative residencies and workshops offered in Pushcart's Theater Arts programming.

Pushcart Players has been a pioneer in the development of Theater Arts programming in NJ over the past 42 years, providing strong leadership in creating the concept and language that drives literacy in the arts as well as arts across the curriculum. Pushcart has been a role model for artistic excellence and has mentored many of the fine NJ companies that currently serve young audiences with theater programs. Pushcart has also been a role model in advocacy for the arts and arts education in NJ through active participationin the New Jersey Theatre Alliance(NJTA). Pushcart has helped shape this outstanding organization from its early beginnings, having joined in a leadership role in 1980.

Rooted in the belief that the arts are an inseparable part of the human journey and an essential component of the educational process, Pushcart Players continues to develop new material and remains on the cutting edge of intriguing, enriching and enlightening young audiences with meaningful theater arts experiences. Over the years, Pushcart has created 30 wildly, wonderful original musical plays and myriad classes and theater projects for students. The original plays, crafted and presented by professionals in the field, tailored workshops, presented by seasoned teaching artists, and student productions ("Kids Do Broadway") introduce the joy of the live theater experience while underscoring many rich curriculum connections such as history, diversity, positive values, responsible behavior, social competencies and other value clarification issues.

Pushcart Players is driven by the philosophy so well articulated by Randy Cohen, Ethics Writer for the New York Times: "The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us, fostering creativity, goodness and beauty. They help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion or age."

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