Fox Tucson Theatre Receives Grants for Education

This spring, the Fox Tucson Theatre  received several grants supporting new and exciting developments in the KITT (Kids in the Theatre) program. Close to $110,000 in support from Angel Charity for Children, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Stocker Foundation, The Hazen Family Foundation, and Downtown Tucson Partnership will enable the Fox to greatly expand existing youth programming, create new initiatives, and deepen impact now and into the future.

Fox Tucson’s nearly 100-year commitment to kids that started with the Mickey Mouse Club will continue. Fox Theatre is building a robust, inclusive, family-centered program that is responsive and relevant to community needs. It is thrilling to have local, regional, and national funders all recognizing the impact that the is having on Tucson’s youth and families! These funds will make the 2024-2025 Kids in the Theatre program the absolute best yet.

Under the leadership of Fox Outreach and Education Manager Jordan Wiley-Hill, school shows at the Fox reached an all-time peak this year.  Beginning in 2018, the Fox had one school matinee show that was attended by several hundred students.  In the 2023-2024 season the program grew to 8 performances and served over 8,000 students and educators. For the 2024-2025 season, 10 school-time performances are planned. In addition, so far in 2024 there have been 14 different opportunities for students and artists to connect via workshops and discussion groups.

 Most of this season’s KITT events included additional accessibility components, including ASL interpreters (plus Mexican sign language for the bilingual show!), audio description, and Spanish-to-English language translation. The majority of the students served are from Title I (underserved) schools.  Teachers frequently reported that for many of their students it was their first time experiencing live performing arts.

Here is a brief description of each of the amazing grants the Fox Tucson has received:

Angel Charity, $32,500
This grant will support the Angel Charity Performing Arts and Autism Program at the Fox, an initiative designed specifically for youth with autism. After a week of in-class workshops, the program culminates in two autism-friendly school matinee performances plus a public “Magic on the Stage” show by Dr. Kevin Spencer, a nationally recognized leader in performance and education for youth with autism.

National Endowment for the Arts, $20,000
This grant supports The Urban Moves project – a pairing of high-energy, youth focused, physically spectacular, BIPOC performances and educational residencies at the historic Fox Tucson for the 2024-2025 season. The shows are “Chloe Arnold’s Syncopated Ladies” in February of 2025, and the “360 All Stars” in November 2024. Syncopated Ladies’ self-described “black girl magic” approach to performance makes them more than a powerhouse tap squad with tight moves set to music of prominent black culture-makers like Prince and Beyonce. They are inspiring black-female leaders, entrepreneurs, and examples of living joyfully through solidarity and determination.  The 360 All Stars blend hip-hop performance elements with a street-inspired circus. World record-holding athletes and artists show off their mad skills in BMX, basketball, breakdancing, beatboxing, acrobatics, drumming, rap and more. It is a thrilling physical performance that explores all forms of rotation, showcasing the extraordinary artistry that emerges from street culture.

Stocker Foundation, $30,000
This grant sustains the Kids In The Theatre (KITT) STEAM and Page-to-Stage shows including “The Science of Pirates”, on Tuesday Nov. 19, 2024, and “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus- the Musical!”, on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2025. Specifically, this funding ensures that these shows are more accessible to students in Title I schools, and it supports a range of supplemental educational opportunities built around the shows in partnership with local education and youth development organizations.

Hazen Family Foundation, $25,000
The Hazen Family Foundation facilitates both school and family shows at the Fox to be more accessible to students in Title I schools and youth facing adversity in the community.  Events in 24-25 season include these school shows: “A Musical, Cinematic Journey through US and AZ History,” on Friday, October 18, 2024; “Around the Americas, with ¡Uno, Dos, Tres Andrés!” on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2024; “Stolen Moments: The First 100 Years of Jazz” on January 28, 2025; and “Syncopated Ladies, Live” on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2025.

Downtown Tucson Partnership, $1,350
DTP’s Social Justice Committee awarded this grant to develop free programs/events presented in Downtown Tucson that demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and reach out to underserved communities.  The grant supports the 2024 Monsoon Literacy Event, which will focus on the connection between literacy and accessibility/inclusivity.

“With support from these amazing foundations – and generous supporters like you – the Fox will continue to positively impact our communities as the premiere performing arts institution in our region,” stated Bonnie Schock, Executive Director of Fox Tucson Theatre.

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