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Denver Center for the Performing Arts Receives $25,000 “Innovate for Good” Award from Rose Community Foundation
Friday, July 17, 2015
At its 20th anniversary celebration held on June 18, the Rose Community Foundation recognized nine Denver area non-profits with its “Innovate for Good” awards. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) was awarded $25,000 to help fund its new “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot” program.

Supported by an initial grant from Anadarko Petroleum, Shakespeare in the Parking Lot is a “food truck for the arts” concept designed to help provide affordable, high quality theatrical performances to high school students in school parking lots followed by actor-led workshops to support classroom teaching and learning.

The initial test run of the project visited Weld Central High School in Weld County. Six actors performed an abridged version of “Romeo and Juliet” to four groups of students over the course of one day. They then returned the following day to engage students in debate and dialogue. The actors took topics from the play and made them relevant to issues today; for instance, do parents have the right to put a tracker on their child’s phone? Most answered “no,” but when the situation was slightly altered to ask if a parent should track a troubled sibling who is having violent outbursts the responses weren't quite as obvious.

“The goal of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot is to elevate critical thinking skills, engagement and exposure to theatre,” said DCPA Director of Education Allison Watrous. “We know that exposure to the arts develops creativity and innovation — skills critical to establishing a vibrant community and workforce. We hope that the program not only inspires student participation, but also strong financial support such as that from the Rose Community Foundation so that we may take our ‘theatre truck’ to high schools throughout the state.”

For more information about Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, visit the DCPA’s News Center at http://bit.ly/1JvGNMO. For information on the DCPA’s education programs, visit denvercenter.org/education.

About the Denver Center for the Performing Arts
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) is more than the nation’s largest non-profit theatre organization. It’s a collection of passionate artists who share the world’s greatest stories with captivated audiences. The DCPA entertains and educates 800,000 people every year through unforgettable shared experiences that are inspiring and fun — classic plays, beloved musicals, inspiring classes, spectacular events, engaging cabaret and immersive theatre for new audiences. Bold in its vision and universal in its appeal, our work spans a broad continuum and reflects the diversity of our vibrant community.

About Innovate for Good
Innovate for Good is a new project of Rose Community Foundation – launched in January – to find and fund new, innovative projects to make the greater Denver community a better place to live. Nearly 400 ideas were submitted and a diverse review panel of more than 130 community members reviewed those ideas. Nine winners were awarded receiving funds totaling $250,000. To learn more, please visit rcfdenver.org/innovateforgood.

About Rose Community Foundation
Rose Community Foundation uses leadership, grantmaking and donor engagement to invest in strategic and innovative solutions to enduring problems and emerging issues. The Foundation has granted more than $227 million since it was founded in 1995. To learn more, please visit rcfdenver.org.


  
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