During its ten years in existence, the Auburn Public Theater (APT) has embraced teaching art, music, and dance workshops to children through its Auburn Public Studio program. As local opportunities for students to train in the arts became limited, the Studio sought to show young people the richness of talent and experiences that can be found in Central New York. They offer classes and visits to professional venues near and far, introducing students to several opportunities and studios.
“So often young artists think they need to go to New York City to experience art,” said Angela Daddaboo, Artistic Director of Auburn Public Theater. “We have that talent right here in our backyard, so we like to show our students both dynamics – the little theatres and the big ones.”
When Auburn Public Studio students worked with New York City actor John Mackay from the Royal Shakespeare Company to produce Hamlet, they hoped to see a performance live in Central Park. It’s through these summer offerings that APT nurtures growth and creative expression for students through a shared performance experience. Sometimes that experience is too expensive for families, so the APT reached out to the Cayuga Community Fund to help pay for the trip.
“We’ve sometimes gone so far as to wash ballet clothes for students and bring them back the next day,” said Daddaboo. “Not every family is able to afford the cost of trips, materials and camp tuition. Scholarships like the ones paid for through this grant allow children to learn without being set apart from great opportunities.”
Support from the Cayuga Community Fund allowed the class of students to participate in summer camp and travel to Central Park in preparation to perform Hamlet. The scholarship provided five students with the chance to visit the Park Avenue Armory, eat lunch at the Tao restaurant, and experience an up-close and personal performance of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Hamlet, complete with a Q&A session.
“The entire experience was an overwhelming success,” said Daddaboo. “The three-week intensive and field trip more than prepared our students to perform Hamlet when they returned home.”
The Auburn Public Studio, with the help of volunteers, two workshop teachers and a Cayuga Community Fund grant, gave aspiring local performers their first taste at the opportunity to pursue success in the arts.
The Central New York Community Foundation is a public charity established in 1927 that collects contributions from donors, manages them to grow over time and then distributes funding to local charities to help them thrive. It is the largest charitable foundation in Central New York with assets of more than $280 million and has invested more than $200 million in community improvement projects since its inception. As a grantmaker, civic leader, convener and sponsor of strategic initiatives, the Community Foundation strives to strengthen local nonprofits, encourage better understanding of the region and address the most critical issues of our time.