Driven by a passion to reach students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the great works of music, dance, and theatre the Sandler Center has to offer, the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Foundation developed the innovative program ACCESS the ARTS to reach underserved students in Title I schools through Hampton Roads. The funding provided by this program is used to assist Title I schools in our region with the costs associated with arts education programming at the Sandler Center. In Hampton Roads, there are over 100 Title I schools that have at least 50% of their population receiving free and reduced lunches. In several schools, this number is as high as 100%.
Through the Sandler Center Foundation's ACCESS the ARTS program, funding is provided for underserved students from local Title I schools to attend student matinee performances at the Sandler Center. Since the program's inception in 2010, over 25,000 students have been provided the opportunity to see a live matinee performance at the Sandler Center.
In addition to providing funding for students from Title I school to attend our curriculum-based matinee performances, we have augmented our education offerings through meaningful partnerships with the Virginia Arts Festival and Richmond Ballet. For this year, we added the following programs which are offered exclusively to Title I schools in Hampton Roads:
- Charlotte Blake Alston, in partnership with Virginia Arts Festival – February 13, 2017
- Lecture Demonstrations of A Midsummer Night's Dream, in partnership with the Richmond Ballet – April 5-7, 2017
- Lula Washington Dance Theatre, in partnership with Virginia Arts Festival – May 17, 2017
is on pace to serve 11,000 students through ACCESS the ARTS.
ACCESS the ARTS is proudly supported by Annie Sandler, PRA Group, and so many generous supporters in our community.
If you are interested in giving the gift of the arts to children in the Hampton Roads community, please consider becoming a donor for ACCESS the ARTS. We would be honored to add you as a contributor to this special program. We wish to not only continue the program, but to expand its impact. Greater funding will allow us to do just that.
Here is what people are saying about the program and educational offerings:
"It was awesome! I loved it. I told my mom all about it." – Student, 2nd grade
"My students are so excited to be able to attend the matinee show. This experience will transform many of their lives." - Sharyn, 2nd grade teacher
"My husband and I feel that this program is so important to the students of Hampton Rods. We are proud to make this gift and support ACCESS the ARTS." – Patricia, Foundation donor
"What an amazing opportunity for our students. Thanks for all you do." - Principal, Virginia Beach
"Thanks for working with us; I really appreciate it, and on a side note, my teachers totally enjoyed the programs last year, so much in fact that they all begged to go back again this year. Please let the presenters/actors and committee/board know that this is one of the best academic/cultural programs, and it made a huge difference to our students last year." - Principal, Hampton
"This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to be exposed to the arts." – Principal, Portsmouth
"The performance was excellent. It was spot on with our curriculum. I am a teacher, and I was skeptical about how much could really be done in an hour. I was pleasantly surprised, and the children are still talking about it today. They are saying, "Yesterday was the best day!" – Linda, 3rd grade teacher