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Retreat Brings Changing Lives Group Closer Together

by Nitra Gutierrez, Middle School and High School Program Associate

Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble (CLTYE) had an AMAZING retreat this weekend.

Being part of this ensemble takes hard work, focus and determination. Our work together can look many ways. Sometimes it means having big conversations about power, gender and relationships. Sometimes it means playing theatre games that help us let down our guard and be our authentic selves together. But sometimes, being part of this ensemble means letting go of the everyday and doing something extraordinary. That’s what we did this weekend.

Saturday morning we packed up our sleeping bags and headed out on a mini-road trip to the Candlelight Ranch.

We jumped right in and started our adventure with some fun on the zip-lines. This group was FEARLESS!

We traversed a canyon on a wire (think a tightrope) and even though we were locked into safety harnesses, we had to conquer some serious nerves to do it. We made dinner together, painted each others’ faces, played games, made a fire, told scary stories, serenaded each other with improvised love songs and woke up the next morning to work on our teamwork on a low ropes course before we packed it all up and came home. It was an experience full of energy, friendship and fun.

Something magical seems to happen on these retreats (and I don’t just mean that now my 35 year old mind is playing “Call me Maybe” on a loop) I don’t know if it’s because we had some concentrated time to live together as a family or because facing our fears of heights drew us closer together. What I do know is that we learned a little bit about who we are as individuals and a lot about who we are as a team – and we are more of an ensemble than ever.

A big THANK YOU to our fantastic community of Changing Lives ensemble members, their supportive families and guardians and our volunteers for making this retreat an unforgettable event.

We’ve Got the Pie, Games, and Crafts. Now All We Need Is You!

by Mitch Harris, Community Relations Intern

There are few things I love more than pie.  However, when you take pie, add games, music, and arts and crafts, you’ve really hit the jackpot.

Unfortunately though, I’m a bit too old to run underneath a parachute like these guys or wear a crazy colored giant paper bag hat while gorging on pie any old day.

Good thing that’s where I Spy Pie! comes in.

I Spy Pie! is our fall fundraiser complete with live music, games, and crafts aimed at children and families, but there’s no reason the young at heart can’t get into the fun by volunteering.

Creative Action is currently seeking volunteers on Oct. 20 to help run the events and stations that will overtake Central Market on North Lamar.  We need the following:

  • Parachute lifters as children run and giggle underneath
  • Pie passer-outers to decide who in fact has the best pie
  • Face painters to turn humans into lions, tiger, and bears (oh my!)
  • Hat creators to crown the heads of volunteers and participants alike
  • Puppet makers to bring ideas to life
  • Apron decorators to create one of a kind masterpieces
  • Musical chair maestros to run the game while players compete for pie
  • Donation grabbers to help us reach our fundraising goals
  • Setter uppers and tearer downers to make sure everything runs smoothly
  • And more!

It will be a whirlwind of live music, delicious pie, and family fun.

There will be two shifts.  One from 9:45-1:45 and another from 12:45-3:45.  Only a few hours can not only change your Saturday for the better, but also change someone’s life.

Click here to sign up for a volunteer shift today!

P.S. My favorite pie is Pecan because a few years ago, I was put in charge of baking pies for a Thanksgiving my friends were hosting. After pulling an all-nighter trying not to screw up or burn one, I finally made a pristine pecan pie and my friends were convinced I was a culinary genius.

Join us at I Spy Pie! on Saturday, October 20th at Central Market North. 12 – 3 p.m.
Family fun, arts and crafts and pie for families of all ages!

Want to volunteer? Sign up here for 1 or 2 (or both) shifts:  I Spy Pie! Volunteer Sign Up.

After School Volunteering Opportunity

by Cassie Swayze, After School Programs Associate AmeriCorps VISTA

Creative Action needs superstar After-School volunteers to assist Teaching Artists in the classroom throughout the school year. Do you love working artistically, helping students, or need a new challenge? This is a great opportunity for students of many disciplines: education, theatre, social work, art, humanities and more!

Volunteering with the Creative Action After-School program entails a once a week commitment in a dynamic after-school class exploring social themes through theatre, art, music, and puppets. As a volunteer you act as an extra pair of hands for one of our Teaching Artists (TAs) in the classroom throughout the Fall semester (September – mid-December). The hours are generally 2:30-5:30PM or 3-6PM weekly. After-School volunteers assist in a wide variety of activities:

  • Prepping art projects
  • Helping film movies
  • Leading games
  • And much, much more!

Here’s what past volunteers said about working with the After-School program:

  • “I loved volunteering at Ojeda. I think I learned more from the kids. The more valued they feel, the more invested they are in the program. [Creative Action] validates these kids’ personal experiences and gives them value.”
  • “One thing I really noticed when working with first graders was how [Creative Action] contributed to their teamwork and sharing…The activities and projects resulted in emerging leadership and individual creativity as the kids began to trust each other, the teacher and their own strengths and abilities.”

Creative Action has after-school programming at over 40 different campuses throughout Austin, Round Rock, Del Valle, Manor, and Bastrop school districts.

Contact Cassie Swayze at cassie@theatreactionproject.org or call (512) 442-8773 x107 for more information or set up an orientation.

UPDATE: Theatre Action Project is now Creative Action. Read more about our name change.

Fun Games at Big Hair Country Fair

by Erik Weasenforth, Marketing Associate VISTA

Theatre Action Project’s Big Hair Country Fair is only a couple days away. Be prepared to have a blast as there will be many fun carnival games to play!

Jump for joy as you compete for 1st place in the sack race.  Try out your aim and win a prize in our balloon dart game. Like trivia? Spin the giant wheel in the Carson City Trivia Showdown

 Want to remember the good times you had? Go to the Quick Draw Photo Booth and get a special souvenir drawing from our very own cowboy artist. But wait there’s more. We’ll have a cake walk, pan for “gold” in our Fool’s Gold game, enjoy the blazing fun of a fire dancer, and all the BBQ you can eat.

It’s all fun and games, good food and music, and all for a good cause: Theatre Action Project. See you there with BIG hair!

P.S. I love Dennis Rodman’s constantly changing hairstyles when he played in the NBA. See you at the Big Hair Country Fair on Saturday, March 24th at the Salt Lick Pavilion! For tickets visit: TAP Big Hair.