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Monthly Archives: October 2009

Rainy day fun at the Paramount

This past Sunday was a perfect day to be indoors at the Paramount Theatre. Theatre Action Project, with the help of some great volunteers, spent the day escaping the rain and making puppets before and after the showings of Peter and the Wolf.

There were four stations set up to make the characters in the play. We had the cat, made out of pipe cleaners and googly eyes, to make our finger puppet. The duck was really creative and sat on the children’s arms. We used socks, feathers, paper and markers to make it really elaborate but easy to make! The boys were big fans of the wolf puppet made out of a paper bag and construction paper. Finally, the bird caught everyone’s attention with its brightly colored feathers and fun sequined eyes.

The volunteers and teaching artists enjoyed assisting the children with their puppets. They glued, cut, colored, and created all day for the amusement of the kids. All of the parents had fun spending time with their children. Some helped make the puppets while others just stood and watched their children create their masterpieces, but all were thankful to TAP for putting on the event. They said it was really nice to see an organization doing such an entertaining family event. This is a huge component of what TAP does; we feel that it is very important for families to enjoy activities together. TAP works hard to be a part of events such as this to take the opportunity to give families fun ideas for easy and cost effective crafts.

Overall, the Paramount event was a great turnout! TAP got to meet some wonderful parents and children, most of which said they would love to check out future events. We’re so excited for more people to enjoy all Theatre Action Project has to offer Austin!

TAP Road trip!

TAP staff Karen and Frank spent the day visiting a few rural areas around Austin to discuss ways to bring TAP programs to even more youth throughout the Austin area. While in Taylor they even stopped by an Ostrich farm to say hello!

TAP hopes that within the next year to have extensive programming throughout all of the rural areas that surround Austin. Youth in these communities often lack opportunities to become involved in arts programs. In addition, these rural youth are just like youth in every other community–they deal with real life problems like bullying, low self esteem, dating violence, prejudice and more.

TAP’s unique and engaging blend of creative arts and education for social change has the potential to make a great impact in rural areas and we are excited about partnering with these communities.

Support Arts and Education!!!

Art, Music, Dance, Drama. None of these subjects are tested by the TAKS. Often, students who have failed TAKS, or are at risk of failing TAKS, are removed from their art classes to attend TAKS prep courses. When budget cuts hit schools these are the first classes to be hit.

What message are we sending to our students? These subjects are less important. These subjects are not necessary to achieve success.

Did you know that children who study the arts are…

4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement

4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair

3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance

4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or a poem

(Source: National Governors Association Center for Best Practices)

Research on the brain continues to show a strong link between art education and brain development. Early studies are showing that children who study the arts daily score better in other subject areas.

Emotional literacy is another important aspect of growing up. Understanding and controlling your own emotions and how your actions affect others are crucial to success in life. Regardless of education, the most successful CEO’s in the nation are people who work well with others, and can control their own emotions. Studies show that participating in theater is a natural way to learn emotional literacy.

Theatre Action Project is trying to bridge this gap by providing arts education that supports emotional literacy. TAP’s daily after school programming uses theatre and art-based curricula to explore social issues, build self-esteem, and enrich students’ academic experience in the school system. TAP also provides 5 day residency programs within the classroom, activating students in grades K-12 to discover and practice solutions to the problems they face every day. These programs are specifically designed to help students deal with challenges in their daily lives. AN,d the great thing is, TAP does it through art and theatre so it’s fun and youth enjoy it.

Despite all the studies and research mentioned above the arts are still being cut from our students schedules. As parents what can we do?

* Talk to your school to find out what options are available for after school and community art programs. Enroll your children.
* Contact Theatre Action Project to determine steps needed to bring a program to your school. Check out TAP programs at:
* Encourage your children to express themselves through art. Discuss their art with them. Display their art prominently. Share their work with others.
* Make art supplies available for your children.

Until next time,

Julie (Parent/Teacher/Child advocate/TAP Volunteer)

Volunteer News!!

‘Click this link to check out TAP volunteer opportunities .’

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Do you like Mac & Cheese?

‘Click this link to find out more about TAP’s fall fundraiser!.’

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TAP got its art on!

The afternoon was warm and muggy, but that didn’t stop the TAP team from getting creative in Wooldridge Square Park for the Austin Circle of Theatre’s kickoff of Get Your Art On.

Many families came to make crafts and learn about Theatre Action Project for the beginning of National Arts and Humanities Month. TAP helped kids get really imaginative with their finger puppets, making any and all animals they could think of. Many spiders and dogs were made with rainbow pipe cleaner legs, but the masterpiece of the day was a pink cat finger puppet. The TAP team helped a little girl named Ivy create her rendition of the perfect finger puppet- complete with a purple puffy head and glittery whiskers. The kids were all smiles and “thank yous” as they left to explore more of the park with their parents.

Other local Austin art organizations were out to kickoff the event. The Hideout improvisation group performed, getting laughs from the children and their parents. Also, the Austin Bike Zoo was out in rare form with their bat and butterfly bikes on display in the park. It was also great to see TAPsters, Sachi deCou, Leigh Shaw, and Brooke Lillard performing in Austin Bike Zoo’s “Wheels of Wonderland”. There were even two knights on bikes jousting with the audience to cheer them on. The afternoon was an enjoyable time for everyone who came out and TAP was happy to be part of the action.