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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Moms making a difference!

Since 2006, MomsRising has been working to bring together millions of people who share a common concern about the need to build a more family-friendly America.

Unfortunately, many parents don’t succeed in finding afterschool care for their kids . More than 1 million children in grades K to 5 are on their own after school. [1] This huge and heartbreaking number isn’t because of parent neglect, rather it reflects a simple fact: Afterschool programs are unavailable or too expensive for millions of families across this country. [2]

And it could get much worse. Congress is deciding right now if they’re going to divert funds and slash afterschool programs across this country. That’s right. Congress is busy writing their education legislation, which includes afterschool programs, and they’re likely to finish before they go home in August.

Tell Congress not to make the back-to-school season any worse for working families!

Why do afterschool programs matter?

Afterschool programs keep our kids safe. The hours between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. are when children are most at risk for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex. [3]

Afterschool programs also have a big impact on our economy. Parents who are concerned about their children being unattended after school miss an average of eight days of work per year. Decreased worker productivity related to parental concerns about after school care costs businesses up to $300 billion per year. [4]

As Congress reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), it’s imperative that they don’t divert funds from 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC), the only federal funding source dedicated exclusively to afterschool programs. The initiative supports afterschool programs for 1,798,986 children and youth across this country. And every one of them counts.

We have less than a week to speak up for afterschool programs. Contact your legislators before they go home for their summer break:

TAP Business and Development Associate by day…

Chelsea Gilman is TAP’s Business and Development Associate by day and at night transforms into “Penny Pelican” in the improv show: Guilds of Steel!

Come check it out Friday at 8pm!

Guilds of Steel is an improvised serial epic of swords and sandals–a look at the inner workings of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games and the people who play them. The improvisers will simultaneously embody characters inside an online video game world as well as play the quotidian lives of the people responsible for them in the real world. Look for returning characters and epic journeys. It’s World of Warcraft meets As the World Turns.

Conceived and Directed by Bryan Roberts, produced by Gnap! Theater Projects.

TAP seeks paid acting position in educational touring show!

Theatre Action Project is seeking to cast two actors/actresses for their touring show, The Heroes/Los Heroes, an interactive musical performance for elementary children centered on conflict-resolution skills and diversity.

We’re looking for:
1 bilingual (spanish/english) performer, male or female
1 performer with musical abilities (preferably guitar), male or female
The roles involve a large educational component, so actors with teaching experience are highly encouraged to apply. This is a competitively paid position and runs throughout the entire school year (August – May) Monday-Friday between the hours of 7:30am and 1pm. Please email Dustin at to set up an audition appointment for August 10 or 11th during the morning hours.

You will be asked to prepare 2 minutes of active, engaging storytelling using a children’s book of your choice. We are looking for actors who can use voices, have large, varying physicality and teaching abilities. If you play an intstrument you are highly encouraged to prepare a breif song for the audition.

Find out more about Theatre Action Project at

Theatre Action Project Seeking Teaching Artists for 2010 – 2011 School Year

Theatre Action Project is seeking a diverse team of experienced teachers on multiple campuses throughout Austin for the following Middle and High School positions:

Devised Theatre
Video Production
Drums (hand)
Mural Design

Applicants MUST HAVE at least one year of teaching experience, a passion for one of the aforementioned disciplines, and have an interest in working with teenagers. We are seeking individuals who align with our mission and are highly creative, energetic, and enthusiastic team players. This is a part-time position which lasts until the end of May 2011, Many positions are 2 – 4 days a week, 2 hours a day. Classes typically fall between 3:30pm – 6pm Mon. through Thursday. Interviews will be held the week of August 23rd, and you must be available for training the week of August 30th. If you are interested, please send a resume and cover letter to no later than Thursday, August 19. No phone calls please.

TAP is also seeking teaching artists for the elementary after school programs. We will be adding more classes at multiple campuses throughout Austin and the surrounding communities. Teaching Artists will lead after school theatre arts programs for students in grades pre-K through 5th (within the time frame of 2:00-6:00pm) geared toward building community, self confidence, creative expression and an understanding of social issues. We are seeking individuals who align with our mission and are highly creative, energetic, enthusiastic team players. Must have some experience with one or more of the following disciplines: creative drama, puppetry, creative writing, acting, dance, music, improvisation, devised theatre, community-based arts, theatre of the oppressed, film making, visual arts, movement or design. Bilingual individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.

Two audition workshops will be held on Wednesday, August 25th from 2:00-5:30pm and 6:00 – 9:00, you only need to attend one of these times. You must be available for training the week of August 30th. If you are interested in being considered for the audition workshop please send a resume and cover letter to no later than Thursday, August 19. Please indicate your availability for the audition workshops.

Arts Education legislation passed!

Support TAP in a big way…take two minutes to send a message of support for arts education to your member of Congress!

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.Con.Res. 275, legislation designating the second week of September as “Arts in Education Week.” Authored and introduced by California Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA), this resolution is the first Congressional expression of support celebrating all the disciplines comprising arts education. This is a very positive showing of support for arts education and comes at a key time when Congress is making plans to overhaul federal education policy.

The resolution seeks to support the attributes of arts education that are recognized as instrumental to developing a well-rounded education such as creativity, imagination, and cross-cultural understanding. H.Con.Res. 275 also highlights the critical link between those skills and preparing our children for gaining a competitive edge in the global economy. This is an important message for policy makers to acknowledge as they prepare to reauthorize federal education policy.

Bullying-prevention in the media

Check out this article in The New York Times: There’s Only One Way to Stop a Bully, By Susan Engel and Marlene Sandstrom.

An excerpt: “But our research on child development makes it clear that there is only one way to truly combat bullying. As an essential part of the school curriculum, we have to teach children how to be good to one another, how to cooperate, how to defend someone who is being picked on and how to stand up for what is right.”

TAP in the Classroom programs work to teach youth these skills through the Courage to Stand for 4th-5th graders and the follow up program Courage in Action for 5th-6th graders.

The Courage to Stand program is a week-long interactive performance where students learn to examine the choices, risks, and consequences of intervening to help the target in a bullying situation. Check out a video about the program and learn more here.

The Courage in Action program is a follow up to this curriculum and focuses on students learning group-building and leadership skills and discovering how to stand together and spread their message for positive change in the community. Learn more here.

Crazy Creature Puppets Summer Camp

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The children spent the week playing different games to help their creative and communicative thinking shine through. This led to the brainstorming of many different kinds of puppets, how they ultimately would make them, and what kind of personalities they had.

The final sharing consisted of three separate pieces, which the children wrote themselves and performed with the puppets they made.

“Lost and Found: Kids and Puppets” was performed by the group Golden Key. The children, dressed in their puppet costumes, went searching for their friends which they lost in the woods. With help of unlikely friends, they ultimately have to work together to find everyone—which required looking through the audience even.

The Awesome Eagles performed “Where is the Water?” This group dressed in extravagant animal puppet headdresses and costumes to act out how a jungle of animals needed it to rain. Through a lesson of sharing and friendship, the animals find someone who can help them find the water.

In “The Weird World of Pippin” the Crazy Creature Kids puppeteers acted out a story of a lost, mixed up world through the use of marionettes. This story is about creatures who wake up in a new world one day after a crash. No one recognizes who or where they are. Learning to work together, and to embrace each other’s difference, all the creatures on Pippin find a way to live happily together.

After each performance, the puppeteers in each show described the puppet they made, and what they made it out of. Most of these puppets were made of things people would normally just throw a way. These kids took this “trash” and made it into something beautiful and artistic.

This was a very impressive display of creativity. But most importantly, it was obvious the kids were having a great time showing off what they worked so hard on.

Author: Laura Fidelman, Texas Tower PR