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TAP, a feature story!

A big thank you to Whole Kids Lifestyle, a “ new community that promotes a holistic, eco-friendly and sustainable approach to life” for supporting what we do here at TAP. Please see their magazine’s feature story on TAP below.

Here’s how you can support all the great things that they are up to: Whole Kids Adventure made it into the Pepsi Refresh Challenge (you can vote every day until Aug 31, and every vote counts). Vote here: http://www.refresheverything.com/wholekidsprojects

Whole Kids Lifestyle

Thespian Summer

By Lene Saint-Orens and Alisha Guthery-Morses

Recently, Whole Kids Lifestyle had the great opportunity to interview Megan Fullen, Community Relations Manager to Theater Action Project. Below, Megan answers questions regarding her personal motivation for being a part of TAP, the programs available, upcoming events, and how you and your family can become more involved!

Lene Saint-Orens: Why did you personally get involved with TAP?

Megan Fullen: When I first heard about TAP, I knew it was the perfect volunteering opportunity for me. I wanted to be a part of my community and tangible social change. We get to do these really engaging creative arts activities that help children learn about important social issues, critical life skills, and gain self-confidence. In spring 2009, I became an after-school volunteer assisting a Teaching Artist at Langford Elementary. I was so excited that I made an arrangement with my supervisor to leave work early every Tuesday to volunteer. I enjoyed volunteering with TAP so much that I also devoted a lot of time to helping with community events on the weekends, too.

LS : What are you looking for in TAP volunteers and staff?

MF: We hire over 50 Teaching Artists each year to lead after-school creative arts programs for students in grades pre-K through 12th. These programs are geared toward building community, selfconfidence, creative expression and an understanding of social issues. We seek individuals who align with our mission, have relevant experience and are highly creative, energetic, enthusiastic team players.

I recruit TAP after-school volunteers each semester and summer to assist these Teaching Artists. Volunteers commit to at least one afternoon a week for a full semester. We also collaborate with groups of volunteers to assist with our community events.

LS : What upcoming events does TAP have in store?

MF: Our Annual Youth Arts Festival (May) features Middle and High School student artwork and performances from TAP’s after-school programming The Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble and special guests The Austin Community Steel Band. Partnering with our good friends at The Sustainable Food Center, on June 19th, youth from seven different AISD elementary schools will perform and parade around the Downtown Farmers Market for Summer Pageant in the Park.

TAP is also offering many great week-long creative arts camps for kids ages four to twelve, with a new adventure and performance each week, including playmakers, fantastic tales, world adventures, dance and drums, crazy creature puppets, myths and legends, lights, camera, action, and songs for the stage. Kids ages four and five will enjoy our new camp: “The Penguin Players.” Storytime will come to life as we play with acting, painting, dancing and music. We are also collaborating with UT on a camp for ages eight through twelve, July 19th through the 23rd, and the Austin Bat Cave on a Teen Camp from July 5th through the 16th.

LS: Does TAP offer training, so similar programs could be facilitated at more locations?

MF: We have plans to begin offering training workshops to teachers, social workers and other youth development workers in the next few years. We also have plans to find ways to replicate our programs in other cities that we can’t reach.

LS: What does the summer look like for TAP? Where do you need help and what would you like the community to know?

MF: June 2010 will be the busiest month in the history of the organization with more than 2,000 hours of programming. TAP programs will be in dozens of schools in Del Valle, AISD and Round Rock, and we will have our big TAP Summer Camp from June 21st to August 13th. Plus, our Changing Lives Youth Ensemble will be in session this summer learning all about peer theatre for social change. Starting in June, volunteers can assist a Teaching Artist at one of our summer programs where youth use their creativity to express themselves.

Contact Megan at megan@theatreactionproject.org or 442.8773 for more info or to sign up for orientation For information on TAP, including a detailed events calendar and contact information to find out more about facilitating programs at your child’s school, visit their website at http://www.theatreactionproject.org.

About creativeactionaustin

We are based in Austin, Texas and reach more than 16,000 young people every year through our unique blend of theatre and education programs.Our programs expose young people to critical social problems and offer opportunities for them to creatively think about how they can be a part of solutions to these problems. Creative Action is a unique blend of art and education – for us, the two are intertwined. We believe that using the arts as a teaching method provides a fun, engaging and inspiring way to learn – it incorporates the whole mind and body.

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