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Mixing and a’Mingling to a VISTA Beat

by Mary Alice Carnes

Two incentives had the Theatre Action Project VISTAs meeting on Sunday morning: some serious Tex Mex at Mi Madre’s and a fun and very informal meet and greet with past, present and new TAP VISTAs. Our mission: to learn from each other.
Sunday’s gathering around a booth during a very busy brunch was a great way for past and current VISTAs to share their experiences and ideas with TAP’s incoming VISTA volunteers. After spending a year at TAP, our veteran VISTAs have learned quite a lot:

· There is a busy, creative, and fun culture of the TAP staff and Teaching Artists,

· There are many fun events and programs that help us engage in a dialogue with the community,

· There is a strong army of dedicated volunteers helping us reach our goals every day, and

· The impact of TAP’s service is BIG, serving 16,000 youth each year.
When someone decides to join VISTA, they make a commitment to work at the poverty level as a volunteer with an organization for one year. In our case, VISTAs specifically chose TAP because they were attracted to TAP’s mission and diverse arts programs.
By investing 365 special days at TAP, VISTAs meet the goals of two great organizations AmeriCorps and Theatre Action Project. It’s a great partnership.
If you’re a VISTA in Austin the TAP VISTAs are interested in connecting with you. There’s a lot of Tex Mex and other great food in Austin for us to choose from, giving us lots of time to mix and mingle and learn from each other. Let us hear from you. What incentives brought you to your decision to be an AmeriCorps VISTA?
“AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program that works to eliminate poverty. The first VISTAs began serving in 1965 in the migrant farm worker camps in California, the hollows of eastern Kentucky, and the inner city of Hartford, CT.”
From VISTA…In Service to America
Mary Alice Carnes is the Community Relations Manager at Theatre Action Project and a VISTA supervisor.

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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