Last week I went to a community meeting at the Mexican American Cultural Center. It was a meeting of artists, arts organizations, media and supporters of the arts to discuss how to make arts organizations in Austin stronger. Ann Graham, a TAP Board Member, spoke eloquently about the collaboration we (at Theatre Action Project) have with SafePlace and other organizations.At this event, I was reminded about how lucky I am to work for Theatre Action Project as a paid full-time staff member with benefits. In the past 6 years, my life has been transformed by TAP. I know many artists in Austin that have struggled, as I have, to earn a decent wage from their art and many others that have not even tried to pursue art because of that. For many that do pursue, they simply work at boring day jobs and do performing at night for little or no money.
I feel very fortunate to work for an organization that gives me the opportunity to use my talents and skills on a daily basis. I get to:
- Teach at-risk children the joy of theater, including stories from cultures around the world, Shakespeare and Greek Mythology
- Make puppets, banners and masks for parades that march through Downtown Austin
- Write and perform songs for many different events
- Travel all over Central Texas as a storyteller to Austin, Georgetown, Round Rock, Taylor, Lakeway, Cedar Park, San Marcos and (this summer for the first time) San Antonio!
- Teach Summer Camps with such diverse themes as “Dance and Drums”, “Heroes and Legends” and “Songs for the Stage”
- Work with a staff that is talented and passionate about the future of our children!
TAP is one of those success stories that triumphs during these difficult times. We have impacted many children’s lives in Central Texas. How do I know? I see it in the eyes of the children and the thankfulness they show us every day for what we do for them.