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Monthly Archives: September 2011

“The Best of Times” In-Store Pictures

Last night was the Waterloo In-Store Appearance for “The Best of Times”. It was a great turnout. Here is Sara Hickman singing “Simply”. For more photos, check out our Facebook and Flickr pages. Also please check out

Four C’s in Action

One of our TAs, Benjamin Taylor, created this wall for the Four C's. He's at Creedmoor Elementary this semester.

Creative Artists are people who:

  • Express their thoughts, opinions and feelings through an artistic medium.
  • Recognize the ability of art to affect positive change in the community.
  • Engage in teamwork as they collaborate with peers to complete projects.
  • Take risks.
  • Demonstrate resourcefulness by building something out of nothing.

Courageous Allies are people who:

  • Recognize injustice (i.e. bullying, harassment, abuse).
  • Demonstrate empathy for others who are targets of injustice.
  • Identify themselves as a courageous bystander and address injustices.
  • Model positive behavior and refrain from bullying and abusive behavior.
  • Offer support and align one’s self with marginalized people.
  • Identify conflict and find peaceful solutions through learning a process of conflict resolution.

Critical Thinkers are people who:

  • Understand diverse perspectives.
  • Evaluate the consequences of their choices.
  • Use communication skills to make sense of ideas and express themselves.
  • Analyze texts/media for greater meaning.
  • Identify bias in a story by looking through different critical lenses.
  • Actively question and engage in their world.

Confident Leaders are people who:

  • Demonstrate community consciousness by designing creative projects aimed at addressing a need in that community.
  • Set goals and make plans to achieve them.
  • Inspire and encourage others.
  • Show resiliency in times of challenge.

Real Friends, “No Fake-sies”

by Susie Gidseg, Managing Director, Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble

Photo credit Victor O’Brien

Imagine sitting in a circle with a group of strangers. You are nervous, unsure of what the year ahead of you might bring, unsure of what friendships might be formed, adventures undertaken, challenges met in the year to come. You are assured you will become friends with each other. You will learn, grow, change, create, motivate and support each other. Unlike school, where many times a group of thirty can go months or even years without talking to everyone in their class, Changing Lives is different.

Last year I watched in awe as the group formed, quickly, and real friendships were made. Over the summer, students became a mini family- and the retreat we took together solidified those bonds. Now, in week two of the Fall session of CLYTE, the bonding is beginning. We spent the first week getting to know each other- learning names, backgrounds, sharing bits and pieces of who we were. Week two, thing begin to gel even more quickly.

The students are promised that they will become friends, real friends “no fake-sies” and have each others backs for the year to come. In our social contract we emphasize support, encouragement, a safe place to learn and grow creatively together. What we have in CLYTE is something special, and I can’t wait for what the year will bring.

Join TAP and Sara Hickman at “The Best of Times” CD Release Party

Texas State Musician of the Year Sara Hickman celebrates the release of The Best of Times CD with an in-store appearance at Waterloo Records. Please come out to the CD release party on September 29th at 5 pm at Waterloo Records. The event will feature performances by Sara Hickman as well as Patrice Pike and Elizabeth Wills.

Willie Nelson, Robert Earl Keen and many other Texas luminaries pay tribute to Hickman with this 38-disc compilation to benefit Theatre Action Project.

The 38-track double disc project was inspired by a recent slash in arts funding by Texas State Legislature. The compilation CD was created to raise funds for Theatre Action Project and help the organization take the arts and theatre back into the schools.

Also do us a favor and add some reviews on iTunes and Amazon to help spread the word about this incredible album and project!

Visit to learn more about Sara Hickman and her dream to create this album.

Photo by: Carol and John Acurso


by Mary Alice Carnes , Community Relations Director

One of my goals as the Community Relations Director at Theatre Action Project is to seek partnerships with people and organizations that complement our respective goals missions. One such partnership is with Texas Tower PR, a University of Texas student-run public relations firm. As a client of Tower PR, TAP has a sounding board with communications students and faculty on a wide variety of communications and marketing topics throughout the year, and its fun too. TAP, in turn, provides real work experiences for students who are studying to become tomorrow’s communications leaders.  Who are the special partners in your world? Read the rest of this entry


by Amanda Davis, Marketing Associate VISTA

Copyright by Amanda Davis, Mandolin Artworks

I watch as a leaf floats to the ground amongst its other fellow leaves. Today is the start of my favorite season, autumn. I have been absolutely in love with this season my whole life. The crisp air, beautiful orange, yellow and red leaves, and being able to wear jeans and a light jacket just brings me so much joy and elation. A year ago, I was working in upstate New York during this period (which is absolutely gorgeous in the fall); little did I know that in autumn 2011 I would get the opportunity to experience this great season in Austin, TX.

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Living our Mission Statement Every Day

by Freddy Carnes, Artistic Associate

I was very impressed at the recent Theatre Action Project staff retreat (it took place August 25-26th) with the new updated mission statement and the four areas where TAP makes an impact on children’s lives by helping them become: Creative Artists, Courageous Allies, Critical Thinkers and Confident Leaders.

Mission: Theatre Action Project uses the creative arts to activate the academic, social and emotional development of young people. Through interactive classroom performances, after school residencies and community based programs, TAP’s team of professional teaching artists inspire youth to be creative artists, courageous allies, critical thinkers and confident leaders in their community.

I began to think about all the ways that I do this every day in the classroom and in performing “World Tales and Tunes” for Pre-K students.  Here are a few thoughts:
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