Footlight Players has received a $10,000 ArtWorks grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support its summer youth theater program in 2012–13. The group also received a $1,000 grant from the United Way, providing funding for four young people who would not otherwise be able to attend the popular summer youth theater program to attend Footlight at a deeply reduced cost. The grants were received through the IUP Research Institute.
The NEA grant will support the work of program director and IUP alumnus Nick Hrutkay ’10 to make Footlight Players even more effective in its outreach to area schools. Beginning in October 2012, Hrutkay will develop, for touring to schools, an adventurous production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play will feature IUP students and alumni involved in the popular summer enrichment program.
By getting into the schools with this grant project, Footlight executive director and chair of the department Brian Jones expects to have an even greater impact on theater programs in the surrounding area. “This is a major step forward for us,” Jones said. “It will bring the Footlight program to the next level in our region, and will provide even more meaningful arts experiences for the community, as well as our students and alumni.”
Footlight Players has been an outreach service project of the Department of Theater and Dance since 2004, and now engages 60 young people from the Indiana community in creative workshops and theatrical productions led by professional teaching artists and IUP student interns. Through four weeks of activity beginning mid-June, the participants produce two plays and two musicals in a weekend festival of performances.
The program is also funded by a program stream grant of the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Program, which is the regional arts funding partnership of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. State government funding comes through an annual appropriation by Pennsylvania’s General Assembly and from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.