Open Arms for the Arts is a project request to bring performing arts to K-12 students who come from financially challenged households and might not otherwise have the advantage of exploring the arts. Open Arms will consist of bi- weekly meetings on the weekends for an 8-10 week term culminating in theatrical productions. Productions starring the students will take place 4 times each semester at Cutting Edge Theater. Additionally, students will take their performance to three local elementary schools, which demographics include over 70% of their population receiving free or reduced lunch.

At the beginning of the Open Arms Project, we set individual and group goals. The program is heavy on team-building activities, as we know the importance of growing together as a team. Participants learn a strong vocal warm up routine and engage in activities focused on character development, enhancing stage presence, speech ,articulation, dance combinations, and building courage to step on stage and perform. We start working on whole group ensemble selections from the start.

The students involved in Open Arms will explore and hone their performing arts skills under the direction of our experienced CECA staff. Students gain valuable skills in auditioning, performance, and character development. Open Arms will also provide a look at promoting and technical design of theater. Tech & design is a hands-on experience, starting with scenic design and stage management. Lighting and sound design come next, followed by a focus on costumes and props. Open Arms program is geared toward students with lots of creativity and imagination who might not otherwise have the opportunity to develop because of family financial challenges. Who knows what talent we might nuture?