Our goal during #GivingTuesdayCLT is to raise funds to offset costs to send local school children to our educational theater performances. We’ve had so many schools who have had trouble securing funding to bring their students to the ballet and we want to make sure they don’t miss the opportunity.
We sat down with Education & Community Engagement Teaching Artist Katelyn Pounds to learn a little bit more on her experience with bringing students to the ballet.
What is #GivingTuesdayCLT?
Katelyn Pounds: “During the holiday season, it is easy to get caught up in the shopping craze of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season and supports philanthropy to bring about a change in communities nation-wide, powered by the collaboration of social media. Charlotte Ballet is excited to join 230 local nonprofits in #GivingTuesdayCLT, Charlotte’s local response to the global #GivingTuesday movement.”
Why is this opportunity to attend an educational performance important?
KP: “Many students don’t even have the opportunity to see the buildings of uptown Charlotte, or see professionals walking to their jobs, even though they go to school so close to the city. Its really a full cultural experience. They often don’t have exposure to the arts and dance, so we are providing opportunities for them to not only witness the art form of ballet, but also be exposed to music, visual art, and many other mediums to inspire them. Just being inside of a theater is exciting for them as well.”
What could someone’s donation mean to these students?
KP: “These students otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to be exposed to concert dance. Typically, students are exposed to dance through their families, weddings, reunions, picnics or YouTube, but experiencing our dancers with costumes, sets, scenery and hearing the dancers talk about their lives on stage is irreplaceable.”
How long have you been an educator in the arts?
KP: “I was a special educator for 5 years prior to coming to Charlotte Ballet and was able to attend Nutcracker for 3 years in row with my students. Since being at the ballet, I’ve been able to attend with my Reach program students for 3 seasons.”
As an educator, how have you seen the impact of attending a ballet?
KP: “I’ve had students seek piano and violin classes after being exposed to the classical music in Nutcracker. Other students have inquired about strength training – they are very curious about how the men lift the women and make it look so easy. Obviously, some of them want to be ballet dancers. Several students who showed interest in ballet are still involved in classes because they want to be the Sugar Plum Fairy – that is their end goal! Its a great incentive for students to work together as a team as they see the dancers working together as a whole group on stage to create a performance.”
What are some of the educational benefits this opportunity provides?
KP: “The students are very curious about the work the dancers put in prior to seeing the production on stage. They are able to relate to the dancers when it comes to a goal and, as an educator, I am able to turn that into a lesson that you need to focus, put in work and concentrate on your goal if you want to be successful. As an educator, you have this opportunity – as a behavior incentive, as a homework incentive – for the students to become very motivated to do well in school and be able to go downtown, sit in a theater and see the ballet.”
What are some of your most memorable moments from these experiences?
KP: “I’ve seen my very artistic students inquire about how the scenes change so quickly and who designs the paintings they see on stage. So you can turn all of their curiosity into a lesson, here speaking about the production qualities and seeing all the people backstage. Many times I was most surprised to see the impact the ballet made on the young gentlemen. The boys are so impressed. They bring up story line, the jumps. They talk about it for a longer period of time than the young ladies!”
It’s easy to help!
Just $10 sends a child to a performance and sparks a lifetime of arts appreciation and memories.
Donations are open November 20-27