Press release (March 15, 2012) — On March 13 senior executives joined some of Broadway’s leading power players for a panel discussion about the current Broadway season and industry hot topics, including arts education as a critical development tool for the 21st century workforce, at the ninth annual Broadway Roundtable hosted by the National Corporate Theatre Fund (NCTF) and UBS. Moderator Todd Rosen of NCTF took the opportunity to announce the launch of a public service announcement video competition for NCTF’s 18 member theatres and affiliates.
The theatres were challenged to create a video that unfolds the story of why theater and arts education is critical for our country’s economic future — taking arts education out of the abstract and personalizing their story by featuring their students and educators. The winning theater will receive $10,000 for its theatre education program. Video competition voting begins today on the NCTF Facebook page and will remain open until March 30. A distinguished panel will review the top three videos, along with one wild-card video, and choose the overall winner of the cash prize on April 30.
“Budget cuts and the economic downturn have led our member theatres to struggle to keep their education programs alive and some are facing hard choices about how many students they serve,” said Bruce Whitacre, executive director of NCTF. “Our goal is to ensure access to theatre education and the arts. Studies show that arts education plays a key role in assuring a creative workforce, which is deemed by the corporate sector to be critical to America’s viability in the 21st century workplace.”
As the co-chairwoman for the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, panelist and Broadway producer Margo Lion stated a major focus of the committee's work on the national level will also be set on the importance of arts and humanities education. In its recent landmark report, "Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan links quality arts education with unleashing the creative thinking that is vital to moving corporate America and American business innovation forward.
At the luncheon Lion underlined the growing importance of arts education to American companies and culture, saying, "It really is up to corporate America to step forward and ensure that theatre arts education, which is now only available in about three percent of our nation's schools, is restored to its place as a foundation of our economy, and our society. Efforts by NCTF to put a spotlight on these programs and demonstrate the link between arts education and our future are badly needed."