Arena Stage is extremely grateful for the Friends of Southwest DC’s steadfast support of the theater’s arts education programs. Friends of Southwest DC has generously supported our Camp Arena Stage Scholarships and Voices of Now Jefferson Ensemble for over a decade, making it possible for more Jefferson students to engage with and learn through the arts.
Programs like these provide immense support for participating students, including many who might otherwise have little to no access to arts education in the nation’s capital. Because of your organization’s constant support of these endeavors, we have been able to continue providing these programs to students in Southwest.
Our first and longest standing Voices of Now partner is Jefferson Academy, the only middle school located in Southwest D.C. and we are thrilled to be able to send several students from Jefferson Academy to Camp Arena Stage each summer with scholarships. We are grateful for our partnership with Friends of Southwest DC.
Arena Stage’s 2020/21 programming began in the summer of 2020 with the first Virtual
Camp Arena Stage, an adaptation of the beloved multi-arts day camp providing a safe,
fun, and friendly environment for young people from diverse socioeconomic and racial
backgrounds to explore their passions.
More than 450 students ages 8-15 attended Virtual Camp compared to the 280 who
attended in-person Camp in 2019. The online format allowed campers across the
Washington, D.C. region and from . . . [other states] . . . to participate in this engaging summer experience. Arena Stage further increased accessibility to Virtual Camp by offering 45 scholarships, ten of which were sponsored by then generous $3,400 grant by Friends of Southwest DC. Your grant helped ten students from D.C. and the Southwest neighborhood to attend a two week session of Virtual Camp Arena Stage.
Your generous support helped to achieve these outcomes for campers:
• Five new campers introduced to Camp Arena Stage
• Young people from Jefferson Middle School, who had attended Camp before
were able to return, providing continuity during a difficult and uncertain
• Popular classes among Voices of Now (VON) students included Rock Band,
which recorded, mixed and released a song virtually; Acting for the Camera;
and an acting class called "Get Real," which focused on realism in acting
• We met a new young person from SW (11 years old), who hopes to be a
professional actor. She took Silent Movie and Acting. For her Silent Movie
project, she made a hilarious short involving her mother eating all the candy
in the house. We built a strong relationship with her mother, who enjoyed her
co-starring role and has already contacted us about how to support her
daughter's goals in theater.
Overall, parents and students alike were overwhelmingly positive in their feedback
about their Virtual Camp experience.
Friends of Southwest D.C.’s steadfast commitment to Camp Arena Stage has allowed
Arena Stage to positively impact the lives of these Southwest D.C. students – an
especially momentous feat in this challenging year. It is extremely rewarding to see
the progress these talented artists have made through these artistic education
programs. Arena Stage is immensely grateful to the Friends of Southwest D.C. for
continuing to support Camp Arena Stage year after year, no matter the circumstances.
FOS has supported Arena's education programs for over 10 years. To see the reports and pictures from the 2018 Camp Arena Stage and the 2018 Voices of Now performance of the Jefferson Academy click on the files below.