By Daynie Rivera
Art is an expression of imagination through various forms of creative activities.
Studies have shown art is an essential building block for child development, while also creating a well-rounded education experience for students.
CPP alumnus Anthony Solorzano (’13, theatre) says art is a must-have tool for students to develop effective social skills and confidence in the workplace.
“I notice art classes either no longer exist, or aren’t available as much as they once were,” Solorzano said. “Having been a theatre student myself, and knowing all the benefits art has brought me, I want to bring art back to high schools with the help of CPP.”
With his passion for arts and education, Solorzano began collaboration with the CPP Theatre and New Dance Department, and the club, Actors Collaborating with Technicians (ACT) to create a theatre program in the Pomona Unified School District.
The theatre program will work alongside Pomona’s dA Center of the Arts. Together, the program will provide high school students with the opportunity to join the Theatre Management Internship (TMI).
While volunteering at the dA Center for the Arts, Solorzano was inspired to create this program with the help of Executive Director Margaret Aichele.
“My goal is to become the sole provider of theatre arts for all high schools throughout the Pomona Unified School District,” Solorzano said.
Aichele saw his passion and dedication and encouraged him to contact CPP.
TMI will consist of a 10-week program that will begin with Garey High School.
Solorzano chose to begin with Garey High School since it’s his alma matter, and is also where he works as a substitute teacher.
Fifth-year theatre and Chicano/Latin student Janeth Garcia is eager to bring the program to life.
“I’m looking forward to exposing theatre to kids who either don’t have an art program, or who don’t have access to a great one,” Garcia said. “I want to show how art can provide a different perspective of the world around them.”
Garcia will be one of the teaching artists and says the first 5 weeks of the program will provide students with knowledge of how a theatre company is run.
Workshops will include a background in acting, directing, stage management, musical theatre and stage combat.
“I want students to stop being afraid to try new things,” Garcia said. “It’s important to take risks and to also get out of their comfort zone.”
The remaining five weeks will show students how to apply the skills they’ve learned through of series of skits, and scene production.
At the end of the program, students will be invited to attend ACT’s play ‘Spring Awakening,’ which will debut in March 2018.
Solorzano’s says his goal is to begin with a group of 10 students, and plans to also expand to elementary and middle schools in the future.
Courtesy of Theatre and New Dance Department
Last year the club Actors Collaborating with Technicians produced the musical ‘Urinetown”
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