It was a late Monday afternoon at the FOA, and over 100 students were shuffling in and out of the classroom spaces and the Forum Theater. Ages 3 to 66, every student studying ballet, tap, theatre, or art loves hearing their teacher say, “Come on in, are you ready to work today? We’ve got lots to do!” I wish you could see their faces when they finally achieve their goals – these kidss aren’t told who is rich or poor, and they don’t care who is black or white, Republican or Democrat, Baptist or Hindu. They just care about the art they’re working on together.
In the last decade, the FOA has trained over 5,000 students, and over 3,000 actors, dancers, and technicians were impacted by their participation in FOA programming.
I want you to know that the FOA provides about $60,000 in arts education each year through our tuition waiver program, and it’s because of people like you. And because we trust in your generosity, we have even begun a Pay-What-You-Can performance for each of our community theatre productions. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to work and learn more about the arts in whatever way they are capable.
Not to mention what the FOA represents to our community. The arts are a pillar of a quality community. The intangible blessings are real and immeasurable, but the tangible measurements are there as well: Annually, we represent about 55,000 trips to downtown Jonesboro, we employ 30 teachers and staff members, and the thousands of volunteers and patrons who visit the Forum for FOA programming spend their dollars in local restaurants, gas, babysitting, flowers, and even hotel rooms if they’re from out of town. Our local economy is better because the FOA exists. And our programs are growing. We reach almost 8,500 people just with free or reduced tuition and ticket prices alone! And the need is still great.
Without you, the FOA couldn’t offer the kind of outreach that enables people of all kinds to grow through the arts. Our facilities need improvements, and we need enough staff and teachers who can reach all of those who are thirsty for positive and enriching arts experiences.
Together, we can continue to make our entire community better through the arts. Thank you for being an important part of helping people grow through the arts – without you, it just wouldn’t be possible.