We are proud to serve our community across a diverse range of audiences through our Local Arts & Arts Education programs.
Our local arts programming includes performances by and learning opportunities for local artists in the UIS Studio Theatre and other spaces.
STALEY CLASS ACTS
The Staley Class Acts series is the UIS Performing Arts Center’s flagship education outreach program. For over 30 years, this program has supported the educational goals of area teachers by providing opportunities for students in preschool through high school to experience artistic, educational, and high-quality performances created for young audiences by nationally-touring theater companies.
2019/2020 Staley Class Acts statistics:
• 11,139 Staley Class Acts attendees
• 14 total performances of seven different shows
• Attendees from 151 unique public, private, and home schools
• Attendees from 16 different counties in central Illinois
• 893 Scholarship Seats given to schools with low income students
Youth programming in the Staley Class Acts series is supported in part by the Elizabeth and Robert Staley Class Acts Endowment, the Helen Hamilton Performing Arts Endowment for Youth, and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
Through the Arts Start program, funded by the PNC Grow Up Great initiative, over 475 students in the Springfield Urban League Head Start program receive arts education experiences. Now completing its ninth year, the program includes ¬field trip performances, pre-show classroom visits, classroom learning materials, professional development for teachers, and an annual family event at the UIS Performing Arts Center.
PARTNERS IN EDUCATION
UIS Performing Arts Services works with Springfield Public Schools as a team in the Partners in Education program, a national program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with a goal of supporting arts in education by providing teachers with professional development training in arts integration. In 2019/2020, local Head Start teachers and assistant teachers participated in “Lines and Shapes: Integrating Visual Art and Geometry” with Jamin Carter, an artist and educator and nationally-recognized workshop leader with the Kennedy Center.
Prior to every Broadway show, audience members are invited to join us for a pre-show dinner with food themed around the show. Dinners are co-hosted by the FRIENDS of UIS Performing Arts Center and the UIS Alumni SAGE Society. Following the dinner, a UIS faculty member or other content expert conducts a pre-show presentation in the UIS Studio Theatre, providing additional context for the show for interested members of the audience.
Through our Angel Ticket program, local non-profit social service organizations are given tickets they can distribute to the people they serve who would normally be unable to attend our events due to their social or ¬financial situation.
In 2019/2020, a total of 229 tickets were donated to 13 organizations.
To help support the efforts of non-profit organizations in our community, we regularly give away tickets for use in fundraising activities.
In 2019/2020 a total of 100 tickets were donated to 42 organizations.
OUR STAGE / OUR VOICES
Our Stage / Our Voices is a new program developed and sponsored by the UIS Performing Arts Center in which members of historically underrepresented communities address the issues of inequality in the regional performing arts with a goal of achieving diversity and inclusion. The artist-in-residence position will rotate annually as Our Stage / Our Voices works to amplify voices and stories throughout the community.
Education programming is supported in part by the Elizabeth and Robert Staley Class Acts Endowment, the Helen Hamilton Performing Arts Endowment for Youth, and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
For more information about any of these programs, contact Carly Shank at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NPR IL - October 21, 2022 - Carly Shank discusses sensory-friendly events, Our Stage / Our Voices preview event, and And Then They Came For Me.