The Old Brick Playhouse Apprentice Program at the Old Brick Playhouse in Elkins, W.Va., has received the 2009 Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities. The program is one of 15 youth arts and humanities programs to receive the prestigious 2009 award. Missy Armentrout McCollam, executive director of The Old Brick Playhouse accepted the award earlier this month at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
“This is an outstanding and well deserved honor for everyone at The Old Brick Playhouse,” said Governor Joe Manchin III. “It is a reflection of their dedication to the arts and the young people in their community. This award reinforces the important role that vibrant arts programs can play in the education and development of West Virginia’s young people.”
“The Old Brick Playhouse’s Apprentice Program is honored to receive the 2009 Coming Up Taller Awards,” said McCollam. “Through a special brand of madcap live theatre, the Old Brick encourages our students along the path from the ordinary to the extraordinary. We strive for an environment in which youth learn that though everyone is equal, everyone is not the same. In the arts, as in life, those differences are the stuff by which masterpieces are made.”
Coming Up Taller is a national initiative. It recognizes and supports outstanding out-of-school and after-school arts and humanities programs for children, especially those with great potential but limited outlets for creative expression. A project of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Coming Up Taller Awards honor programs that offer exceptional learning experiences in the arts and the humanities and that have a tangible effect on the lives of young people as shown through improved academic scores, enhanced life skills and positive relationships with peers and adults.
The Old Brick Playhouse, a non-profit educational arts theatre, has offered during- and after-school theatre programming in the Mid-Atlantic region and overseas since 1992. Its touring company has performed for more than 1.5 million students. The Old Brick Playhouse Apprentice Program provides a safe, structured, after-school opportunity for secondary school students to engage in theatre.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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