Discovering City Spotlights

Posted 21 May 2012 12:00 AM by Lisa Muise

What are the City Spotlights Programs? I knew that they were arts education programs but at the time that was about all that I knew being new to the organization and juggling several priorities in the Finance department. The students would regularly show up at the theatre for their training sessions and they would usually stop by on their way out to grab some candy and say hello (who am I kidding- it was mostly for the candy). But I must say that they were always a welcomed distraction. The students were always happy and upbeat and we could hear them laughing and singing as they walked down the halls. They were CLEARLY involved in something that they loved.

But it wasn’t until I decided to stay one night to see a “City Spotlights Final Showcase” that I gained a true understanding of the significance of these programs. The students performed in the grand lobby of the Wang Theatre to a standing room only audience that included, among others, family members and friends of the students. The performances included not only several hip-hop song and dance routines but also spoken word routines in which the students would address several real life issues facing teens. The show went off without a hitch and to this day that was one of the most moving performances that I have seen! How exciting it must have been to not only perform in front of their friends and family but also perform at the historic Wang Theatre! I have been working at the theatre for almost a year now and I am still in awe every time I walk through the door!

Whether it’s the City Spotlights Program, ticket access program or other programs offered by the theatre, I am constantly amazed as I watch how these programs are shaping the lives of so many youths. I am proud to be part of an organization with such an important mission, and I am always looking forward to seeing the next round of arts education programming!

Lisa is the Controller for the Citi Performing Arts Center. Lisa contributed this blog as part of Citi Center's continuing celebration of the importance of arts education.

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