National Arts in Education Week takes place in September every year. We’re celebrating by taking a look back at our recent partnership with Kansas City Public Schools as well as sharing a little about programs at Starlight that help make the arts more accessible to our community.
In 2021, Starlight partnered with Kansas City Public Schools and the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation to bring students to see Van Gogh Alive, a multi-sensory experience featuring the works of Vincent van Gogh.
Blue Star Awards
Each year, more than 5,000 local high school students participate in the Blue Star Awards at Starlight. Established in 2003, the program is one of the largest and most admired high school musical theatre awards programs in the nation. In addition to local recognition, winners for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role and Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role travel to New York City to receive professional training with theatre professionals and to compete against other high school students from across the country in the Jimmy Awards for honors and scholarships.
One of our most recent honorees, 2021 Blue Star Awards Winner Justin Cooley, was cast in the new musical Kimberly Akimbo, which debuted Off-Broadway last year and is scheduled to open on Broadway in October.
To keep arts accessible to all, Starlight donates thousands of tickets to Broadway performances to local charities each year through the Community Tickets program. Many of the organizations that benefit from the program focus on education and social services for children and families.
Groups who utilize the Community Tickets program have the opportunity to experience live theatre and have meaningful arts experiences.
“The Community Tickets program has been remarkable for us…thanks to Starlight, the young people of our organization get great arts exposure and a great education as well. We are absolutely grateful,” said Ah’Lee Robinson from Kansas City Boys and Girls Choir, a Community Tickets program partner.
Starlight provides training to students seeking to build their performance skills and explore careers in the theatre industry. Recently, Starlight partnered with the Arts Asylum to help facilitate audition workshops for participants of the Starlight Stars and Stars of Tomorrow youth performance troupes.