All the work that we do in prisons and public schools starts in our weekly workshops at our theater in Culver City. This is where we create our shows, out of these workshops and, in our performances, in the darkness, a group of strangers and some rogue actors create a moment of community. A story is told.
Last year, talented writers, directors, and actors in The Actors’ Gang created plays that made people laugh and cry and share a common experience. Our season of original plays, from The New Colossus to Captain Greedy’s Carnival, entertained and sparked conversations among many of the 12,000 people that graced our doors in Culver City. During the run of The New Colossus, the pins people placed on the map in our lobby told America’s story.
More than 3,400 people who wouldn’t otherwise have had access to theater, were able to see shows on our “Pay What You Can” evenings, while special performances for students from our education and juvenile detention programs provided a first-time theatrical experience for many.
Over 2,500 peopleintroduced their children to Shakespeare‘s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ through our Free Shakespeare in the Park for Families this summer, just like every other summer for the past 12 years.
Many talented actors were able to train, create and give back, either by teaching in schools, prisons or by being on stage, always sharing an important truth.
EVERY CHILD DESERVES A CHANCE
Many of the 2,572 elementary, middle school and high school students in our programs have little or no access to the arts. Your individual donations and foundational support have helped unleash dormant potential as our students discovered their own creative voice, confidence, and the powerful stories that lay within them. This year, with your support, we were able to expand our Education Department to 6 new schools, including Castelar Elementary School where 44.7% of the students attending are English language learners.
LIFE BEHIND BARS MAKES COMING BACK HOME IMPOSSIBLE FOR 6 OUT OF 10 PEOPLE
In 2019, our Prison Project ran rehabilitative programs on 15 yards, in 13 California State prisons, 3 youth detention centers, and 2 reentry facilities.The 1,000incarcerated women, men, and teenagers we were able to serve have been given tools to cope with the violent in-prison environment and prepare for a successful return to their communities. In California, statistics say that 6 out of 10 people will return to prison within three years of being released. With the right tools, statistics changed – the 6 out of 10 was reduced to 1 out of 10 and an 89% decrease in in-prison infractions for the participants in our program.
9 of our formerly incarcerated students became teachers throughout the past 2 years. The amount of openness and inspiration a formerly incarcerated messenger brings to an in-prison class is unmatched by any of our teaching artists or other programs may never be able to. Their return to prison as teachers inspires in the incarcerated participants the confidence to make the cultural shift towards effective rehabilitation.
Our alumni also teach in reentry programs and this year worked with 159 returning citizens right as they were facing one of the most challenging times of their lives – re-entering society after years of incarceration.
With your support, this year we were able to continue to work on our first program for Correctional Officers. In a world where Correctional Officers’ suicide rate is unacceptably high and there are not enough programs to address their traumas, you made it possible for us to make this first step.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Your gift can help rewrite someone’s life story
$990 can help cover the expense for one teaching artist to teach a 10-week program in a Continuation High School
$600 will help cover the expense for one formerly incarcerated alumn to teach two-day intensive in one of the 12 California State prisons we work in
$437 can help provide a 10-week program for 2 returning citizens in a reentry facility
$125 can bring an incarcerated child of age 12 to 18 out of camp for one day to experience theater for the first time in their life
You would be amazed by the difference your donation can make!
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Many employers offer a matching gift program that allows you to increase your giving to your favorite organization. This can double or even triple your gift to The Actors’ Gang, giving you the increased benefits and visibility that comes with your new level of giving. Inquire with your company’s human resources department to see if your gift to The Actors’ Gang qualifies for a matching gift.
A special thanks to all of our Foundation and Government Supporters!