Straz Center for the Performing Arts receives awards | Arts & Culture
Tampa, Florida-- The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts recently was presented with two awards for its commitment to providing arts services to the community.
The Hillsborough County Elementary Music Educators Council (HCEMEC) presented the Straz Center with the Encore Award and the Boards of the University of South Florida Area Community Civic Association, Inc. (USFACCA) and the University Area Community Development Corporation, Inc.(UACDC) presented the Conservatory with its Community Partnership award.
“Through their Community Partnership Program, the Straz Center provides performing arts educational experiences to at-risk children and families,” said Dan Jurman, executive director and CEO of UACDC. “This initiative allows impoverished communities to gain true appreciation for the performing arts, and strengthens their arts education experience. As public schools are forced to cut more and more of their budgets for arts education, it becomes even more crucial that we have committed partners like the Straz Center to ensure that at-risk students have these kinds of rich, cross-cultural experiences.”
Kimberly Spurlin, HCEME president-elect, explained that the Encore Award is given to groups, organizations or individuals that have helped provide musical opportunities to elementary students in Hillsborough County. “We were told in our Council meetings that the Straz Center has provided some great opportunities for our students this year in some schools and we wanted to thank you all for your efforts and time,” she said, adding that the Patel Conservatory was nominated by the HCEMEC board members and approved by the elementary music supervisor.
The Straz Center’s newly accredited Patel Conservatory provides performing arts experiences to 12 schools, both public and private. A few examples of outreach activities include dance classes for interested students at RCMA Academy in Wimauma, vocal lessons at Blake High School and assistance in putting on a play at Sulphur Springs Elementary. Many students have also had the opportunity to attend shows at the Straz Center at no charge.
In addition to schools, during the 2011-12 school year, the Patel Conservatory has provided arts experiences to the Boys and Girls Club, The Spring, Cornerstone Family Ministries and the Children’s Home, among other organizations.
“The only reward we really need is the look on the faces of the kids and the feeling you get when you see them experiencing the performing arts. However, it is always nice to be recognized by our peers. I hope that this encourages others to continue to support the work we do in the community. We rely on contributions to do this very important outreach work,” said Straz Center Vice President of education, Wendy Leigh.
As part of the non-profit Straz Center, the Patel Conservatory offers classes for children and adults of all experience levels in all kinds of dance, music and theater. More information about the Patel Conservatory is available by calling 813.222.1002 and by visiting www.patelconservatory.org.