Epic Theatre Ensemble
In 2017, the foundation provided continuing support to Epic Theatre Ensemble, which uses an arts integration model that builds language and literacy skills to improve students’ academic performance. The Epic model successfully accomplishes this integration of arts into academia by connecting professional artists to students in underserved communities in New York City. Epic operates in-school, school-wide educational arts programs at underserved partner schools and provides supplemental programs to additional schools. Students write and perform theater productions that incorporate academic lessons, and youth interested in participating in after-school theater programming can become a part of the Shakespeare Remix or Epic NEXT programs, which provide more intensive arts-plus-education interventions.
In 2017, the foundation’s support enabled Epic to further develop college access and persistence strategies to support high school students in its Shakespeare Remix program at six schools at the Evander Childs Campus. The expansion followed a successful pilot at Bronx High School for Writing and Communication Arts which resulted in college enrollment rates nearing 100% for students who participated in its in-school and after-school programs. The 2017–18 program serves 560 juniors and 90 seniors.