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Paramount Theatre wins $95,000 grant to study its school-based drama programs

Nicole Villalpando
Paramount Theatre runs Story Wranglers, which turns children's stories into theater productions.

Credit: Paramount Theatre

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded a $95,000 grant to Austin Theatre Alliance, the nonprofit organization that manages the Paramount and Stateside theaters.

The Paramount will use the research grant to study the impact of its drama in school program, Literacy to Life/Paramount Story Wranglers, which serves students in Title I schools.

“Our vision is that all young people will have the creative confidence they need to be successful in their communities,” said Jennifer Luck, director of partnerships and programming, education for Paramount and Stateside theaters, in a press release. “And with this generous support from the NEA, we are hoping to better articulate why we know young people exit the Literacy to Life program with a better sense of self, a confidence that leaves students with a belief that they can solve problems creatively, and a pride knowing they have ideas that need to be shared with the world.”

Each year the Paramount’s education programs serve 22,000 students, through school programs and summer camps. Currently, as it shifted its programs during the coronavirus pandemic, it is hosting two types of virtual summer camps as well as hosting free Story Wranglers creative writing challenges each week.

“We celebrate organizations like the Austin Theatre Alliance for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Find the Paramount’s summer education programs at austintheatre.org/education.

Other Austin arts organizations also received grants:

Allison Orr Dance Inc. (aka Forklift Danceworks), $10,000

Austin Chamber Music Center, $45,000

Austin Children's Museum (The Thinkery), $20,000

Austin Classical Guitar Society (aka Austin Classical Guitar), $80,000

Austin Film Festival Inc., $15,000

Austin Film Society, $20,000

Austin Lyric Opera, $25,000

Austin Symphony Orchestra Society Inc., $25,000

Ballet Austin, $10,000

Blue Lapis Light Inc., $10,000

Capitol Broadcasting Association Inc., $15,000

Collide, $35,000

Conspirare Inc., $40,000

The Contemporary Austin, $35,000

Fuse Box Austin, $30,000

MINDPOP, $54,000

Motion Media Arts Center (aka Austin Cinemaker Space), $15,000

Texas Folklife Resources, $40,000