In 2008, Colton Ballet Company directed its community outreach focus on Richmond County Title One schools, where the largest proportion of the student body lives below the poverty level and have very little exposure to the arts. Under the expertise of Outreach Coordinator, Tammy Westafer, twenty-five schools were approached with a special offer to bring their students into the theatre to see Act II of The Nutcracker.
Through a partnership with The Art Factory, Colton Ballet Company received grant funding to offer special matinee performances to these schools at no cost and provide transportation. Prior to seeing the performance, members of Colton Ballet Company visited the schools to read The Nutcracker story and present their teachers with lesson plans.
Based on the enthusiastic response from students and teachers, Colton Ballet Company has been able to expand its community outreach efforts to also include all Title One schools in Aiken, Burke and McDuffie counties. In recent years, the outreach program extended its audience to include local senior citizens as well as The Boys and Girls Club of Augusta, Safe Homes of Augusta, Child Enrichment, Heritage Academy, Lynndale, Inc. and Jack and Jill of America.
Colton Ballet Company is thrilled to be able to share the magic of dance to a growing audience that focuses on the socioeconomic diversity within our community.