By Adam Hetrick
22 Feb 2013
The 2013 initiative follows in the footsteps of the outreach program launched last year by "Smash" and iTheatrics, which helped establish sustainable musical theatre programs in 30 schools across the U.S.
Administered by iTheatrics, which develops theatrical works for young performers, the partnership will provide funding in the form of a $3,000 Lowe's gift card to five grand-prize-winning schools. The funding must be used for renovation materials.
Applications are now open at makeamusical.org. Qualifying schools can apply online through March 6. On March 12, iTheatrics will share the names and stories of the 30 finalist schools. Individuals will be able to vote on the 30 finalist schools, five of which will be selected to receive the Lowe's funding.
It is the hope that with national attention of "Smash" and Lowe's corporations that businesses across the U.S. will become engaged on a local level with arts programming in schools.
As part of the new campaign, "Smash" and Lowe's recently united to help rebuild the auditorium of the East Rockaway High School on Long Island, which was devastated during Hurricane Sandy. Newsies and "Smash" star Jeremy Jordan was among the individuals to lend a hand and help in the restoration.
East Rockaway High School had planned on presenting a run of Seussical in early February, but the water damage to the school was too severe. The students did prevail, however, performing excerpts from the musical during a special event at a local school.
"This isn't just an auditorium; this is the heart of our school community," East Rockaway superintendent Dr. Roseanne Melucci said in a statement. "This is the stage our school community uses for public meetings, celebrations of student success and town halls. This is the stage where our students' grandparents, mothers and fathers stood on to graduate from this school. And this year's class of 2013 must continue in the tradition. We must restore this space to be better than ever to show this community that there is hope and there is progress and that we are going to be ok."
Timothy Allen McDonald, the founding chairman of iTheatrics, added, "During our site visits last year to the 'NBC's 'Smash': Make a Musical’ schools, we saw firsthand how the current economic climate has not only decimated our nation’s art programs, it has delayed desperately needed repairs in school theatres. 'Smash,' Lowe's, and Rebuilding Together are doing more than improving school theater programs across the nation, they are shining the spotlight on inspiring schools deserving of support. We hope that community members and businesses will follow their lead and find their own ways to make a difference."
Check out Jeremy Jordan speak about the project below: