As previously reported, the NBC musical series "Smash" has partnered with home improvement center Lowe's in a new "Make a Musical" campaign that aims to bring much-needed renovations to high 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.
Thirty schools have been selected as finalists to compete for the winning funds. Among them are Lawrence High School in Cedarhurst, NY; Scholars' Academy in Rockaway Park, NY; and the Sherman Central School in Sherman, NY.
The general public can now browse through the schools and their stories to help select a winner. The schools will compete to receive the most online votes at makeamusical.org by April 10.
"These 30 exceptional schools all deserve to win the grand prize. Whether you live near to or far from them, please take a moment to applaud them. And please find your own unique way to express support of young people in the arts in your community, whether it's buying tickets to a show, donating time or resources, or congratulating a student performer or member of the backstage crew," said Timothy Allen McDonald, the founding chairman of iTheatrics.
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.
Check out Jeremy Jordan speaking about the project below: