Wal-Mart Donates $30,000 to Renaissance Theatre Academy

White Plains Performing Arts Center’s New Summer Youth Training Program begins June 25


White Plains, NY (May 31, 2007) – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., is supporting the Renaissance Theatre Academy with a sponsorship of $30,000 for this new educational program produced by the White Plains Performing Arts Center.  The announcement came during a ceremonial check presentation today at the theatre, which was attended by directors of the White Plains Performing Arts Center, representatives from the White Plains Wal-Mart, children of the Theater Academy, and Joseph M. Delfino, Mayor of the City of White Plains.  In addition to the donation, Wal-Mart will also provide school items for students of the program. 

In 2006, Wal-Mart’s philanthropic efforts in the State of New York totaled more than $11.7 million, including a major donation to the White Plains Sculpture Garden located in Tibbits Park.

“Wal-Mart is committed to being a good neighbor and valuable member of the White Plains community,” said Steve Restivo, Divisional Director, Media and Community Relations, Wal-Mart.  “This culturally enriching and educational project is just one of many community-based initiatives we have been involved with in White Plains. We look forward to forging a lasting relationship with the theatre and supporting its various programs.”

Jack W. Batman, Executive Producer of the White Plains Performing Arts Center, said “We are grateful to our friends at Wal-Mart for their very generous support of the Renaissance Theatre Academy. It is extremely satisfying to have the encouragement of Wal-Mart in our efforts to bring first-class theatre education to the children of Westchester.  Everyone here at the theatre, and all the kids, send our grateful appreciation to the whole Wal-Mart family.”

The White Plains Performing Arts Center’s new summer professional theatre training program for children ages 7-17 will be held June 25 through August 18, 2007. The Renaissance Theatre Academy offers four 3-week sessions taught by experienced theatre teaching professionals, each session ending with a fully-staged production of a Broadway musical.  This summer’s musicals are You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, book, music and lyrics by Clark Gesner, and Pippin, music and lyrics by (Westchester’s own) Stephen Schwartz and book by Roger O. Hirson.
 
The Renaissance Theatre Academy’s daily classes include voice, acting, dance, technical stagecraft and production, along with team-building activities and theatre games. All classes are taught by experienced theatre professionals and teachers. The Renaissance Theatre Academy provides a noncompetitive, nurturing and fun environment to enhance a child’s knowledge and skills in theatre arts and offers a junior company for children 7 – 11 and a senior company for 12-17 year olds.  Sessions are held Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

The Renaissance Theatre Academy is under the direction of Toni Rubio.  Ms. Rubio, a White Plains native, has been a working teaching artist for the past 20 years, developing arts-in-education curriculums and residencies according to the NYS Standards of Learning for teachers and students grades K-12, after-school centers, community youth organizations, summer camps and professional development.  She is a member of many youth development initiatives and is the current and founding director of the Living Museum Company, an arts & education theatre company. Her theatre degree is from Boston College and she holds a certificate of training from the Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City. 

The White Plains Performing Arts Center is a professional, not-for-profit, producing and presenting theatre company that continues to bring innovative and eclectic entertainment and classic Broadway musicals to appreciative audiences. With a new management team in place, the theatre will be announcing its 2007-2008 season in June. The theatre, a 410-seat, $6 million facility, also hosts local, national and international performing artists whose work reflects Westchester’s diverse population. The 2006-2007 Season is sponsored by the Louis R. Cappelli Foundation and the Ginsburg Development Companies, and made possible, in part, by a grant from the Westchester Arts Council with the funds from Westchester County Government.  www.wppac.com.

For more information about the Renaissance Theatre Academy, please call (914) 328-1600 or email to YouthTheatre@WPPAC.com.

About White Plains Performing Arts Center
The White Plains Performing Arts Center is a professional, not-for-profit, producing and presenting theatre company that continues to bring innovative, eclectic and always-entertaining new plays and musicals to its beautiful new facility.  With a new management team in place, the theatre will be announcing its 2007-2008 season in June. The theatre, a 410-seat, $6 million facility, also hosts local, national and international performing artists whose work reflects Westchester’s diverse population. The 2006-2007 Season is sponsored by the Louis R. Cappelli Foundation and the Ginsburg Development Companies, and made possible, in part, by a grant from the Westchester Arts Council with the funds from Westchester County Government.  www.wppac.com.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Every week, more than 127 million customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com.  The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally.  Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $245 million to local communities in the United States, including more than $11.7 million in New York. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.

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