This Is What It Looks Like to Change a Child’s Life

On the far side of the indoor basketball court, a line of wobbly-kneed elementary school kids stomps through a sequence of shuffle-step, shuffle-step with their dance teacher clapping time. Their shiny, tiny tap shoes clobber the gymnasium with sounds, their faces an endearing mix of intense concentration and unadulterated joy. Out of context, this line […]

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Straz Arts Education Program, Broadway Buddies Unites Kids from Different Learning Backgrounds

A little bit exchange program, a little bit Big Brothers/Big Sisters, a little bit theater boot camp and a lot of laughs – that describes the remarkable new program launched by Patel Conservatory’s Acting Director of Community Engagement and Education Programs Alice Santana and theater instructor Matt Belopavlovich. Inspired by Hillsborough County Schools’ PEERS program, […]

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Passing It On and Paying It Forward – A Story of Third Generation Straz Donors

Rebecca Jacobson’s family owned the cast recordings of Hair, Pippin and Man of La Mancha. As they did for many Broadway-loving families, these musicals wove themselves into the Jacobson identity. The songs bookmarked memories, linking themselves to cherished people, intertwining grandparents, parents, grandchildren through music and story. Today, the opening notes from “The Impossible Dream” […]

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Patel Student Spotlight: Mateo Valdes

Eleven-year-old music student Mateo Valdes’ violin journey at the Patel Conservatory. Patel Conservatory violin student Mateo Valdes has a very deep and wise gaze under a flop of shaggy, dark bangs. He doesn’t make eye contact much, but when he does, he seems to possess a kind of old-soul way of knowing that belies his […]

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Corporate Donors, Nitrosolutions, Defend Cyberspace and Stand Up for the Importance of the Performing Arts

The team at Nitro Solutions may be in the artificial intelligence business, but they know the real-time smarts behind investing in the performing arts. Take a brewing head cold, the growing menace of cybersecurity threats, a healthy (arguably unhealthy) love of all things Star Wars, and you have the seminal forces behind Tampa’s extraordinary cybersecurity […]

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Patel Conservatory Outreach Program Gives Life Skills to Adults with Disabilities

“I’m Amanda, and my movement is this!” A young woman with long brown hair and a big smile circles her arms.

Their teacher, Patel Conservatory theater education faculty member Sarah Berland, her dark curls bouncing, laughs along with the group, pushing them gently during this theater game to try something new, to express themselves in a different way, to make sure they are following instructions.

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