Theatre Outreach Program and Writer Santiago Honored
In April, the Westchester Arts Council—the largest private nonprofit arts council in New York State—recognized the Sarah Lawrence Theatre Outreach Program with a prestigious 2003 Arts Award. Another award went to writer Esmeralda Santiago MFA ’92, an alumna of the College’s Graduate Program in Writing.
The award to Theatre Outreach honors the program’s 30 years of bringing undergraduate and graduate theatre students into area public schools, where they teach performing arts skills to students of all ages. During 2002-03, 40 Sarah Lawrence students worked with more than 400 young people, says Shirley Kaplan, the founder and director of the program. The students helped their classes act out Shakespeare, build puppets, write plays, make costumes and create dances. The Theatre Outreach Program also works with Westchester Community College and Bronx Community College.
Kaplan says creative people owe it to their craft and their community to use their technique “in the widest possible scope.” The College’s faculty and undergraduate and graduate students are committed to sharing their artistic resources—and their knowledge, training and passion for the arts—with the larger community,” she says. “It’s very gratifying to have our program recognized and acknowledged by the Westchester Arts Council.”
Alumna Esmeralda Santiago was honored at the event as a Westchester artist whose achievement is widely recognized and has an impact on the community. Santiago’s books include two memoirs, When I was Puerto Rican and Almost a Woman, and the novel America’s Dream.
—Suzanne Walters MFA ’04