Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Families invited to apply for discounted arts event tickets

UNIVERSITY PARK — The Center for the Performing Arts recently marked the first year of its Arts Engagement Family Program. 

“We have heard our community loud and clear that one of the barriers to participation is affordability,” said Center for the Performing Arts Director Sita Frederick. “This program and our free events are a response to that call to action.”

The aim of the Arts Engagement Family Program is to connect local families with the arts and each other. For those who meet the eligibility requirements of a household income of $60,000 or less, the center will provide discounted tickets to experience the performing arts.

In the past year, the program has sold more than 130 discounted tickets and registered 86 families, said Keith Brainard, the Arts Ticket Center customer service supervisor.

“We hosted a lot of first-time guests. These guests included multi-generational families, from children to grandparents enjoying an evening out together. It was great to see,” Brainard said. “Being able to offer an evening of quality programming to families who otherwise would not consider an evening at the theater is amazing.”

Visit Arts Engagement Family Program for more information or to fill out an application.

For more program information and an application form, contact Brainard via email at kab248@psu.edu or call 814‑863‑0255.

Visit All Events for more information about the season schedule.

Helping to provide a joyful experience

Shu-Wei Chuang and family are members of the program. He said the center’s performances helped to ease his family’s culture shock after arriving in State College, and he said he was happy to be able to provide a joyful experience for his son.

Chuang said his family will continue with the Arts Engagement Family Program in the future so they “can enjoy the events, have fun and inspire something new from the shows.”

Read a Center for the Performing Arts feature about the Arts Family Engagement Program online.

The arts encourage learning, creativity

At its core, the Center of the Performing Arts focuses on creative innovation, community service, artistic leadership and committed stewardship. The Arts Engagement Family Program aims to have relevant and accessible art experiences for all families without financial strain. The center’s goal in 2024 is to register at least 100 families by the end of the season.

An “Art in Early Childhood” study by Naomi Lifschitz-Grant concluded that parental involvement with a child’s educational and artistic programs can be influential in the quality and scope of a child’s education. Family participation also can help the child forge better relationships and an increased sense of community among a family and a child’s peers.

“The arts are a powerful way for families to support their children to learn and develop in different kinds of environments, not only formal school,” Frederick said. “We can learn while having fun or feeling emotions during a performance. The arts help encourage creativity which is connected to problem-solving, flexibility and resilience.”

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