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MVP presents grant to Fantasy Playhouse

MADISON – Help from Madison Visionary Partners or MVP will assist a popular outlet for children to delve into the fine arts.

MVP has awarded a Community Impact Grant for $2,500 to Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater and Academy. The grant will assist Fantasy Playhouse in offering outreach programs that will impact Madison families, according to MVP Executive Director Melanie Thornton said.

Since 1961, Fantasy Playhouse has been a leader in arts education in North Alabama. The organization believes that no child should be denied access to quality education in the arts. Over the last decade, Fantasy Playhouse has actively solicited funding from grants, foundations and private sources to bring opportunities in theater arts education free of charge to at-risk students.

Theatre arts education builds life skills useful to all students, no matter their career path. Students gain skills in self-confidence, public speaking, creative problem-solving, a team-oriented approach to work, time management, empathy and perseverance.

Students who are engaged in the arts develop important aptitudes:

* Four times more likely to participate in his or her school’s math or science fair.

* 17 percent more likely to volunteer in the community.

* 21 percent more likely to vote at 18 years old.

* Twice as more likely to pursue and obtain a college degree.

Fantasy Playhouse used the Community Impact Grant for $2,500 from Madison Visionary Partners to augment the opportunities in theater arts for additional Madison families. Fantasy serves more than 11,000 students in Madison and Limestone counties.

The after-school theater programs that Fantasy Playhouse offers to students in grades K-5 have not only grown interest in theater programs at Liberty and Discovery middle schools but have led to increased theater participation at Bob Jones and James Clemens high schools.

Hands-on partnership with Madison City Schools has allowed Fantasy Playhouse to act as a theater training program for the high school theater departments. An example of this relationship was a free peer-to-peer puppetry class for Bob Jones theater students as they prepared for a stage production of “Charlotte’s Web.”

Other public programs that further help Fantasy Playhouse to engage with the Madison community include the Madison Street Festival, “Fridays with Fantasy” at Dublin Park and summer camp at Bob Jones.

Founded in 2014 by community and business leaders, MVP functions as a community nonprofit organization that spearheads projects and initiatives to enhance the quality of life in Madison. “We are an apolitical, 501(c)3 organization and are governed by a Board of Directors,” Thornton said.

For more information about Fantasy Playhouse, call 256-539-6829, email info@fantasyplayhouse.com or visit fantasyplayhouse.org. For more information about MVP, call 256-384-4358, email info@mvpmadison.org or visit mvpmadison.org.

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