Studio V – Ventura’s Voice 4 Arts & Tutoring is an intergenerational arts & tutoring organization whose mission is to provide academic tutoring & experiential arts classes, performances, showcases, and festivals to people of all ages, with the focus on the transferability of critical thinking and communication skills which are necessary to compete in the creative economy of the twenty-first century.
Communication, connection and collaboration are fundamental skills of theatrical and media arts that can – and should – be learned by all. Studio V teaches skills that give youth an academic advantage in the classroom and adults an advantage in life. The arts and creativity are transformational, and by engaging young people, adults, and seniors in their own creative process, Studio V is helping shape a society of creative, confident and collaborative individuals.
Ok that’s the what and why, now let me tell you the story of how I got here. I am a theatre person. I have worked in the theatre my whole life – did my first play when I was five. Theatre and music saved my life. I moved 17 times by the time I was 13 and was incredibly shy… except on stage… except when I was with music. I was also a pretty good student – I attribute that to my work in the arts.
I went to acting school, American Academy of Dramatic Arts 3 years. Then worked in the theatre (and many day jobs trust me). I was artistic director for 8 years, directing, producing and acting and have worked with actors of all ages. And then I had my son – born 3 months early. It changed my life. I focused on being a mom for awhile – focused on keeping him alive, then on helping him thrive. Then when he was five I was looking at schools and this is the first time I realized THE ARTS WERE PRACTICALLY NON-EXISTENT IN THE SCHOOLS. This was unacceptable to me.
I found two private schools next door to each other; a K-8 and a high school. I took a job to teach music at the K-8 and Drama/Music at the high school. What I really did was create two performing arts programs. I resigned as artistic director at the theatre and devoted my life to educational theatre. I went back to school, finished my BS in Interdisciplinary Studies, My Masters in Communication & Leadership and wrote my thesis on Arts Across the Curriculum. I became a bit of an expert on exactly why arts are so vital to our nation’s success and viability in the 21st century. And through all my experience and experiments, I learned that people create and learn best when we mingle together as a tribe – and NOT WHEN WE ARE BATCHED BY DATE OF MANUFACTURE. I believe in creating art – intergenerationally.
I am creating Studio V to offer classes focused on bringing out the authentic voice and spirit of people – all ages. This will always include learning, creating, taking risks and sharing. It puts the generations back together and gives opportunities to create art and share through storytelling. Yes, that includes the theatre and music and writing and dancing and movement. And it includes growing new dendrites and enhancing ALL EDUCATION including adults’ day to day work skills. We are life long learners – ALL OF US. Studio V is a place to hone skills and create stories.
There is a gap in our schools – the arts are inadaquately represented – and some kids need extra help to master the skills necessary to thrive. Studio V answers that need and fills that gap. There is also a gap in our community. We have come to expect that once we are adults our creative expression should go away – unless we are professional artists. This is not possible and I believe it is a big cause of the emotional dis-ease so many of us are experiencing. We need a place where our creative voice can be hear. Studio V is a place where you can be Vibrant, Valued and Visable – intergenerationally.
So I am asking for your support. Many of you know me. You know my work, I have taught your kids, and your kids’ kids. I have worked with you and for you. I have directed over 150 plays, taught I don’t know how many classes, and spoken on panels and worked for the community at the Boys & Girls Club, Casa Pacifica, YMCA, and CSUCI’s Inspire Her. I have created projects with organizations throughout our city including Angel Heart Foundation, The City of Ventura, Citizens for Peaceful Resolution, CLUE, Gull Wings Children’s Museum, VCMC NICU Family Fund and The Ray Bradbury Theatre and Film Foundation and more.
You have had the opportunity to experience first hand how extremely powerful work in the arts can be and the transformational power it can exert in our lives. I am asking you to support me – as I create the Studio V 4 arts and tutoring Center. Because as you know, if education is happening the arts are necessary. Let’s provide the extra tuturing to ensure education is happening and take the next indicated step into the arts – creating our stories through performance, writing, movement and music.
There will be many classes and performances in our center. We will offer age appropriate acting, dancing, writing, slam poetry, and improv classes and a season of performances in theatre, dance, and readings, including classes for our adults and seniors. And we will offer opportunities for the generations to come together in creative work as well. We will bring back the Actor’s Festival where professionals from the business spend time with our youth, working on scenes and monologues and speaking on panels to inspire them to move forward into the next step of education while honoring their own passions.
And you will make it possible. Together we can create a space for all people to gather, create, perform, write, and share our stories. Theatre & art by the community for the community. This is good for us. It is something we can have for generations to come.
Come with me. Make a difference. Invest in our center. Studio V 4 Arts & tutoring – because if education is happening the arts are necessaryI. Let’s make arts necessary again!
Give generously! Our community is counting on you!
I love you all.