Commentary by Melissa Hook, Marketing & Events Manager
Civic Theatre’s Young Artists Program serves the community each summer with a philanthropy project. This summer, the 50-plus-member high school cast and crew of “Legally Blonde” collected books for underserved youth in Indianapolis.
“Whether you live in Carmel or the inner city of Indianapolis, you should have the same opportunities to get books and better educate yourself. If someone is born in a poorer area, they shouldn’t have to suffer and lose education and valuable life skills,” Halle Throgmorton said, a Carmel High School sophomore and YAP performer.
Jennifer Scharbrough, an IPS teacher with School 79 said, “Words cannot even begin to express my gratitude to the YAP summer theatre program at Civic Theatre and YAP coordinator, Kelly Butler Smith. Kelly believes that these kids need to understand how service and giving back improve our community.”
Approximately 3,500 books were collected for the children of Carl Wilde Elementary 79. The students will be able to continue their school journey with books they can choose, and the amount of money the donations will save the teachers at the school will be significant.
“Our philanthropy this year was amazing. The cast brought in books to fill an IPS school classroom so the children there would have materials to read. The children come from very diverse backgrounds and many of them don’t speak English very well, so access to books is very important,” Throgmorton said. “Ms. Scharbrough said she doesn’t mind if books go missing during the school year because she knows the kids are bringing them home to read, and I thought that was really cool.”
The YAP philanthropy is just one of the many outreach programs in which Civic is involved. For more about Civic’s Young Artists Program, other Civic programs, or to purchase tickets to upcoming shows, visit civictheatre.org.