The William Randolph Hearst Foundation is supporting CFA’s Theatre Arts Program with a $200,000 grant, which will provide scholarships for aspiring young artists from underrepresented backgrounds, to be distributed over two years. Each year, 9-10 scholarships will be awarded to exceptional students with financial need who demonstrate strong artistic merit, leadership, and a commitment to service. A portion of these awards will be designed to cover approximately half of tuition costs for students with significant need and great artistic promise. LMU’s accredited Theatre Arts Program combines a humanistic liberal arts education with rigorous classes in acting, directing, design, theatre technology, playwriting, history and criticism.
“These scholarships will help train the next generation of performing artists and theatre teachers, enhance diversity in the arts, and reduce the debt burden and financial barriers that might otherwise prevent disadvantaged youth from accessing a high-quality education,” said Theatre Arts Chair Kevin Wetmore, Ph.D. “Our program is committed to attracting the best students, as well as giving hardworking and qualified young people access to an exceptional education, regardless of their financial means. We are also committed to art for social justice and so welcome the ability to help students use their art to make the world a better place.”
The Theatre Arts program at LMU aims to engage the whole person – mind, body and spirit – in exploring the human experience through performance. In alignment with Loyola Marymount University’s Jesuit values, Theatre Arts students are actively involved in community outreach and volunteerism. Through the use of performance as a means to highlight the needs of vulnerable populations and share their stories with a wider audience, our students have worked with marginalized people such as gang-affected youth, victims of human trafficking and the homeless. Theatre Arts students also partner with local middle schools to stage plays with anti-bullying messages and perform each year on World AIDS Day to raise money for HIV/AIDS charities.
Guided by a long tradition of helping the underserved, students at LMU volunteer more than 200,000 hours annually, earning the No. 12 ranking for “Students Most Engaged in Community Service” in the Princeton Review’s 2017 guide to colleges. Each scholarship student will be actively involved in charitable work to promote social justice and/or will be future teachers who will make a difference in the lives of young people interested in the arts. In addition to transforming the lives of the selected students, there is no question that LMU’s Theatre Arts Program will benefit from the greater plurality of student voices from such diverse backgrounds.