We are proud to serve our community across a diverse range of audiences through UIS Performing Arts Education Connections, the multi-pronged educational outreach division of UIS Performing Arts Services. 

Education Connections programs include:

CLASS ACTS 
The Class Acts series is the UIS Performing Arts Center’s flagship education outreach program. For over 30 years, this program has supported the educational goals of area teachers by providing opportunities for students in preschool through high school to experience artistic, educational, and high-quality performances created for young audiences by nationally-touring theater companies.

2019/2020 Class Acts statistics: 
• 11,139 Class Acts attendees 
• 14 total performances of seven different shows 
• Attendees from 151 unique public, private, and home schools 
• Attendees from 16 different counties in central Illinois 
• 893 Scholarship Seats given to schools with low income students

Youth programming in the Class Acts series is supported in part by the Elizabeth and Robert Staley Class Acts Endowment, the Helen Hamilton Performing Arts Endowment for Youth, and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

EDUCATION OUTREACH

ARTS START
Through the Arts Start program, funded by the PNC Grow Up Great initiative, over 475 students in the Springfield Urban League Head Start program receive arts education experiences. Now completing its ninth year, the program includes ¬field trip performances, pre-show classroom visits, classroom learning materials, professional development for teachers, and an annual family event at the UIS Performing Arts Center.

PARTNERS IN EDUCATION
UIS Performing Arts Services works with Springfield Public Schools as a team in the Partners in Education program, a national program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with a goal of supporting arts in education by providing teachers with professional development training in arts integration. In 2019/2020, local Head Start teachers and assistant teachers participated in “Lines and Shapes: Integrating Visual Art and Geometry” with Jamin Carter, an artist and educator and nationally-recognized workshop leader with the Kennedy Center.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

BROADWAY DISCUSSIONS
Prior to every Broadway show, audience members are invited to join us for a pre-show dinner with food themed around the show. Dinners are co-hosted by the FRIENDS of UIS Performing Arts Center and the UIS Alumni SAGE Society. Following the dinner, a UIS faculty member or other content expert conducts a pre-show presentation in the UIS Studio Theatre, providing additional context for the show for interested members of the audience.

ANGEL TICKETS
Through our Angel Ticket program, local non-profit social service organizations are given tickets they can distribute to the people they serve who would normally be unable to attend our events due to their social or ¬financial situation. 

In 2019/2020, a total of 229 tickets were donated to 13 organizations.

FUNDRAISING DONATIONS
To help support the efforts of non-profit organizations in our community, we regularly give away tickets for use in fundraising activities. 

In 2019/2020 a total of 100 tickets were donated to 42 organizations.

Education Connections Pages
Support

Education programming is supported in part by the Elizabeth and Robert Staley Class Acts Endowment, the Helen Hamilton Performing Arts Endowment for Youth, and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.  

Contact

For more information about any of these programs, contact Betsy O’Brien at eobri4@uis.edu.