(July 27, 2011) Appalachian Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP), is an important energy provider and employer in the state of West Virginia. They have also been a significant partner for numerous philanthropic initiatives throughout the state that we all share and love. The AEP Foundation has generously assisted in preserving and sustaining our educational outreach tradition by providing Theatre West Virginia $50,000 over a two year period to go directly toward educational programming. Annually, $20,000 will go toward matching grant funds and the other $5,000 per year will be allocated to fully fund lower socio-economic school districts.
Much like Appalachian Power, Theatre West Virginia is also an important "energy" provider for the state. They have continually impressed theatre-goers and maintained a high-level of professional performances since 1961. Their Educational Touring Program has been actively delivering live performing arts to schools throughout West Virginia, and in some adjoining states, since 1972. Director of Marketing, Kandace Clay, states "Theatre and the arts is such an important aspect to having a well-rounded education. It is through opportunities such as our Educational Touring Program that allows students the ability to expand their creativity and gain knowledge of a world they may have never known existed otherwise."
A low estimate concludes that 2,160,000 students have seen a TWV touring show since they began providing performances in schools, libraries, colleges and public venues. Outreach performers appear in more than 200 contracted performances each year from late September through mid-May. TWV also develops and distributes online study guides and every performance is followed by an interactive Q&A session. These guides are easily adapted to the West Virginia's Content Standards and Objectives (CSOs).
Gayle Bowling, TWV's General Manager, states "Not only do you [AEP] light WV but you are allowing TWV to continue ‘lighting' the eyes of many children throughout the state."
Dave Langford, Appalachian Power Manager of External Affairs, presented the funding to Theatre West Virginia for the upcoming 2011-2012 tour of "Parker in the Park" The Natural Science Musical. TWV Board Members were there to accept the check.
Clay states, "We are fortunate as an organization to have such wonderful board members, past and present, and supporters that continually give their time, love and dedication to ensuring the future success of Theatre West Virginia. This check, in essence, is not for us [TWV] but for the children that will be directly touched through this money. We would especially like to thank Senator Mike Green for helping us receive this funding!"