Rosie’s Theater Kids – Non Profit Partner Spotlight

(RTKids) is an arts education organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children through the arts.  We serve students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to experience theater, positively changing the trajectory of their lives by providing comprehensive classes in music, dance and drama; thoughtful mentoring; and structured academic guidance.  Our goal is to inspire excellence, motivate learning, uplift the human spirit, build confidence, and spark a lifelong appreciation for the arts.

What makes our program unique:
Although there are a number of performing arts education non-profits in New York City, our one-on-one attention, the longevity of our commitment to our students (7 years), and the fact that our core programs are free make our program unique and effective. We use musical theater as the hook, as a means for students from underserved communities to develop transferable skills for success onstage, in the classroom and in life. 

Our foundational program, PS Broadway, is provided free of charge to 17 Title 1 NYC public elementary schools, where over 75% of the students come from low-income communities. Every fifth grade student at each participating school receives 15 weeks (one-hour weekly) of song and dance classes, a trip to a Broadway show, and a guest performance/talkback by a Broadway performer. Outstanding graduates of PS Broadway are invited to RTKids’ scholarship program, ACTE II (A Commitment to Excellence), which offers professional musical theater training that is enhanced by comprehensive academic and social services after-school and in the summer. From 6th grade through high school, these underserved students find a “home away from home” at RTKids’ Maravel Arts Center, a 5-story townhouse tailored to the needs of our program with three performance studios, a study room, and a kids’ kitchen. RTKids aims for and has achieved a 100% high school graduation rate for its scholarship students, and has ensured that all graduates are placed in some institute of higher learning. ACTE II students have showcased their talents on national television and on stage – a few notable experiences include The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The View, in a production of The Winter’s Tale in collaboration with the Public Theater, and in stage performances alongside Paul Simon and Cyndi Lauper.

How can CUP members become involved?
There are a few ways to become involved.  First, we have launched a fairly robust mentoring program, in which professionals can become a “big brother/sister” to our students. The commitment is one year, with in-person touch-points at least once per month with our students. Second, we have a Junior Council, which consists of people in their 20’s and 30’s who’d like to be involved socially with the organization. The Junior Council comes with an annual commitment of $250/year and includes social events, mentoring opportunities, and networking with other young professionals. Finally, we welcome conversations with qualified individuals who are interested in joining our Board of Directors. We are always interested in meeting new friends and would love to host a visit from any CUP members who would like to learn more about Rosie’s Theater Kids!