The American Music Theatre, a new national nonprofit, announced Thursday that it has won the prestigious John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Award for Excellence in Theater.
The organization, founded in 1998 by L.B. James and John Sarno, is dedicated to supporting the arts in America through its national and international programs.
The Knight Foundation, founded by Lacey White and James Knight, awards grants of $25,000 to emerging and emerging-entertainment organizations.
The awards are given to emerging organizations with “substantial impact on the arts” and the Knight Foundation also serves as an advisor for many of the organizations listed on the foundation’s list of recipients.
The program will support organizations like the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York City Public Library, National Zoo, the Smithsonian Institution, and more.
“This is a tremendous honor and a real honor for us,” said John Sargent, CEO of the John S and James Sarnos, in a statement.
“The arts have always been a bedrock of the American experience.
We are thrilled to see this foundation give these programs the honor and support they deserve.
We also hope to work with the arts organizations in the United States to develop additional grants to make their programs even more impactful.”
American Music Theater will also work with other organizations like The New York Public Library to create a program specifically for American children.
“We’re thrilled to receive this award,” said Paul Ritter, director of The New School’s Center for Children’s Literature and Theater, in an interview with ABC News.
“This is an amazing recognition of the work of this incredible organization, which we know has helped so many children.
I think this program will be a great way to honor the work American Music has done for children, and hopefully it will also help to increase awareness of American music in schools.”
The program is open to American children aged 7-14.
“American Music Theater is thrilled to win this prestigious award, and to work alongside other organizations to help expand the opportunities for children and youth to explore and appreciate American musical theater and other American artistic works,” said American Music Director Peter McDonough.
“We will use the award to continue to make our program accessible to all audiences.”
American Music’s program, called The American Dream, features an ensemble that includes the Los Lomos, the Chicago Ballet, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
The group is currently touring the U.S. and has performed around the world.
It will continue performing at schools, churches, and other institutions, as well as at local theaters.
The program will continue through the 2017-18 school year, with more concerts scheduled throughout the summer.
“American Music is proud to be recognized for the amazing work it does to help children and families get involved in the arts,” said L.J. Sargant.
“I am grateful to the Knight foundation for the opportunity to work on behalf of the children and their families and to the families who are supporting the organization with their donations.”
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