GREAT Theatre’s annual Youth Artist Project is deeply connected to our mission of bringing our community together through shared theatre experiences and ensuring everyone has access to the transformative power of the arts. This innovative program is designed to expose high school students to the variety of roles and career opportunities in theatre through hands-on technical and creative experiences, introduce young audiences to the magic of live theatre, and provide opportunities for youth to perform. 

It’s an incredible honor to be recognized with an Innovation Award from the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation for the value that GREAT brings to our youth and our community

GREAT is an economic driver. All arts programming has a direct economic impact from paying artists and staff salaries to purchasing resources like lumber and advertising locally. There are also studies that show that each audience member spends an additional $22 per ticket on dining out, childcare, and traveling to the theater. This economic impact ripples out into the community. A robust arts and culture scene is a key component of thriving communities where people want to live, work, and play. Building pathways for artists is critical to ensuring a thriving theatre community for years to come. Theatre is not only a huge economic driver in terms of entertainment, but it also develops our future workforce by fostering skills such as leadership, teamwork, and problem solving. As our future leaders, GREAT’s Youth Artist Project will help drive the economy of the future.

Our youth today are the future leaders of our community. Theatre has the transformative power to develop empathy, confidence, and collaboration. A 2019 study from the New Victory Theater confirms that high-quality arts programming enhances empathy, builds self-esteem, and expands students’ self determination for their futures, motivating them to imagine and achieve these possibilities while increasing students’ sense of hope for themselves and their world. Theatre also develops skills such as leadership, teamwork, and problem solving. GREAT’s Youth Artist Project is an innovative approach to offering opportunities to bring our community together and shape our future.

Building a more vibrant community through the power of the arts. From the high school students who engage with the project as first-time designers and directors, to the mentors who guide throughout the production process, to the kindergartners who enter the Helgeson Learning Lab Theatre for the first time, to the youth who make their stage debut performing, GREAT’s Youth Artist Project opens doors and connects our community through the joyful experience of theatre.

Thank you to the GSDC – and all its investor companies – for collectively working to build a more vibrant community….GREAT is proud to be part of that!