Engaging the community through the arts

At the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center we strive to provide exceptional live experiences, and those experiences aren’t limited to what you see on stage.

 “In addition to bringing live performances to the stage here at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center we feel it’s very important to make sure that we are providing opportunities for the community to connect to the art form on a deeper level,” said president Maria Van Laanen. “That’s why we have our Community First Community Engagement Series.”

These events are designed to enhance your experience at the Center or in the community through the arts. These events typically happen prior to the performance either off site in partnership with a local organization or business, or at the Center right before show time.

From community conversations to family friendly activities, interactive workshops to Q&A opportunities with the cast, these Community Engagement Series activities are educational, inspirational and entertaining. Most events are completely free with a ticket to the show and some are free and open to the public to enjoy.

“The series gives patrons a broader, deeper understanding of the arts to enhance their overall experience,” said Cathie Tierney, president of Community First Credit Union. “To have an activity where people come together with an open mind to learn about each other’s viewpoints or about the back story of the performer’s intentions allows the experience to be richer and more meaningful.”

In the case of an artist residency, like the upcoming Spectrum Dance Theater residency in February, it’s a mix of all with a week full of activities happening both at the Center and in the community with the hope of using art to create conversations and provide a creative outlet for people to express and enjoy themselves. During the week leading up to the February 10 performance, members of the Spectrum Dance Theater company will participate in community conversations, perform a dance demonstration followed by a conversation about how to use the arts as a medium for social change and lead an interactive dance workshop.  The group will visit a high school, host an Education Series performance for students in grades 6-12 and then perform their Rambunctious 2.0 repertoire for the public on Friday evening.

“These weeklong residencies allow us to make a bigger impression on the community,” said director of programming and community engagement Amy Gosz. “By getting performers out in the community, addressing community issues and using the arts to facilitate an ongoing conversation, it demonstrates how the arts are so much more than just an entertaining performance.”

Community First Community Engagement Series activities are announced first on the Fox Cities P.A.C. website, so check early and check often for opportunities to enhance your experience! We hope to see you for the Spectrum Dance Theater residency activities Feb. 6-11!
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