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Impact Broadway: Introducing minority teens to Broadway

LINDA ARMSTRONG Special to the AmNews | 12/21/2011, 6:49 p.m.

This program is vital for the cultural development of minority youth. "They get exposure to Broadway productions that most did not have. They have a deep understanding on how theater works by seeing shows and talking to the cast and creative teams behind the shows. Then the students come back and talk to other students-that's the impact," Walker-Kuhne said. "We have 30 industry volunteers who go with us to the schools and speak to the students. My goal is to change the face of Broadway audiences. We're trying to create a familiarity and access to Broadway theater."

In the past two years, students have seen and met with the cast and creative teams of "Fela!" "In the Heights," "Memphis," "The Lion King" and "A Free Man of Color."

If you can help fund this program, get in touch with Walker International Communications Group by calling (718) 703-2260. If you are a theater professional-actor, dancer, choreography, costume designer, etc.-and you would like to become one of Impact Broadway's volunteers and share your experiences with New York City teens, you can email impactbroadway@gmail.com. You're only asked to commit six hours a month.

Walker-Kuhne hopes that Impact Broadway will succeed in developing loyal future audience members for Broadway shows. "The students involved want to perform on stage or work backstage, but there are also others who just love theater. The students post their experiences on Facebook," she said.