Entertaining, Enriching & Educating through the Arts
The Topeka Performing Arts Center is dedicated to making youth arts education accessible as an adjunct to local and regional education systems. Our special programs for children grades K-12 offer opportunities to learn, experience, and be recognized in the world of music and theater.
Schooltime Theater live arts performances for children directly complement schools' curricula, and we hire the best professional touring children's theater companies in the nation. Children's exposure to the arts helps develop key cognitive skills such as good decision-making and problem-solving. Schooltime Theater is sponsored by a generous grant from Security Benefit.
Sheffel Theater Clinic was founded in 1995. Every Shawnee County third grade student - from public school, private school and home schooled - is invited to attend and learn about the joys of theater. They are treated to six 30-minute workshops in acting, costuming, make-up, movement, technical staging and vocal expression, plus a delicious lunch and a short performance that includes all the elements of theater they learned during the day. STC is sponsored by Payless ShoeSource, T&T Management, Westar Energy, LJ Building Maintenance Services, Durham School Services, HDB Construction, My Company Inc., MC Industries/Sunflower Marketing and Topeka Carnival Supply.
The Young Artist of the Year Awards program was founded in 1995, and is sponsored by T&T Management (Steve & Karen Tyler). Any Shawnee County high school junior can be nominated in one of ten awards categories: instrumental music, musical theater, vocal music, dramatic theater, ballet/classical/modern dance, tap/jazz/other dance, visual arts, creative writing, technical theater, and community services in the arts. A panel of judges reviews the nominees' work to choose the best in each category.
And there's more.
Students of the arts:
significantly out-perform their non-arts peers on SAT scores in mathematics and verbal skills;
are four times less likely to drop out of school;
are more likely to participate in community service;
develop greater self-esteem;
develop better self-discipline;
are more likely to use positive and safe ways to release their emotions.