Norton Center aims to increase youth access to the arts

Center College’s Norton Center for the Arts is hosting its second annual Arts for the Classroom Ticket Subsidy (ACTS) Fund Challenge through May 10, 2019. Donations to the fund subsidize free or deeply discounted student matinee tickets, helping to ensure that all area children have access to life-changing arts experiences regardless of their financial circumstances.

ACTS student matinee tickets are available to qualifying public schools, allowing regional students the opportunity to engage with acclaimed performing artists without leaving Central Kentucky. The program has provided free arts experiences to more than 10,000 students over the last seven years.

“ACTS began in 2012, in response to an outcry from local educators for financial assistance,” noted Norton Center Executive Director Steve Hoffman. “We wanted to develop a program that would make a meaningful impact within our own communities, and thanks to the generosity of area foundations, corporations and many individual community members, we’ve been able to do just that.”

Hoffman continued, “Last year, we doubled our goal in just two weeks with our first-ever ACTS Fund Challenge. This year, we’ve upped the goal to $7,500 and we’re hoping for similar results.”

During the 2018-2019 season, the Norton Center gave nearly 2,000 free student matinee tickets to performances of The Westerlies, a New York-based brass quartet; the American Shakespeare Center’s Comedy of Errors; pop-cellist Gabriel Royal; vocal ensemble Trey McLaughlin and The Sounds of Zamar; and Theatre Unspeakable’s American Revolution.

Coinciding with National Teacher Appreciation Week, community members are being challenged to help the Norton Center connect even more students to the power of the arts. Every $8.00 donated allows one child to attend a student matinee for free, and a $250 gift subsidizes the cost for an entire classroom.

“When you give to the Norton Center’s ACTS program, you are opening doors for children who might otherwise not have the opportunity to be exposed to the arts,” said Teresea Harley, Mercer County Elementary School teacher. “You are helping to create a level playing field.”

While donations to the ACTS Fund are accepted and greatly appreciated at any time, local community partner DEAL, Inc. has generously offered a $2,500 matching gift for all donations made through May 10. One-hundred percent of each tax-deductible gift supports arts experiences for area students—making an impact that will last a lifetime.

Those wishing to support the ACTS Fund Challenge may make gifts online at; in person or by check to The Norton Center, 600 West Walnut Street, Danville, Kentucky 40422 (please note “ACTS” in the memo); or by calling 859.236.4692.

by Norton Center for the Arts
May 2, 2019

By |2019-05-02T13:47:39-04:00May 2nd, 2019|News, Norton Center for the Arts|