Ohio Children’s Foundation invests in arts education at Stuart’s Opera House

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NELSONVILLE, Ohio – The Columbus-based Ohio Children’s Foundation recently invested in Stuart’s Opera House’s Arts education program, which offers thirteen free arts education programs and encounters, with the programs for children offered at no cost.

Stuart's Opera House's logo The Ohio Children’s Foundation is a non-profit organization whose goal is to benefit children, including those who are at-risk, by providing grants to nonprofits that support them through community, education, and advocacy.

The Ohio Children’s Foundation’s impact on Stuart’s Opera House’s mission began through their support of the nonprofit’s Capital Campaign launched in 2014, which culminated in 2018 with the completion of its Arts Education Center. Now, five years later, the Foundation’s recent award continues to support Stuart’s Opera House’s arts education program. The majority of the participants in Stuart’s Arts Education program are school-aged students, and the generous gift is a nod to the core of both institution’s mission: to foster the growth of the next generation of critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, and connected, engaged citizens, said Melissa Wales, Executive Director of Stuart’s Opera House.

“We at Stuart’s Opera House are incredibly grateful for this generous investment by the Ohio Children’s Foundation,” Wales said. “Much of our mission and service is rooted in offering free arts education and encounters to children of all ages. For example Stuart’s underwrites the Nelsonville-York Drama Club, serving a critical role in our local public school system for access to theater arts and practice. The investment from The Ohio Children’s Foundation helps Stuart’s keep pace with the growing number of children we serve through all of our free educational programs, which also includes the Afterschool Music Program, the Summer Arts Camp, and the Kids Area at Nelsonville Music Festival.”

In addition to these arts education programs, Stuart’s Opera House partners with the community theater group the ABC Players, which performs sensory-friendly versions of the shows they produce for the neurodiverse community of all ages.

Stuart’s Opera House has long embraced its role as the cornerstone of the historic Public Square in Nelsonville, a regional leader in the performing arts and arts education community, a center for public expression and an economic development partner in Southeast Ohio, said Randall Cobb, Chief Operating Officer at Ohio Children’s Foundation.

“At the core of this mission, Stuart’s is a place where children are encouraged to learn about and participate in the arts, fostering a lifelong, positive impact on their lives and their connection to community,” Cobb said. “The Ohio Children’s Foundation is proud to support this long-running institution that serves its young community in such an important way.”