"I was really bad at learning my lines. It was really really hard for me, but I always did it. I think that speaks to the community at Artbarn and me feeling so connected to all these people and not wanting to let anyone down because I knew if I didn't learn my lines, that would impact other people in a negative way." That's how current senior Livvy Bryan describes her first Artbarn Community Theater show in second grade.
Ten years later, she sat on that same stage with other members of the Artbarn community, reminiscing over their time in the program and all the memories they made.
Bryan is one of many current high schoolers who've benefited from Artbarn, a non-profit performing arts program that provides K-8 students the opportunity to develop their acting skills with a group of other passionate actors.
Many current high schoolers credit Artbarn with the necessary confidence and other social skills that guided them through their elementary and middle school years.
Executive Director Matthew Kossack first joined Artbarn 15 years ago to be artistic director.
He keeps coming back year after year because the program inspires students.
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One of the most significant challenges to social entrepreneurship and innovation is ensuring a diversity of approaches and participants in the movement. To truly deliver meaningful social change the leaders of the effort must share perspectives of the challenges faced by communities across the U.S. that can most appropriately come from members of those communities. Ashoka, through its All America initiative seeks to increase the diversity of social entrepreneurship practitioners.