The New York State Theatre Institute (NYSTI) has been an important part of New York for 36 years. This is a place that prides itself on providing unique, cultural experiences for children and teachers. Many talented actors have left the Institute to go on to do other exciting, and fulfilling work. Moving beyond the stage into the classroom, NYSTI provides structure, discipline, and concentrated services to students that includes both their everyday studies, and all aspects of the world of theater and the arts that is so important to them. The staff also participate in these wonderful educational programs as well.
But with the budget crisis that the state is currently in, Governor Paterson has announced his plan for cutting the NYSTI funding in half for this year, and would be removed from the state's budget for next year!
This is such an important program in this area. These kids need a place to learn and grow, to foster their self confidence and showcase their talent in a responsible, respectful environment right here at home. Cutting this program forces people to reach outside of the community and the state, and forces the people with less resources to perhaps not achieve their true talent at all. Despite always being the first thing to go, the arts are incredibly important. We wouldn't be anywhere today if people didn't learn how to use creative thought. With so many schools cutting their arts programs, it is more important than ever to provide these students a place for a creative outlet and to show that New York really does care. Do we really want to send the message that it's ok to cut the arts? That expressing yourself in an artistic form - in any form - is not worth your time?
There is currently a petition up to help save the NYSTI program. Please help show the Governor and our Legislators that we do care. That we don't think that the actions that caused the huge budget crisis should be taken out on our children, and that the arts really do matter. Help remind us why we really do "love New York."
Please take a moment to go to the site to learn more and sign the petition today!