I created “Performing Arts Self-Care Kits” in collaboration with my son, current graduate student in architecture Stephen Zimmerer.
We are working with several Central Pennsylvania school districts’ food services programs to insert performing arts self-care kits into weekly bags of free meals during the coronavirus pandemic. The kits encourage playful, performance-inspired activities that do not hinge on electronic devices and costly data for schoolchildren of the families who are facing increased financial hardships.
In Centre County, according to the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, an estimated 12% of children younger than 18 live in households that lack federally defined broadband Internet access. The self-care aspect of the kits stems from the concept that the performing arts help to engage the mind, emotions, voice and body; and to facilitate empathy and higher-level thinking. In addition, the performing arts can be used in almost every situation as a tool for exploration and understanding.
The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State’s Honey and Bill Jaffe Endowment for Audience Development provides funding for the center’s School-Time Matinee performances. Two matinees, along with the remainder of the center’s regular season and engagement events, were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. State College’s UPS Store across from Wegman’s is providing additional support with printing.
Scroll through the pages of the “Aquarium Adventure” self care kit below
About Medora Ebersole ’80
Medora Ebersole is a graduate of the Antioch College Class of 1980.
Medora is the Education and Community Programs Manager at the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State. She is an art educator working across diverse communities to catalyze change.