When Chico Performances presents singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie on Aug. 30, it raises the curtain on a new season that will feature productions covering the spectrum from jazz to chant, Shakespeare to musical theater and hula to ballet.
“The main focus of Chico Performances is to present a wide variety of professional and local artists in order to address the different cultural needs of the Northstate,” explained Daran Finney, marketing coordinator for Chico Performances.
But the impact of Chico Performances extends far beyond the stages at Chico State, Finney was quick to point out. Aside from the main evening performances, Chico Performances hosts many programs that enrich, entertain and educate local audiences.
Lectures, demonstrations, workshops and master classes presented by artists who perform for Chico Performances are examples of such educational opportunities. Finney said the organization intends to increase the number and the visibility of these lectures in order to make them available to a wider audience. Many of these activities are designed for a general audience, while others provide advanced training for students.
For the younger set, Chico Performances offers morning field trips to performances by the many of the same artists who perform in the evenings. The field trips feature abbreviated performances of about 50 minutes in length and are generally appropriate for students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
“The field trips are almost as important an aspect of what we do as the main performances,” Finney said of Chico Performances’ commitment to making the arts available to children.
For the upcoming season, Chico Performances will offer 26 field trips by 23 groups. To help maximize the educational experience, Chico Performances often supplies participating teachers with informational packets about the artists. Tickets are $3 each and are available through the University Box Office.
For many children, attending the field trips has been made possible by the Adopt-A-Class program. Through the Adopt-A-Class program, businesses can underwrite the cost of field trip attendance. A donation of $100 will send one class on one field trip. Last year, 89 classrooms were adopted by 19 businesses and the City of Chico.
An Adopt-A-Class sponsor can designate a specific school and class to attend a particular performance or can simply make an undesignated donation to the program. That information can be sent directly to the University Box Office, which will in turn contact the school and teacher.
Another easy way to introduce children to the arts is to enroll them in the Chico State Kids Club. Specifically for children ages 14 and younger, the club charges a $15 membership fee and provides free general admission to five performances when accompanied by a paying adult. In the last season, 241 Kids Club members attended 490 performances.
Chico Performances believes in building its audiences for the future, and it’s doing so by making live performances affordable for college students. While Chico State students have long enjoyed reduced ticket prices, Chico Performance recently welcomed Butte College as a sponsor and underwriter of tickets for its students. Through this partnership, Butte College students can purchase tickets to Chico Performances events at the same price as Chico State students.
For more information on any of these programs or on how your business can support the arts through program underwriting, contact Finney at the Chico Performances office.