Thirty (30) students in the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) Come Back Kids (CBK) program recently participated in a half-day, live theater technology training program at the Fox Performing Arts Center. The theater technology workshop for high school and early college age students provides a hands-on experience into the world of professional theater and potential careers.
CBK students rotated through three stations: lighting, audio/sound, and staging. Within each station, a small group of students worked with the Live Nation (the theater operator) crew to learn some of the fundamentals of each station, essential things to know, ask questions, and discover possible career paths to each of these fields.
“I am thrilled our students had the opportunity to participate in this powerful learning opportunity,” commented Dr. Charles Fischer, RCOE Executive Director of Alternative Education. “There is a wealth of evidence supporting that early exposure to career possibilities, and technical training opportunities, injects economic stability into communities and combats unemployment challenges by providing a career path for students.”
Dr. Fischer said that it is especially important for students in Come Back Kids, an independent study program for students age 13 (9th grade) and up who wish to re-enroll in a high school educational program, to connect academic content to real-world experiences like the Fox Theater tech training program.
Riverside County Office of Education Foundation Director Ed Lewis expressed gratitude to AT&T Riverside and Julio Figueroa, Director of External Affairs, and the Fox Theater Foundation for partnering with the RCOE Foundation to help cover the expenses for the students to attend.
“AT&T understood the impact an experience like this would have on young people. Vocational training and exposure to the arts creates an inspiring atmosphere for participants, who get rigorous, hands-on experience in an historic and beautiful theater, under the watchful guidance of actual theater technicians and engineers,” said Lewis.
The outcomes of this training are diverse and powerful; all of which culturally enrich the Riverside community in the arts. Some students learn to be patrons of the arts and support their community with their patronage; some may go on to work as musicians or performers; some may pursue one of the myriad of opportunities behind the scenes, whether in the back offices, or behind the curtains.
This unique program presented at the historic downtown Fox Performing Arts Center was sponsored by the RCOE Foundation, Fox Riverside Theater Foundation, and Live Nation Entertainment. Students who completed the training received a certificate of completion.