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This year, Nevada Thespians is implementing a Democracyworks student essay competition. Originally the program was founded by the Educational Theatre Association in 2009 to support and grow student advocacy on behalf of theatre and other arts education.


On the national level, in the past nine years, more than 250 students have written essays and submitted them to EdTA focusing on topics ranging from the importance of diversity to the value of theatre education in a democratic society. Each year's winner earns a trip to Washington, D.C. to take part in National Arts Advocacy Day, where he or she reads their essay before attendees and visits Capitol Hill to meet with legislators to talk about the value of arts education.  


Theatre Education Advocacy Day, sponsored by the Educational Theatre Association, brings together arts education advocates from throughout the country to meet with legislators on behalf of a wide range of arts issues, including arts education. Nevada’s essay competition winner(s) will attend the 2019 Theatre Education Advocacy Day in DC with Nevada’s Arts Advocacy Chair and Chapter Director Sharon Chadwick.


Nevada Thespians Democracyworks 2019 Guidelines

At the 2017 EdTA Conference, keynote speaker Patricia Raun spoke passionately about the role of empathy in our society and the need for students to develop “muscles of empathy, authenticity, trust, awareness, and flexibility.” Noting the decline in public civility and the rise of narcissism in recent years, Raun went on to say, “There are many challenges we face as a society but in my opinion few tools are more important to our survival than the desire to see through someone else’s eyes. The most important ethical choices of our time require us to understand the experiences of other people, and the willingness to put the well-being of others above our own desires. This requires a balance between analytical thinking and empathetic thinking.”   When applying, there will be an essay question based on these words.

A panel of Theatre Education professionals will choose one or two essay winner(s) based on his or her application and response to the above question.


Eligibility: Any adult or teacher who has an interest in promoting educational theatre in Nevada or inducted member of the International Thespian Society (by March 15, 2019) who is in “good standing” with their home troupe and enrolled in middle school or is a high school Freshman, Sophomore or Junior during the 2018-2019 school year may submit an essay. Important: If your essay is selected you must be available to attend Theatre Education Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., July 14-16, 2019.                      


Essay guidelines: Essayists should consider how theatre and other arts can help promote dialogue and understanding between individuals with differing points of view.


Submission procedures: All essays must be between 500-700 words, based on the prompt, Essays should be submitted via the Google Form link below.  All participants will receive an email confirming their submission just after the due date of March 15, 2019.


Awards: The winners will receive hotel, transportation and registration to Theatre Education Arts Advocacy Day in Washington DC in July 2019


Deadline for submission:  March 15, 2019

Google Form for Student Submission:

Google Form for Adult/Teacher Submission:

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