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Contact: Stephen J. Hudik

Kean University Receives New Funding for Arts Program

UNION, N.J. - Kean University recently received funding for the Premiere Stages program from three new sources: TD Bank, the Turrell Fund and the Provident Bank Foundation. The new funding will support the Premiere Stages Play Festival, which is dedicated to the development of emerging dramatists, and the Premiere Play Factory, which provides literacy programs for children-at-risk. Premiere Stages continues to receive funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, which has supported the program since its inception.

New funding from the Turrell Fund, and funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, will help to develop a residency program at the Harrison School in Roselle. The residency program consists of third-graders, all of who are immigrants or the children of immigrants, and concentrates on family heritage and the immigrant experience.

"Without funding, this residency would not be possible and these children would regrettably not have access to this arts experience," said John Wooten, producing artistic director of Premiere Stages. According to Sandy Nahmias, a third-grade bilingual and ESL teacher at Harrison, the students are not only improving their narrative, descriptive writing and speaking skills, but they are also gaining valuable insight into cooperatively working together on a production.

New funding from TD Bank and the Provident Bank Foundation, along with ongoing support from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, bolsters Premiere Stagesí commitment to the development and production of playwrights in the region.

Premiere Stages operates in part through funding from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, TD Bank, The Provident Bank Foundation, the Turrell Fund and through the generous support of patrons. Premiere Stages offers free or discounted tickets to patrons with disabilities. All Premiere Stages facilities are wheelchair accessible spaces. Please call for a list of sign-interpreted, audio-described or open-captioned performances. Assistive listening devices and large print programs are available at all times. Publications are available with advanced notice in alternate formats. Please visit www.kean.edupremierestages or call 908-737-4360 to learn more about Premiere Stages and its programs.