June 28, 2022

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VCU theatre receives $5 million gift to ‘promote education and social awareness’

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Section of Theatre at VCUArts has obtained a reward of $5 million for 3 endowed funds intended to “promote instruction and social consciousness,” a release from the college said.

The money arrived from James H.T. McConnell, Jr., of Charlottesville, a supporter of the Nationwide Jewish Theatre Basis and advocate for community education. In accordance to the launch, the dollars will be employed to “examine social justice through the lens of theatre and will provide to cultivate and assistance a tradition that is equitable and inclusive for all college students, school and team.”

“The theatre drama department is a wonderful way to get to a great deal of people with a lot of messages,” McConnell mentioned in the release. “There is no correct or incorrect interpretation of the effectiveness 1 just observed. It is that every single viewers member can occur out with a distinct interpretation. The effectiveness can nevertheless be incredibly productive. It is a extremely unusual type of educational experience the place different people today appear out from the similar exposure with distinct thoughts. It’s a great instructing device to not restrict the reaction or the final result.”

The gift will go towards setting up a few individual money. An amount of money of $1.5 million will be utilised to for the James H.T. McConnell, Jr. Theatre Fellowship in Social Justice, which is supposed to guidance graduate students advocating for social justice by means of theatre. The remaining revenue will be employed for the James H.T. McConnell Jr. Theatre Chair in Social Justice and the James H.T. McConnell Jr. Theatre School Fund in Social Justice, the two of which will aid a chairperson and faculty whose work demonstrates a dedication to social justice.

“It’s critical to have grad pupils in the subject who are in a position to go out and use theatre as a medium of instruction,” McConnell said in the release. “Whether it be for merely lighthearted performances or a thing a lot more major.”