Open Arts Alliance was born from the belief that arts education should be accessible to all, and should not end when you leave school. Through theatre, Open Arts Alliance creates a social intervention between students, their peers and senior citizens, resulting in a powerful and lasting change in participants.
We further our mission through classes, programs, and community outreach, using the arts as a common ground for conversations. Our holistic approach sees theatre not as just an end-product, but a process by which we can improve the lives of our students—young and young at heart— while furthering the landscape of arts in our community and town. Our student leadership councils empower the next generation of arts volunteers to engage with civic responsibility and community service based on empathy fostered within the arts.
The arts provide access to personal growth and dignity through representation and diversity of thought.
By offering exceptional theatre productions, which meet national and state standard arts curriculum, Open Arts Alliance offers students a positive experience in a safe environment while providing value-led education which may not otherwise be accessible.
We respect you for who you are now. And we also want to help you get where you are going.
We're dedicated to constant introspection of our process and product to foster a growth mindset.
We equip our graduates with the ability to assess art on the merit of quality, intention and technique.
As a grad student at NYU, my professors could not understand how I would use a degree in theatre for a career in psychology, or a career in theatre with a degree in psychology. To tell the truth, I didn’t either. But I believed art and wellness were inseparable, and sometimes all you have is trust.
Like many of us, I have had the experience of watching loved ones struggle through challenging health battles and when it came to my own: it seemed to me that theatre and wellness were more connected than I knew.
Music and art are often forgotten healers and I started OAA to marry theatre and community outreach. As a native of Greenwich, it was important to me not only to train the next generation of artists, but to carve a space for today’s families, which was not around when I was growing up.
At Open Arts Alliance, we do not believe kindness and excellence are mutually exclusive. Our students should feel safe and seen, while being pushed to succeed artistically, academically and personally.
Creating a fun and safe environment that nurtures and educates those which may not otherwise be able to access it. To us, theater is not just about having fun or putting on a spectacular show. (Even though we're very good at that!) It becomes a way to improve the lives of others in our community--our students, their families, friends, neighbors and beyond--while furthering the landscape of arts in our community.
It is my great pleasure to have worked with so many amazing allies in our community to create this organization, which I hope will remain a "home away from home" for years to come.
Thank you, Thank you!
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Michael-Anthony Souza is a multi-disciplined artist based in Harlem. Along with touring the country with TheatreworksUSA, Michael-Anthony has traveled the world as a vocalist with Royal Caribbean and performed at the Old Vic in London. M.A. is excited to be working with Open Arts Alliance for the first time this Summer. NYU/Tisch alum.
Maya Lopez is a freelance youth theater director/ choreographer based in Brooklyn, NY. She is so excited to be working with The wonderful cast of Cabaret at Open Arts Alliance! Recent directing/choreography credits include: Pippin (New York University), A Chorus Line (A Class Act - featured in Laura Benanti's "Sunshine Songs" Series), Seussical (Farragut Middle School), Margaret: A New Musical (The Jerry Orbach Theater).
Autumn is excited to dive into Senior outreach and programming. Although her training and experience have been in the theater, her focus has pivoted to elder care and therapies. Merging her two interests is exhilarating work. She endeavors to call forth artists of all ages and abilities.
Justin Amaro is so excited to be joining Open Arts Alliance for the first time this summer. Justin is currently pursuing his BFA in musical theater at Long Island Post. He was assistant Stage Manager and played the Titular role Poseidon in a new devised TYA musical “Poseidon, The Mermaids, and the Water Cycle” that premiered at the TIlles Center this year.
Recognized by the district as a Distinguished Teacher (2021) Jennifer is an educator in the Greenwich Public Schools and has called North Mianus School home for the past fourteen years. Jennifer Ambrogio Dunn is a founding member of Open Arts Alliance where she currently serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors and a Teaching Artist. As a former Greenwich High School and Youth cheerleading coach, Mrs. Dunn believes that students can learn in the classroom, on the field, or onstage. Creating inclusive and safe theatre spaces for students of all abilities is a passion of Mrs. Dunn’s, and she is excited to bring more opportunities to the community. Jennifer holds a BA in Psychology and Theater Studies from Quinnipiac University, a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Quinnipiac University and a Sixth Year Advanced Degree from the University of LaVerne.
Cindy has been involved in theatre for as long as she can remember. She enjoys bringing her passion for the arts and love of musical theatre to children and she strives to inspire young minds to gain the confidence needed to be creative and comfortable on stage and beyond.