Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater (FPCT) presents The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963. The story is beloved by schoolchildren and teachers around the country as a celebration of the strength of family in the midst of hate and tragedy. FPCT is delighted to share this important story with area schools during student matinee performances. The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 runs for eight performances in the Von Braun Center Playhouse February 16 through 25. Information and tickets at fantasyplayhouse.com.
This very special show is sponsored by PROJECTXYZ. PROJECTXYZ is a Huntsville-based technical solutions company using its expertise to solve problems and deliver results for clients in the United States and around the world. They provide research, design, development, integration, and sustainment of innovative solutions in engineering, logistics, information technology, and alternative energy.
We spoke with PROJECTXYZ Chief Executive Officer Kimberly Lewis about her company’s choice to sponsor FPCT’s production of The Watsons Go to Birmingham.
FPCT: What made you decide to sponsor The Watsons Go to Birmingham?
Ms. Lewis: Over a year ago, I was talking with Karen (Mockensturm-FPCT Executive Director) and she mentioned this new performance that you were working on. I got excited because there are some books that move you when you read them, and this story is one of them. I remember my family members telling stories about this time in their life and it was very similar to the experiences that the Watsons had.
FPCT: Why do think it’s important to support arts organizations?
Ms. Lewis: PROJECTXYZ believes that it is important to support local arts programs and specifically Fantasy Playhouse, because we believe these programs give access to students that might not have been exposed. Fantasy Playhouse is a non-profit organization that has been serving this community for years, by partnering with local schools and other community organization to bring the arts to life.
FPCT: We love that PROJECTXYZ’s slogan is “Solving Problems…Delivering Results”. Do you see a connection between arts education and problem solving that you might like to touch on?
Ms. Lewis: Art education is a vital part of a child’s education and can help solve some of the problems our kids are facing today. Researchers have demonstrated that a high concentration of the arts leads to higher civic engagement, and more social cohesion. The arts help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age. Students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, and lower drop-out rates—benefits reaped by students regardless of socio-economic status.
We are so grateful for PROJECTXYZ’s support of this production and delighted by the community response to this important work. We hope you will join us to see this favorite story brought to life.