Financial Aid & Sponsor a Student
Because EVERY child should have access to a high quality arts education.
Seeing theatre, and participating in theatre-making empowers us to be bolder, wiser, and more compassionate on stage and in life. American Stage Education & Outreach provides Theatre for Young Audiences, and Educational Theatre experiences for youth. Our productions, classes, and camps for young people set them on a path of intellectual, creative, and socio-emotional growth.
Our SPONSOR-A-STUDENT program provides financial support for young people to experience theatre and playmaking across our programs. At little to no cost, children and teens have the opportunity to attend Summer Programs, Classes at American Stage during the school year, participate in our Write On! playwriting and drama club programs at their school, or see a professional production via our School Tour or our Student Matinee Series.
Did You Know?
- 20% of all classroom space is reserved for financial aid families.
- In 2019, American Stage awarded over 250 scholarships to students in our community for our summer programs.
- American Stage Education partners with 8 local schools and 3 community organizations, providing drama and playwriting programs to under-served students, as well as neurodiverse participants throughout the year.
- American Stage Education serves over 21,000 youths and adults in our community each year.
Financial Aid – Know Before You Apply
Applying for Sponsor A Student is easy!
- After completing an online application, you will receive an email confirming receipt.
- Within 1-2 weeks of the application deadline, you will hear from us (via the email you provided on your application) to confirm if you have received a Sponsor A Student financial aid package. This email will also include next steps on enrolling and preparing for the session.
Every Sponsor A Student application requires support materials be uploaded or mailed. Applications received without these required support materials WILL NOT be processed. Required support materials are:
- Statement of Interest: A brief (½ – 1 page) letter or video (30-60 seconds) from your student expressing why they want to attend our programs, what they hope to achieve through our programs, as well as what they will contribute to the program.
- A sample of your student’s artistic work (writing, poetry, drawing, painting, video of performance, etc.)
- A letter of recommendation from your student’s teacher. (For Summer Program applications only)
- NEW. Your most recent household tax returns (2018 or 2019).
Tips for a great application:
- Be specific. Let us get to know you and your family. The more information you provide, the better! When describing your family’s need in the application, provide as many details as possible (Why are you applying for financial aid, what is your current financial situation, etc.), so that we can award aid accordingly.
- Be prompt. Be sure to submit your application on time! Late applications will likely not be processed.
- Be precise. Be sure to complete each section of the application as accurately as possible. Be sure that your student addresses all of the required topics in their Statement of Interest.
Sponsor-A-Student and make dramatic difference in a child’s life with a tax-deductible donation!
$5000 – Applies to School Tour, providing 5 weeks of full time pay for 4 professional actors who travel to elementary schools across Pinellas, Hillsborough , and beyond with full set and costumes in tow to perform beloved titles from classic children’s literature, like Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and more! This program sparks the imaginations of up to 20K students each fall semester, the largest audience of any American Stage production.
$2500 – Applies to programs like School Tour, and/or sponsorship for a Student Matinee to fill our mainstage theatre with middle or high school students on a field trip to see a production and chat with the cast and crew.
$1000 – Allows for students to actively participate in creating and performing theatre, either by employing a Teaching Artist to lead a Write On! Drama Club or Playwriting Outreach Program in a school, or by providing financial aid for a young person to participate in on-site classes or our summer camp!
$500 – Provides financial aid for programs like our 3-week Summer Musical Theatre Performance session, in which students rehearse with professional teaching artists and directors to perform a one act musical.
$250 – Provides financial aid for programs like our 1-week Summer Camp sessions in acting, playwriting, voice, and more.
$100 – Applies toward Sponsor-A-Student as partial financial aid for a summer program or an on-site class during the school year. Partial financial aid is the most common request from families in need.