Paper Mill champions nearly 40,000 students each year with transformative education programs, which are at the heart of this not-for-profit organization. Paper Mill feels a keen responsibility to ensure children should have access to theater’s life-changing opportunities, regardless of economic, physical, or mental challenges. Paper Mill responds with high-quality arts education, cultural partnerships, and outreach—impacting teens, aspiring artists, and families of children with autism and other cognitive and developmental disabilities. Renowned programs include Adopt-A-School Project, Theater for Everyone, Rising Star Awards, and Broadway Show Choir, for example.
Adopt-A-School Project is a customized, multi-year outreach experience created for underserved New Jersey teens. This proven resource for challenged and diverse schools gives 600 high school and middle school students direct, personal access to professional theater artists, world-class musical productions, artist residencies, behind-the-scenes access, and theater workshops. With your continuing philanthropic support to eliminate schools’ fundamental financial barriers, Paper Mill provides the Adopt-A-School Project at no charge to the schools.
Theater for Everyone
Theater for Everyone provides top-quality performances, theater classes and outreach for families of children with autism and developmental disabilities to enjoy together. Paper Mill pioneered Theater for Everyone in 2011 after hearing local parents’ need for entertainment that was readily available to other families. Since then, with major support from the National Endowment for the Arts, more than 12,000 New Jersey children and families have enjoyed autism-friendly shows in a welcoming, stress-reducing environment with extensive support.
Lend Your Voice Project
The Lend Your Voice Project, an innovative partnership, is enabling children with multiple disabilities gain the confidence and pride of performing in a school musical. Each Theater for Everyone program gives children wonderful opportunities to explore their strengths and boost self-confidence with their typical siblings and families. Paper Mill actively mentors arts organization across the country to help them serve families of children with autism in their communities as well.
Rising Star Awards
Rising Star Awards is a statewide competition that celebrates excellence in the performance, production and educational impact of New Jersey high school musicals. Nearly 10,000 students at 100 schools participate–and each school receives extensive, detailed feedback from trained evaluators that helps them improve their work year to year. Rising Star Awards scholarships are an invaluable resource for young theater artists.The Rising Star Awards ceremony in early June is modeled after the Tony Awards, with thrilling performances by the nominees for a standing-room-only audience and HomeTowne TV’s live broadcast/on-demand viewing.
Paper Mill Broadway Show Choir
The Paper Mill Broadway Show Choir premiered in 2013 and has grown to 70 members (ages 15 to 22) who travel across New Jersey as Paper Mill’s ambassadors spreading the joy of theater. Their vibrant performances entertain more than 120,000 people –appearing at street fairs, walkathons, North Jersey Pride Festival, Thrive Arts Conference, Vocal Ovation Tour, and other special events. The Broadway Show Choir’s shows and rehearsals regularly light up Facebook Live and YouTube!