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Community Briefs

Local theater offering online and in-person workshops

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the region, the Act Out Theatre Group in Dunmore modified its upcoming schedule to allow some events to carry on so that children and teens can continue to pursue their creativity during this challenging time.

“Instead of putting on a typical fall musical, we’ve changed things a bit,” said Dan Pittman, owner and artistic director of the theatre. “With many uncertainties coming with the fall, we didn’t feel that this was the best time to stage a full musical production. Instead, we are doing an entirely online musical workshop and a directing workshop that is both in-person and online.”

The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley: Online Edition, is for all ages, Pittman explained, adding that children, teens and adults have registered for the workshop. The musical is based on the Jeff Brown children’s character, Stanley Lambchop, and follows his worldwide antics.

The Director’s Chair is for ages 14 through 20. Participants will learn the fundamentals of directing, direct actual scenes and perform in them. The workshop with be online and in-person.

“We are fortunate to have a large indoor space at Act Out, as well as ample outdoor space,” Pittman said. “We are able to socially distance participants when necessary, and require the use of masks when inside or if distancing becomes an issue.”

Participants will also have a temperature check, he added.

Registration for both workshops is still open. To register or for additional information, visit www.actouttheatre.com.

Schools awarded state grants

School districts in our area were awarded more than $1.4 million in state grants to implement health and safety plans.

Carbondale School District received $186,429; Forest City School District, $148,708; Lakeland School District, $180,066; Mid Valley School District, $190,380 and Fell Charter School, $90,000, according to state Rep. Bridget Kosierowski.

Eligible uses for the funding include the purchase of cleaning and sanitizing products; training and professional development of staff on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases; equipment purchases; modifying existing areas to support appropriate social distancing of students and staff; providing mental health services and supports; purchasing educational technology for distance learning; and other health and safety programs, items or services necessary to address the COVID-19 disaster emergency.

Local school districts also received Governor’s Emergency Education Relief grants to provide enhanced real-time instruction to bolster remote services and supports for students with complex needs and provide services and supports to disabled students who experienced a loss in skills, behavior and/or progress due to the mandatory school closures.

Grants include $24,425 to Carbondale Area School District, $13,502 to Lakeland School District and $17,393 to Mid Valley School District.

County offering arts grants

The Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department is offering individual artists, nonprofit organizations and municipalities the opportunity to apply for a Lackawanna County Arts and Culture COVID-19 Creative Community Grant for a variety of projects that provide the community with positive arts experiences.

The activities can fall into the following categories: virtual projects, “real world” projects that follow Center for Disease Control and Prevention, state and county health guidelines, beautification/public art projects or projects that promote health and safety in a creative way.

Nonprofits or municipalities may apply for a collaborative grant with a minimum of three partners. Churches may apply for public and non-religious activities only.

Individual artists may apply for funding up to $5,000; projects with two collaborative partners, up to $10,000; and projects with three or more collaborative partners, up to $20,000.

The application portal can be found on the Lackawanna County website. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 15.