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Long Center and AISD Expand Access to the Arts with $5 Tickets for High School Students

Austin will be first U.S. city to offer ‘eyeGO to the Arts’ program

AUSTIN, Texas—Tomorrow, Austin ISD and the Long Center are launching eyeGO to the Arts, a new program that will increase access to the arts for young people by offering $5 tickets—for seats in all price levels—to high school students for all “Long Center Presents” productions.

What: Jamie Grant, executive director and CEO of the Long Center, and Paul Cruz, interim superintendent of AISD, will announce the launch of the eyeGO to the Arts partnership. Ronan Melomo, a student at the district’s Liberal Arts and Science Academy, and teachers and student performers from AISD will join the festivities.

When: 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 29.

Where: The Long Center’s Kodosky Lounge, overlooking the Austin city skyline.

Background: In 2000, Grant launched eyeGO to the Arts in Canada, where he served as the general manager of the Centre in the Square theatre in Kitchener, Ontario. Working with AISD, Grant and the Long Center are bringing the program to the United States for the first time.

Through eyeGO, AISD high school students with a valid ID will be able to purchase $5 tickets to all Long Center Presents productions—not simply those that may not be selling well. Tickets will be reserved in each pricing level, which means the students will have the opportunity to purchase the best seats available, including front-row seats. And, unlike the more common ‘rush’ ticket programs that allow students to buy discounted seats the night of a performance, eyeGO tickets will be available when ticket sales open.

The 2014-15 season features 2CELLOS, America’s Test Kitchen Live!, the Blue Man Group, Evil Dead: The Musical, Lila Downs, the Vienna Boys Choir and rePLAY Symphony of Heroes.

As school districts across the nation face cuts in arts funding, eyeGO to the Arts is dedicated to making the arts accessible and affordable for high school students. Less expensive than a movie ticket, eyeGO to the Arts empowers youth to consider live performances as a viable entertainment option. By making the performing arts financially affordable, AISD’s high school students will have the opportunity to choose to experience the powerful and positive influence of live performance.

AISD is committed to Austin’s creative future—and to creative learning. The arts are a powerful motivator in education. When students are more motivated, they have better attendance and perform better academically. They graduate at higher rates and are twice as likely to attend college.

Each year, thousands of students participate in AISD’s award-winning fine arts programs, including art, dance, music and theatre.

Working with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, AISD has helped launch Any Given Child, a communitywide partnership with the City of Austin, Mindpop and more than 40 community arts organizations to provide arts-rich classrooms and educational opportunities to every child in AISD.