The event will take place at the Santa Monica College-Performing Arts Center in Santa Monica, California from 8pm to 10pm.
As Title Sponsor for the fifth consecutive year; Montblanc is proud to present this Inaugural event to the Los Angeles area-as it is the first time in the programs 11-year history that it will take place on the west coast.
The Fresh Prep program is an innovative student-centered curriculum that uses Hip-Hop music to review the key content and skills tested on the New York State Regents Exams. Therefore, Montblanc and the Urban Arts Partnership are looking to adopt these same strategies to required testing here in the state of California as early as the Spring of 2012.
The alliance created for “The 24 Hour Plays” will band together A-list talent to write, produce and act in a series of six stage plays created in just 24 hours. With a creative process that begins at 10pm the previous evening, each cast member will share visual concepts before the writers are tasked with composing the 10-minute plays that will also include musical performances.
In a conversation with Artistic Board Chairperson, Rosie Perez, she discusses the evolution of the Urban Arts Partnership and how much the Fresh Prep program makes a positive impact in underprivileged school districts. The Academy Award nominated Actress, Choreographer, Producer and Director has played a major role in the organizations’ success. Her tireless dedication behind the scenes has taken the Urban Arts Partnership and its initiatives to new heights. Now as this program reaches a milestone, she celebrates the overwhelming support from Hollywood and the Performing Arts communities, but admits there is still much work to be done.
Examiner: “After 11 years how do you feel the impact of this program is changing Arts Education in the cities that you have visited in the past?”
Rosie Perez: “Urban Arts is, for now, only operating in New York City, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. We started with just one school in Brooklyn since 1992. We have reached more than 80,000 New York City students, their teachers and parents in more than 265 Title 1 public schools. We currently partner with 60 Title 1 schools across New York City and the outer boroughs, serving approximately 12,000 students from low-income neighborhoods.”
Ms. Perez goes on to discuss the high level of interest that other states and school districts have shown in the program and how important funding is. She credits Montblanc, who has been a stellar example in championing for change-bringing this program to Los Angeles.
Rosie Perez: “We have had requests from other states to incorporate our programs. Unfortunately, there is a cost issue involved and we just simply do not have the financial resources to expand further at this time. This is why we are so excited about the partnership with Montblanc in having the “24 Hour Plays” performed in Los Angeles, which is one of the cities that have expressed interest in the Urban Arts Partnership's arts and education program. Having the “24 Hour Plays” in Los Angeles will enable us to provide our Fresh Prep program from the proceeds of the event.”
Examiner: "After 5 years of collaborating, how do you feel Montblanc's involvement has attributed to the programs success?"
Rosie Perez: “Montblanc has been amazing, truly amazing. Their commitment has been steady and true to Urban Arts, especially during these tough economic times. We really could not have pulled off a lot of our recent fundraising efforts without them. I don't think the public understands how hard it is to raise money, even if it is for a great and necessary cause. Recently Montblanc expanded its support to our “Master Class” program where accomplished Master Artists work with students to catapult their artworks to the next level. We are excited to develop our programs nationally, with the help of such an innovative fundraising platform, while expanding our long-term partnership with Montblanc and “The 24 Hour Plays.”
Examiner: "What prompted you to finally host here in Los Angeles and what do you hope to achieve by bringing the program here?"
Rosie Perez: “Simply put, the word has gotten out that Urban Arts Partnership's arts and education programs work and people want it in their schools. Are we the only arts and education program out there? No. However, we are being requested in several different states. Doing the “24 Hour Plays” for 10 years now has helped a great deal. It has not only raised a lot of money and visibility for our cause, but has also brought a lot of well respected artists around it to further spread the good word. Our Los Angeles based Urban Arts board member, Kevin Chinoy came up with the idea of partnering with Montblanc to underwrite the “24 Hour Plays” in Los Angeles so that we can have the funds necessary to incorporate Fresh Prep in the public school system out there. We might only have enough revenue to start with one school, but that's the same number we started with here in New York and look at what we've been able to accomplish in just 20 years. Hopefully people will get a clue and it won't take us that long.”
Examiner: "Can you share who the participating actors, writers, producers and musical guests are this year?"
Rosie Perez: "So far we have Jennifer Aniston, Leslie Bibb, Seth green, Zachery Levi, Eva Mendes, Kathy Najimy, Sam Rockwell and Nia Vardalos…and the list is growing."
To purchase tickets for “The 24 Hour Plays” or to get involved with the Urban Arts Partnership, please contact Ana Stout or Sage Young by calling 212-966-5881. You can also visit www.urbanarts.org for more information.
All Press inquiries for Montblanc should be directed to Victoria Alexander, Mission PR, 212-219-2878 or email her at victoria@thisismission.