J.K. Lee Family Foundation Provides Gift to X-Celerated Program for At-Risk Youth, Magik Theatre, San Antonio
The J. K. Lee Foundation has made a generous donation to The Magik Theatre for their 14-year program serving youth court-ordered to the Cyndi Taylor Krier Juvenile Correctional and Treatment Center of Bexar County. In honor of this gift, The Magik Theatre will rename the program, The J.K. Lee Family Foundation X-Celerated Theatre.
“This is a truly wonderful gift from the Lee family and will ensure that the youth of San Antonio and Bexar County have access to literary and performing arts programs for years to come,” says Magik’s CEO, Frank Villani.
“The impact we have on children today will determine their impact on the children of tomorrow,” states Jennifer Lee, President of the J. K. Lee Family Foundation.
The X-Celerated Theatre program began in 2004 with funding from Bexar County. The Magik Theatre provides artist educators who visit the Cyndi Taylor Krier Juvenile Correctional and Treatment Center to teach youth about playwriting, acting, and staging. To conclude the course, the students perform at The Magik Theatre in front of family and juvenile law enforcement.
“It’s a very transformational experience for both the students and the teacher,” states JoJanie Moreno, Magik’s Director of Education. “Many parents and county officials are pleasantly surprised to see the hard work and dedication that these students put into the performance and class.”
“Creative, prosocial experience like this have a positive impact on kids far beyond their time at the theatre. We greatly value our collaboration with The Magik Theatre and witness firsthand how this enriches the lives of our children,” says Lynne Wilkerson, Chief Juvenile Probation Office for Bexar County.
Due to the program’s success, The Magik Theatre was one of five organizations in the nation to speak at the Ford Foundation’s Arts and Justice Conference in Houston earlier this year. “One of the many things I learned at the conference is that X-Celerated Theatre is unique in that the participates leave the treatment facility to perform at The Magik Theatre. Many other programs must remain at the treatment facility. For us, it’s a testament to the success of the program. The students are so involved in the performance process that they want to see it through to the end, curtailing any concerns of participants leaving without permission.”
The Magik Theatre has expanded the J. K. Lee Family Foundation X-Celerated Theatre to serve at-risk youth on probation and in short-term detention facilities. The goal is to give these youth an outlet to express themselves in a creative, constructive manner that will serve them after they have served their time. “With the continued support from Bexar County and with this major gift from the J. K. Lee Family Foundation,” says Frank Villani, “Magik hopes to provide these at-risk youth with a feeling of hope and worth for years to come.”