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  • The PVTC Staff

Introducing: Community Arts Partners

A collaboration between PVTC & Willow Commons / Branch Services

“I loved being backstage and painting scenery.” - Eliza Jones

Partnerships at PVTC

PVTC has been thrilled to partner with Willow Commons / Branch Services in the 2022-2023 school year. And we’re just getting started! Learn more about the emerging partnership between these two Portola Valley-based organizations.

What is Willow Commons / Branch Services?

Willow Commons is a residential community in Portola Valley dedicated to supporting independent choice and successful community integration for individuals with cognitive delays. They just celebrated the grand opening of their gorgeous facility on June 14th!

Branch Services is an extension of the Willow Commons community that welcomes non-residents to join in programming and opportunities.

What does our Community Arts Partnership look like?

Five members of the Willow Commons / Branch Community have been serving as Community Arts Partners (CAPS) in PVTC’s after school classes this year. Participants assist teaching artists in leading games & warm-ups, modeling theatre activities for students, and working backstage at our spring showcases.

Of the CAPs, two wish to find employment working with children in some capacity.

Gretchen Jones has been doing course work at Foothill Community College for a certificate in Early Childhood Development and is thrilled that PVTC serves as a place for the observations required by her coursework.

Maia Waisser, who grew up taking classes at PVTC and particularly remembers playing a strong character in a melodrama, hopes to begin her coursework in Early Childhood Development in the fall.

Iris Moroney loves theatre and participates in a theatre program at the College of Adaptive Arts as well as at PVTC.

Amy White participated in PVTC as a child and has enjoyed working with young artists on campus again.

Eliza Jones has tried her hand supporting students onstage and off. There has been so much great work!

Willow Commons / Branch Participants Onstage!

This past spring, PVTC teaching artist Jessica Bennett worked with nine Branch Services students for a six-week theatre exploration. Participants built acting skills around voice, body, and imagination, as well as developing a sense of ensemble. They particularly enjoyed opportunities for improvisation! Participants had so much fun that both organizations hope this can become a year-round program in 2023-2024.

“I liked working with Jess and putting on a production!” - Amy White

Looking Ahead…

This summer, our five CAPs will dive into the camp experience, working across disciplines to deepen their understanding of theatre and theatre education. In collaboration with PVTC staff members, Community Arts Partners from Willow Commons will work in admin, set & costume design, student activities, and disability justice programming for students at Open Mind School. PVTC and Willow Commons/ Branch Services cannot wait to continue to expand our partnership in meaningful ways.

Learn More

Contact Executive Director Brenda Bachechi

“I especially enjoyed playing games with the Starlets [PVTC’s K-1 actors].” - Maia Waisser

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