NBC is putting forth an initiative to fund musical theatre programs in US schools. Schools can start applying for funding this week through the itheatrics Junior Theatre Project who are working with NBC to make this happen.
My first reaction to this is, YES! Money for the arts! In school! Go NBC! You rock! And then I start to get a little skeptical. I get wary about the idea of a TV company giving away money. For the arts. Production companies aren’t really aren’t known for funding educational programs, particularly arts programs. And of course it’s a bit of a gimmick. It’s promotional. They’ve got a new show coming out (Smash) which is based around putting together a broadway musical.
All this is great if the show is a hit and runs for years and NBC has a reason to fund this program in conjunction with it’s hit show. But what happens if the show is a flop? Will NBC still go ahead with the initiative if they pull the plug on Smash? Or will they get cold feet coming up with some lam reason why they can’t after all, put money into arts education. I want this to be real and I want to believe that NBC is thinking about students and how much impact those musical theatre programs could have. I want to believe that there’s something in place for which NBC will stand by its commitment regardless for at least a couple of years.
What do you think?