On this day of giving thanks and expressing appreciation, the entry focuses on The THEA Foundation, which gives so much throughout the state.
The mission of the THEA Foundation is to advocate the importance of the arts in the development of our youth.
The THEA Foundation is was founded in 2001 by Paul and Linda Leopoulos, parents of Thea Leopoulos, who was tragically killed in her junior year of high school. Thea had blossomed after discovering her artistic gifts in painting, writing, dance, speech, and drama. The THEA Foundation was created soon after Thea’s untimely death as a way to provide other young people the opportunity to find their confidence through involvement in the arts.
Thea’s interest in the arts required hard work, focus, and concentration, and she accomplished wonderful things. The harder she worked the better and more satisfying the results. It was exciting to watch her evolve into a whole person who believed she could challenge herself in any area of study.
Programs of the Foundation are designed to provide opportunities for student involvement in the arts. Research into the implementation and results of successful arts-infused programs in schools around the country have led us to become an advocate for improving our schools curriculum through arts administration. This advocacy points to a better curriculum delivery process that motivates all students. When students are engaged and having fun learning, test scores rise, discipline problems diminish, and schools become a place for growth for all students.
The THEA Foundation sponsors scholarships in visual and performing arts, as well as filmmaking. In addition, the THEA Foundation sponsors workshops, the Art Closet (which provides supplies for art teachers to use in classroom instruction), and Art Across Arkansas – in partnership with the William J. Clinton Foundation.
The THEA Foundation’s advocacy is based on schools that have successfully motivated and engaged students through an arts-infused delivery system of instruction for the curriculum. An arts-infused delivery system means teaching math, science, social studies, history, spelling, writing, speech, and literature using art, drama, music, and rhyme to enhance the learning process.
The THEA Foundation reaches all corners of the state. This work emanates from the THEA Foundation Center for the Arts on Main Street in North Little Rock. Dedicated in 2008, it features the Judy Kohn Tenenbaum Gallery.