Whitehill and Grunin Foundations Support Pushcart’s “LIFT EVERY VOICE”

Pushcart Players, New Jersey’s Emmy nominated and award-winning touring theater for young audiences, has received generous grants from The Whitehill Foundation (Montclair) and The Grunin Foundation (Toms River) to support the new production, “Lift Every Voice: A Letter to the Editor”.

Photo Credit: Matt Herron – The Guardian

“Lift Every Voice…” is a multimedia play by NJ playwright Tylie Shider that explores the music, images, and spirit of mid-century America while celebrating the courage and resilience of everyday Americans during the Civil Rights Movement.

The story centers on Junebug, a 12-year-old boy in the 1960’s South, who learns of James Meredith’s attempt to enroll as the first African American at the University of Mississippi. When the editor of “The Oxford Eagle,” a local newspaper, expresses her negative opinions on integration, Junebug takes matters into his own hands and confronts these views, speaking out for equality and inclusion. Historical touchstones include the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Little Rock Nine, the Greensboro Sit-ins, the Freedom Fighters, and the Civil Rights Movement

“This play with music offers a pathway to understanding and compassion for young learners,” said Paul Whelihan, Pushcart producing artistic director. “It resonates with the voice in each of us to fight against injustice.”

“Whitehill Foundation and Grunin Foundation are models of meaningful philanthropy,” continued Whelihan. “As a social-profit organization, Pushcart relies on investments from the enlightened foundation, government, and corporate sectors. It is through their participation that we can develop relevant material, and make that material accessible to any community.”

The Whitehill Foundation is a private nonprofit organization that awards grants in the areas of elementary and secondary education, health, human services, and sports and recreation since 1999. The Foundation supports children and youth, economically disadvantaged people, low income and poor people, academics, and students.

The Grunin Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life for all members of their community by using philanthropy to drive economic excellence at the Central Jersey Shore. The organization co-creates conditions for everyone to rise in order to drive social innovation and economic excellence locally and beyond. They fuel economic excellence by investing in innovations in the arts, education, and healthcare.

Founded in 1974, Pushcart Players brings substantive musical theater productions and innovative educational residencies to young people directly in their schools. Performances are curriculum oriented, focusing on literacy, history, values clarification, and music. Workshops and residencies focus on the craft of theater itself, promoting the benefits of learning through and about theater.

Pushcart Players has traveled over 2.5 million miles nationally and abroad to serve more than 8 million children and their families. From the little red schoolhouse to the nation’s White House, this dynamic company has received numerous state and private awards for excellence and innovation. A cast of professional Actors’ Equity Association actors and stage managers present with complete scenery, lighting and sound systems, making every performance adaptable to any location.

Pushcart Players will be bringing a variety of productions to schools and theaters throughout the 2022-2023 school year. Whitehill and Grunin Foundation investments support Pushcart’s outreach initiatives which seek to provide arts programming for schools and communities that experience barriers to the benefits of arts programming.

For further information on this or any of Pushcart’s programs and services, visit www.pushcartplayers.org or contact Pushcart Players at 973.857.1115 or information@pushcartplayers.org.

Leave a Reply