Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Dance Matters program is comprised of several arts education programs that provide sustained, long-term opportunities for young children to participate in an art form where barriers such as cost, transportation, and simple unavailability would otherwise exist. Dance Matters programs are held at Albina Head Start facilities and at various low-income/Title 1 elementary schools in Portland.

Serving over 1,500 students annually, 71% of whom are students of color, Dance Matters cites as its tandem goals the opportunity for “young children in under-resourced schools to explore the art form of dance while providing positive physical movement and social-emotional learning experiences,” as well as the promotion of OBT’s “vision of ballet as one that is inspiring, relevant, and inclusive for all children, regardless of race or socio-economic background.”

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