Part One of Two
Participating in performing arts helps kids think on their feet, see the world in a more imaginative light, collaborate, and work with different media – a combo of capabilities that are becoming more and more necessary in our connected, fast-paced, complex world. But at the same time, the performing arts are a way for our kids to express themselves, play, have fun, discover and escape.
Enrolmy, a Software as a Service that empowers activity providers to fulfil their potential through magical automated processes and robust, seamless technology, is proud to work behind the scenes with several performing arts providers including TAPAC, Marrzipan Drama, Tim Bray and Rata Studios. In this month's blog, we shine a spotlight on TAPAC and Marrzipan Drama.
(Watch this space for part two where we talk to Tim Bray and Rata Studios!)
Performing Arts and Education: TAPAC
New Zealand has a lively performing arts education scene. For classes as varied as circus, speech and drama, dance and musical theatre, one of Auckland’s most popular venues is The Auckland Performing Arts Centre or TAPAC.
TAPAC began in 2003 after growing community demand for a purpose-built facility. The lobbying for a special space was successful, and TAPAC was created as a result of a partnership between community, council and Western Springs College.
For over 15 years, TAPAC has been enriching lives through performing arts. They run around fifty term classes each week that usually coincide with school terms. Workshops, professional development and kids’ holiday programmes add to their busy and varied schedule of activities. What’s more, due to their excellent facilities, TAPAC is a popular performance venue for theatre companies to hire.
In the future, TAPAC want to grow their facilities and continue adding more diverse and outside the box classes. By keeping their classes fresh and fun, and expanding their available space, they aim to enrich the lives of more kids by providing them with a safe, educational and fun space to enjoy and participate in the performing arts.
Drama as a tool: Marrzipan Drama
As well as venues that teach Performing Arts skills like music, dance and acting, some providers use drama as a tool to develop confidence and celebrate a kid’s potential and individuality. Marrzipan Drama is such a place. For over ten years, they have been offering school classes, holiday workshops and private tuition across the country, providing a safe, fun and creative space for kids to grow in their social skills, public speaking and self-belief.
Beyond teaching inclusive and fun classes for kids, Marrzipan Drama offers professional development for teachers to equip them with the skills, confidence and exciting drama games to teach and inspire kids in an empathetic and fun way. It''s designed to be lively, imaginative and accessible to busy teachers - it's only 1.5 hours long so fits brilliantly into a staff meeting.
Marrzipan Drama is privileged to teach and encourage kids from all backgrounds and learning differences. Some of their students are really shy and struggle to make eye contact or engage in group activities, others have sensory challenges or are on the autism spectrum, and some have selective mutism. Instead of seeing neurodiversity and lack of self-belief as an obstacle, their tagline: “Igniting the You in You” celebrates the strength, individuality and potential of everyone.
How Enrolmy helps TAPAC overcome their communication hurdles
With such a wide variety of popular activities on offer, it’s crucial that TAPAC can communicate quickly and easily with their customers.
That’s why it was a game changer for TAPAC when Enrolmy added a feature that enables providers to email customers directly from the main activity page - making it possible for them to select as many or as little recipients as they want. Now TAPAC’s education coordinator, Bleau, says it is really quick for TAPAC to communicate with their customers.
For Bleau, collecting enrolment information through the Enrolmy platform has also made her life a lot easier. Previously TAPAC used software built for ticketing, but since making the switch to Enrolmy’s purpose-built enrolment software, gathering and inputting information is much easier.
How Enrolmy helps Marrzipan Drama overcome their administrative barriers
It’s challenging for many Performing Arts centres and drama providers to reach their full potential with limited budgets and staffing capacity, and an ever-changing compliance landscape. Sometimes a teacher’s tasks go way beyond lesson planning and facilitating awesome programmes, and instead extend to marketing their services to the community, keeping families informed and engaged, and making sure classes are safe for everyone.
Throw into the mix the challenge of managing multiple venues and things can get even more complicated. For Marrzipan Drama, their “wonder team” go into schools in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington and Christchurch. They need a centralised system where teachers can quickly see emergency numbers, who's on the roll, which adults are eligible to pick-up kids, and which kids have allergies or a medical condition. And they need technology that is easy, fast and reliable. Because who wants to waste time flipping through paperwork when you could be inspiring kids?
Magical moments with the Enrolmy App
Marrzipan Drama loves Enrolmy’s app for this reason. Teachers can sign kids in and out at the touch of a button. Plus, it’s very easy to see the roll, they can access health and safety information securely and easily, and they don’t need to handle any money or payments – it’s all automated. Plus, if teachers need to contact a parent or guardian, they can use the dialler function in the app, rather than scrolling through a long list of contacts and entering the number manually.
All of this behind the scenes technology and automated processes mean teachers can concentrate on what they love: seeing kids thrive and reach their potential in classes.
The top five ways Enrolmy helps performing arts providers reach for the stars:
- Enrolmy makes it possible to interact and connect with parents faster and easier than before because emailing is simple and quick.
- Time and money saved on administration can be redirected into marketing and growing their business.
- It’s easy to offer kids free trial classes and then add them to the roll.
- The app allows teachers to quickly sign children in and out of class, see their health and safety information and access and dial parent/guardian’s contact numbers.
- Providers feel supported through the customer success team and receive speedy responses to their queries.
Improving accessibility to the arts – what’s happening around the world
In New South Wales, Australia, the government is: “helping kids get creative with the new Creative Kids program”. As part of this program, adults can apply for a voucher each calendar year per child aged between 4.5 and 18 years old (providing they are enrolled in school).
It kicked off in January 2019, so the Creative Kids programme is still in its early stages. The list of activities eligible for the Creative Kids voucher is extensive. It includes performing arts, coding, literature, music and cultural activities with their approved list of activity providers.
Enrolmy and many creative activity providers in New Zealand are keeping a close eye on how it plays out. We’re particularly keen to see if this will help improve accessibility and participation in the performing arts, and if a similar initiative could work here.
And if these kinds of vouchers do make their way to New Zealand, Enrolmy already has similar functionality with processing government subsidies through New Zealand's OSCAR scheme.
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