As a follow-up to our announcement of Enrichment Works as our financial umbrella I spoke with Abraham Tetenbaum, the organizations founder, to get a little more information about what they do.
Abraham Tetenbaum: Enrichment Works marshals Broadway and Hollywood talent in the cause of improving education at schools, libraries, museums and hospitals. We create and present plays and musicals in support of academic content standards: “theater to inspire learning.” We also conduct workshops for students and educators in acting, filmmaking and circus arts.
JW: What prompted you to start this organization?
AT: My son started school in the LAUSD. I thought it made sense to use theater to educate because actors make an emotional connection to their audience. Once a child cares, the learning part comes naturally. My son graduated from college last May so it must be true!
JW: What have you found most rewarding since stating Enrichment Works?
AT: The gratitude of teachers who marvel at the enthusiasm, the attentiveness and inquisitiveness of their students who attend our shows. I’m very proud of the work we’ve done in the field of improving nutrition and fighting childhood obesity. We were the first theater company to get involved in that cause over 8 years ago, producing two original musicals. It has also been enormously rewarding to partner with other nonprofits on special projects, most recently Northridge Hospital Medical Center.
JW: How did you get first hear about or become involved with Voices From Chornobyl?
AT: Cindy Jenkins, our former Arts Education Director, sent me the script. I was glad to help in any way I could.
JW: Since such a big part of Voices From Chornobyl is about finding out what people know about the disaster can you tell us about your memories or knowledge of the events that took place?
AT: My wife and I were living in Hell’s Kitchen in New York in a fifth-story walk-up above a fruit and vegetable market. I remember relating the disaster to the produce being sold below us, the horrible notion of consuming radioactive tomatoes or corn. How would you know?
JW: How can those reading this post right now help Enrichment Works continue the great work they are doing?
AT: I’m so glad you asked! They can tell every parent and teacher they know to visit www.enrichmentworks.org, where they can learn about our programs and make a tax-deductible gift to sponsor our performances.
Like what you heard about enrichment works? Visit their website to learn even more. They currently have Circus Arts Workshops available with Donna Wood-Babcock, a Ringling Bros. and Cirque du Soleil alum!