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Local Students get FREE Arts Access Thanks to New Grant

SAN LUIS OBISPO, October 16, 2023—The Foundation for the Performing Arts Center has received grant funding in support of the PAC’s arts-education programs. 12,000 Central Coast students will attend live performances at the Performing Arts Center this year through the School Matinee Program, all for free.


The Foundation received its first-ever grant from the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) in support of the 2023-2024 School Matinee Program season. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, WESTAF is a regional nonprofit arts organization dedicated to strengthening the arts industry in the West.


The Performing Arts Center will host 13 School Matinees over the course of the 2023-2024 school season. The School Matinee Program has long served the Central Coast region as the primary arts education program through which local teachers are able to fulfill Visual and Performing Arts curriculum requirements. School Matinees provide children with an opportunity to experience the performing arts in a professional and world-class venue, a rare experience for local students.


The School Matinee Program brings world-renowned performing and teaching artists to the PAC. Thousands of students attend these incredible performances every year. The Foundation for the Performing Arts Center can ensure that every student participates in this program at no cost, due to the support of granting agencies, individual donors, and local businesses who are committed to supporting access to the arts for youth.


Bank of America has supported the School Matinee Program for over ten years. Through its charitable foundation, Bank of America focuses on building vibrant communities where individuals have access to thriving arts and culture districts. This year, Bank of America awarded a $5,000 grant to FPAC to support the School Matinee Program.


“Bank of America is proud to support the Performing Arts Center of San Luis Obispo and its efforts to ensure that our local students have access to the performing arts,” said Greg Bland, President, Bank of America San Luis Obispo Region. “Live performances give children the opportunity to see professional artistry as they tap into their own creativity. When children experience live arts events, they see the benefit of communities coming together to share in enjoyment. This is true for children and adults alike”.


Among the entertaining and educational programming offered this School Matinee Program season are a performance from Bodytraffic, one of the most talked about contemporary dance companies nationwide; Lightwire’s Dino-Light, which features a cutting-edge blend of puppetry, technology, and dance; a stage adaptation of the beloved children’s novel Charlotte’s Web, and others.


PAC Outreach is thrilled to be presenting NORTH: THE MUSICAL at the Performing Arts Center this year. Created by musician, writer, and arts educator Ashli St. Armant, NORTH follows the journey of a precocious teenage boy and his young mother as they escape the Deep South and travel North through the Underground Railroad seeking freedom.


This impactful story that acknowledges the realities of slavery and explores the multi-faceted lives of Black American in the antebellum period while emphasizing the themes of optimism, bravery, playfulness, wonder, suspense and mystery.


The PAC is partnering with Cal Poly Arts to offer two matinee performances of North: The Musical. 2,000 local students aged 4th grade and up are already registered to attend this performance in January 2024.


The PAC and Cal Poly Arts will also offer a public performance of North, which will be open to all. Tickets for this public performance will be on a pay-what-you-can basis.


“North is a new work for young audiences that premiered last spring in select theatres across the U.S. The PAC is thrilled to be part of the Spring 2024 West Coast Tour,” said Andrea Castillo, the PAC’s Outreach Coordinator. “This is such an important and impactful story, and we are looking forward to sharing it with the SLO community”.


The Foundation would like to thank the Harold J. Miossi Trust, the presenter of the School Matinee Program, for its support of arts access for local students. Along with WESTAF and Bank of America, other supporters also help ensure that this program is offered for free for every student each year. Additional supporters of the 2023-2024 School Matinee Program season include The California Arts Council, The Hoag Family Foundation, Mechanics Bank, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, and FPAC Business Partners and individual donors.


If you are interested in supporting the School Matinee Program and helping ensure that students have access to the incredible arts and culture events at the Performing Arts Center, please visit



For more information contact:

Kristin Hoover, Executive Director

Foundation for the Performing Arts Center

PO Box 1137

San Luis Obispo, CA 93406

(805) 541-5401