NRG Sponsors Young Audiences Competition to Use Creative Arts for Teaching Sustainability

NRG Sponsors Young Audiences Competition to Use Creative Arts for Teaching Sustainability

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Princeton-based electricity company NRG Energy, Inc., a longtime supporter of Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania, has donated $74,500 to create the NRG Energy Creatively Green Awards, a competitive award program to bring arts-based sustainability education to hundreds of schoolchildren and their families.


The awards kicked off late last month with the Creatively Green Family Arts Festival, the pilot event held at George E. Wilson Elementary School in Hamilton, NJ. The successful event featured an exciting evening of hands-on art making workshops for about 300 attendees, highlighted with an educational musical comedy performance by Billy B. the Science Song & Dance Man. Four additional festivals will be awarded during the 2012-2013 school year to individual schools or school districts through a competitive process.

"Young Audiences is always looking for strategic partners who believe, as we do, that the arts are a powerful tool for learning," said Larry Capo, President & CEO of Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania. "NRG has given us a great opportunity to link art-making with protecting our planet's environment. Their funding is allowing Young Audiences to produce a series of five family arts festivals that brings together children, parents, educators and artists focusing on what each of us personally and collectively can do to preserve our planet. Thanks to NRG's support, everyone left the event with a renewed sense of personal responsibility to make the world a better place."

Young Audiences is a regional organization dedicated to bringing the arts to children in the New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania area by fostering an arts-rich school curriculum. The NRG Creatively Green Awards were created to put on events that incorporate family involvement and fun, creative education on the science of sustainability. In addition to funding the program, NRG employees will also volunteer their time helping at the events.

"Through the NRG Creatively Green Awards, hundreds of schoolchildren and their families will enjoy arts and educational events that use creative ideas to help kids learn about living a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle," said Jennifer Brunelle, head of NRG Global Giving. "NRG is proud to partner with the dedicated and visionary staff of Young Audiences to create an original program that will touch every school in the region."

Maureen Heffernan, Director of Arts and Education at Young Audiences said, "It was a joy for everyone to see parents and children working side by side as they learn about sustainability and experience the fun of making art together."

Schools and districts selected in the NRG Creatively Green Awards will host an engaging and dynamic community festival for parents, children and teachers, and provide communities an opportunity to engage in hands-on art-making that raises awareness of environmental sustainability. Festivals can serve up to 500 attendees and can take place on a weekday evening or on a Saturday, lasting two to three hours.

For schools interested in winning a NRG Creatively Green Family Arts Festival worth up to $10,000, please visit www.yanj-yaep.org to apply. Application deadline is Thursday, December 20, 2012.

About Young Audiences

Founded in 1973, Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania is the premiere arts-in-education resource in the region, providing high-quality performances and artist-in-residence programs to nearly 500,000 children pre-kindergarten through 12th grade annually. Young Audiences' extensive professional artist roster represents all art forms—from dance and theater to music, language and visual arts.

The Young Audiences program, Arts for Learning, brings arts-based literacy programs to elementary school teachers, helping them improve student reading and writing. This arts-integrated approach helps students learn literacy concepts and skills using dance, music, theater and visual arts as teaching tools. Young Audiences' programs are accessible to all socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and geographic communities, and are designed to strengthen the arts in schools, meet local and state curriculum standards, involve families in arts activities, and enrich cultural life in New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities.

Young Audiences New Jersey & Pennsylvania is the first arts education organization designated as a major service organization by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and, as part of the national network of Young Audiences, Inc. was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. Projects like this and the 4,000 programs provided annually by Young Audiences are made possible in part through a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. Additional funds come from the National Endowment for the Arts, foundations, corporations and generous individuals. To learn more, visit www.yanj-yaep.org. To be "social" with us, join us on Facebook.

About NRG

NRG is at the forefront of changing how people think about and use energy. A Fortune 300 company, NRG is a pioneer in developing cleaner and smarter energy choices for our customers: whether as one of the largest solar power developers in the country, or by building the first privately funded electric vehicle charging infrastructure or by giving customers the latest smart energy solutions to better manage their energy use. Our diverse power generating facilities can support more than 20 million homes and our retail electricity providers - Reliant, Green Mountain Energy Company and Energy Plus - serve more than two million customers. More information is available at www.nrgenergy.com. Connect with NRG Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @nrgenergy.

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Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania
Denyce Mylson, 609-243-9000, x202
dmylson@yanj.org
or
NRG Energy
Michelle Tsai, 609-524-5324

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  New Jersey

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