SARASOTA, FL – In May, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe hosted students in grades 6-8 from the Booker Middle School DIVAS (Determined Individuals Visualizing Academic Success) program, parents and school personnel — including the principal, Dr. LaShawn Frost – for the DIVAS end-of-year celebration. The event took place in WBTT’s newly-renovated Outreach & Education Building.
The event was facilitated by the Bradenton/Sarasota (Florida) Chapter of The Links, Inc., an African-American women’s association who members mentor and provide workshops for the girls from the DIVAS group.
The gathering of approximately 125 enjoyed a tour of the facility, a presentation by WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs, musical numbers by WBTT artists Ariel Blue and Sheldon Rhoden, and dinner together. The evening culminated with the presentation of certificates to the students, recognizing them for their participation in the program.
The goal of the DIVAS is to aid members in becoming well-rounded young women through the development of positive social skills, etiquette, and academic excellence. The program provides services that assist participants to become academically and socially successful as well as positive role models — such as members of The Links – on campus and in our community.
The Links, Incorporated, founded in 1946, is a women’s volunteer service organization committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African-Americans and other persons of African-American ancestry. A premier international service organization with more than 15,000 members in 287 chapters – located in 42 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas – The Links has a legacy of friends providing service that changes lives. The membership of the local chapter numbers 42; chapter president is Doris Johnson.
“We were thrilled to welcome the DIVAS and The Links to our Education & Outreach Building,” said Julie Leach, executive director of WBTT. “It is so fitting that one of our very first events held in the renovated facility is one that reinforces the importance of education and enhances the self-esteem of the participating youth. To host a gathering of young people aiming for a better future and their mentors — many of whom support WBTT — aligns perfectly with our mission!”
For more about WBTT, go to westcoastblacktheatre.org or call (941) 366-1505.
About Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe:
The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc. is the only professional black theater company on Florida’s West Coast. The mission is to produce professional theatre that promotes and celebrates the African-American experience, to attract diverse audiences, to support and develop African-American artists, and to build the self-esteem of African-American youth. For more information on WBTT, visit the website at westcoastblacktheatre.org or call (941) 366-1505.