New S.T.A.G.E. Initiative Grants Access to the Arts in Schenectady

Community Organizations and Sponsors Partner with Disney Theatrical Productions to Provide Underserved Children with Seats to the North American Tour of Disney’s FROZEN at Proctors

November 19, 2019

Schenectady, N.Y. — The Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation (DSIC) and the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission’s MLK Coalition today announced their partnership on a new initiative to grant access to Schenectady’s thriving arts scene to children in the city’s underserved communities. Schenectady Together for the Arts Granted to Everyone – or S.T.A.G.E. – is working together with Disney Theatrical Productions to give 200 local youths the opportunity to experience Disney’s Broadway musical FROZEN at Proctors in Downtown Schenectady on Thursday, November 21 at 8:00 p.m.

“We are thrilled to be able to participate in this program,” said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic Touring and Regional Engagements at Disney Theatrical Productions. “Introducing young people to the theater and the arts is not only one of the greatest joys for us at Disney Theatrical, but absolutely necessary. We thank the DSIC and the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission for allowing us to be a part of this important initiative.”

Angelicia Morris, Executive Director of the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission, said, “We are excited to partner with Disney on an idea that came about to support our community, especially those children and families who are underserved and do not have the financial resources to experience shows like Disney’s FROZEN at Proctors. In my role, it is always exciting to collaborate with organizations in the City and County of Schenectady, such as DSIC and Proctors, to bring programs and resources to those who otherwise may not be able to access them.”

She added, “This is a significant and historic collaboration that ensures all children and families of our community are not FROZEN out of any opportunity to enjoy music, arts and theater.”

“Downtown Schenectady’s Arts & Entertainment District, anchored by Proctors, is a regional treasure that everyone in our community should get the opportunity to experience first-hand,” said Jim Salengo, Executive Director of the DSIC. “We are so grateful to work with the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission’s MLK Coalition to open up the gates to the wonders of live theater for kids from all walks of life thanks to the generosity of Disney Theatrical Productions and local sponsors.”

Financial support for the initiative is being provided by a coalition of local businesses, organizations and individuals. They are:

  • Combined Insurance
  • Discover Schenectady
  • Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation (DSIC)
  • Ron Gardner, Schenectady Affirmative Action & Advisory Committee
  • Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County
  • Martin, Harding & Mazzotti
  • Northern Rivers Family of Services
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Schenectady County Human Rights Commission’s MLK Coalition
  • The Schenectady Foundation
  • Schenectady Police Department
  • YMCA Schenectady

Robert Carreau, Executive Director of The Schenectady Foundation, said, “The Foundation places a very high value on removing barriers to access for under-resourced community members. Helping our kids and families participate in this magical production of FROZEN is the right thing to do.”

The tickets are being distributed among a group of 11 service organizations that run after-school programs serving Schenectady youth. They are:

  • Boys Day Out
  • Bright Beginnings
  • COCOA House
  • Community Fathers Inc.
  • Emily Wiley Foundation
  • Girls Day Out
  • Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County
  • Northern Rivers Family of Services
  • SEAT Center
  • YMCA Schenectady
  • YWCA NorthEastern NY

“We are thankful for the opportunity to share the great Disney experience with our children,” said William Gettman, CEO of Northern Rivers Family of Services. “The once in a lifetime exposure to music, art, and excitement provides a sense of hope for our children. Many thanks to the incredible sponsors and donors.”

The Broadway musical FROZEN is launching its North American Tour at Proctors during a two-week run that continues through Sunday, November 24. In addition to the public performances, the production called Schenectady its home for the past several months as it prepared the show to bring its special brand of magic to theaters across the nation.

Tickets are available by visiting the Proctors Box Office in person or online at


Jim Salengo, Executive Director, DSIC | 518-377-9340

Angelicia Morris, Executive Director, Schenectady County Human Rights Commission | 518-377-3823

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