Tony Award nominee and two-time Tonys host Ariana DeBose is set to appear in a nationwide public service announcement at AMC cinemas around the country now through Oct. 5.
The commercial — which will be shown on over 7,000 movie theater screens at more than 550 AMC locations — is part of a month-long campaign to thank arts educators for their contributions. The “Thank an Arts Teacher” campaign is one piece of a partnership between the Kennedy Center and AMC Theatres to celebrate National Arts in Education Week, which will take place Sept. 10-16.
DeBose shares a story acknowledging her mentor and drama teacher, the late Elizabeth Droessler, who encouraged her to pursue a career in the arts.
Similar videos featuring NBA all-star and collector of African American art Grant Hill, violinist and conductor Adrian Anantawan, rapper Fly Zyah, as well as the Kennedy Center’s Fortas Chamber Music Concerts artistic director Jennifer Koh, artistic director for jazz Jason Moran and artistic advisor for dance education Hope Boykin, are also part of the campaign.
As part of the Kennedy Center-AMC collaboration, people from around the country can submit a thank-you to an arts educator who impacted them. Messages can be submitted through the Kennedy Center’s website or by tagging the Center on social media. They will then be shared throughout the month on social media, the Center’s website and physically on the Center’s campus in Washington, D.C.
“As the national cultural center, part of the Kennedy Center’s calling is to advocate for arts teachers and support the work they do to foster the next generation of not only artists, but leaders and engaged citizens,” Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Kennedy Center, said in a statement. “Arts teachers have the unique ability to open our eyes in ways others can’t. They teach lessons that go far beyond the classroom, stage or office.”
Rutter continued, “I am forever indebted to the influential arts teachers in my life, who all opened a part of the world that I didn’t know existed. As we celebrate arts educators everywhere, the Center is thrilled to be partnering with AMC Theatres with the support of the ever-talented Ariana DeBose to encourage others to share stories of an educator who impacted them and to say thank you.”