Thanks to funding from the Western States Arts Federation, dedicated to strengthening the arts industry in the West, and other agencies, donors, and local businesses, the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center is funding 13 School Matinee Program performances during the 2023-24 school year, allowing some 12,000 Central Coast students free access to PAC SLO events.

The Foundation’s School Matinee Program has long served the Central Coast as the primary arts education program through which local teachers are able to fulfill visual and performing arts curriculum requirements. School matinees provide children an opportunity to experience the performing arts in a professional and world-class venue, a rare experience for many local students.

U.S. Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus

The program brings world-renowned performing and teaching artists to the PAC. The Foundation ensures that every student participates in this program at no cost thanks to donors who are committed to providing youth access to the arts. In addition to the Western States Arts Federation, supporters include presenting sponsor Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust, Bank of America, California Arts Council, Hoag Family Foundation, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, and FPAC Business Partners and individual donors.

“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, which this year gave $5,000 toward the program.

Lightwire, Dino-Light

Two of the School Matinee Program events have already taken place: a performance by Bodytraffic, one of the nation’s most talked about contemporary dance companies, and a concert by the U.S. Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus featuring music from Star Wars, Encanto, Hamilton and more.

Coming up in 2024: performances of North: The Musical; the bilingual musical Tomás and the Library Lady; the cutting-edge blend of puppetery, technology and dance that is Lightwire, Dino-Light; a stage adaptation of Charlotte’s Web; and concerts by Ladysmith Black Mambazo and 123 Andrés.

The Foundation for the Performing Arts Center provides the Student Matinee Program for students in grades K through 12 and their teachers at no cost. Its goal is to ensure that every year children are provided free access to the arts.