Lonika Wilson plays a game at a Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts after-school program at Kids First Community Center.

MCA teaches life skills through stage skills at Kids First Community Center


Thanks to a generous donation by Winona Health’s Community Partnership Fund, the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts will continue to bring theater arts to a group of aspiring actors and actresses at the Kids First Community Center, located inside the Maplewood Townhomes complex in Winona.

This after-school program provides these young participants with a safe environment, as well as enriching programming. Each week students play theater and movement games that keep them active and build confidence and performance skills. They also learn from instructor Samantha Heaver how to be respectful audience members, how to think quickly on their feet during improvisational exercises, and body awareness and focus. Students play games such as “Barricade,” a class favorite, which requires students to cross to the other side of the room without making a sound with their bodies or mouths.

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University and a nonprofit organization, offers programming in dance, music, visual art, and theater. Classes, lessons, workshops, and camps are offered for youth 18 months and older through adults at the Valéncia Arts Center, located at the corner of 10th and Vila streets, Winona. For more information visit smumn.edu/mca, email mca@smumn.edu, or call 507-453-5500.


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