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Duke Ellington School of the Arts Theatre Department: Where Butterflies Take Flight

Imagine a young girl, a butterfly trapped in a cocoon, her wings unfurled, her potential unseen. This is 17-year old senior Kourtlyn Camille Eaddy, a talented spark yearning for flight.

But she isn’t alone. You, our esteemed Theatre Department alumni, are the gentle breeze that carries her towards the sun, the nurturing light that helps her wings unfurl and paint the sky with vibrant possibility.

Kourtlyn's story is not just hers; it's a reflection of every aspiring artist who finds refuge and purpose within the walls of Duke Ellington School of the Arts. It's a testament to the transformative power of theatre, where raw talent meets dedicated mentorship, and cocoons blossom into breathtaking butterflies.

You, our alumni, are the architects of this transformation. Your generosity, your passion for the stage, your unwavering belief in the transformative power of art – these are the threads woven into the tapestry of Ellington's legacy.

To our alumni: Do you remember the thrill of your first performance, the rush of adrenaline as the spotlight bathed you in its luminescence? Remember the hours spent honing your craft, the camaraderie forged in sweat and laughter, the tears of joy and frustration that birthed your artistry?

Kourtlyn, like countless others, is experiencing that same magic now. She, too, is finding her voice, her strength, her wings. Each day, Kourtlyn, a middle child, travels from the home that she shares with her mother, brother and sister to hone her craft at Ellington. She is dreaming of a future where she will continue her studies at Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s Contemporary Theatre Program. Driven by her passion for acting that was ignited when she was in middle school by the film “When They See Us” she yearns to write plays and tell stories that inspire others. 

As you know, Ellington's magic, like any art form, comes at a cost. The sets, the costumes, the training – all require a steady hand of support.

That's why we, the Theatre Department, are reaching out to you today. We're embarking on a crucial campaign to raise $50,000, and your contribution, no matter how big or small, will be the wind beneath the wings of our next generation of butterflies.

With your help, we can:

  • Provide scholarships to talented students like Kourtlyn, ensuring that socioeconomic barriers don't dim their artistic light.

  • Invest in cutting-edge equipment and technology to enhance the learning experience and produce professional-caliber productions.

  • Attract and retain the best faculty who will continue to nurture and inspire the next generation of artists.

Your tax-deductible gift won't just be a financial contribution; it will be an investment in the future of theatre, a vote of confidence in the power of artistry to change lives. It will be the wind that carries another Kourtlyn, another dreamer, towards the sun, ready to paint the world with their vibrant wings.

Please, join us in this vital endeavor. Donate today and be a part of Ellington's legacy, a legacy that empowers young artists to take flight and transform the world, one story at a time.

“We love you madly” and with heartfelt gratitude,

The Duke Ellington School of the Arts Theatre Department


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