Local Small Business Awarded with Big Helping Hand from BeyGOOD and the NAACP.
Theatre Teaching Artist & Acting Coach ShaVonne Banks-Davis and her company Acting With Mrs. Davis got a huge lift from Beyoncé Carter’s BeyGOOD foundation and the NAACP. NAACP Empowerment Programs in union with BeyGOOD’s Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund united to expand economic opportunity by awarding grants of $10,000 on the 15th of each month through the end of 2020. After a friend told Davis about the fund mere days before the deadline, she hurried, applied, and is beyond grateful to be etched in history as one of its recipients. For the Fort Worth native, the honor of this grant is personally inspiring on many levels.
“I am absolutely a Beyonce’ fan and I am most certainly in the “Bey-Hive”! I admire how a Texas girl can start from the bottom, rise to success, and give back to the community. I desire to do the same through my love for Theatre Arts and working with youth. It is such an honor for my work to be highlighted and supported by Beyoncé and the NAACP.”ShaVonne Banks-Davis
Through Acting With Mrs. Davis, ShaVonne Banks-Davis seeks to impact change within communities throughout the DFW area, nationally and even globally, saying, “There are so many life skills to be learned from the study of Theatre. It is not only acting, but public speaking, critical thinking, team-building, culture, and self-confidence are all by-products of the academia of Theatre.” Upon returning from Clark Atlanta University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts, the Fort Worth native taught in the Fort Worth, Dallas, and Grand Prairie School Districts. While teaching, she realized the potency with which she could reach her students, their shared love of Theatre Arts.
After spending time in Davis’ classroom, students with no experience and no initial interest in Theatre were soon performing for the community, winning Theatre competitions, and being accepted into advanced Fine Arts programs. This momentous joy punctuates Davis’ vision for her company. Acting With Mrs. Davis is a rescue for many children who regularly experience the heartbreak of having to discontinue their pursuit (of Theatre/Acting) because they can’t afford youth acting programs. Davis learned firsthand while teaching at-risk youth that the challenge is seldom interest, the real challenge is affordability. Knowing that many parents can’t afford extra-curricular enrichment programs is at the heart of Acting With Mrs. Davis’ activism through the arts.
Her teen group ended the year strong with a virtual production of “Bone Soup: A Kwanzaa Story” which aired live on Facebook. It’s no mystery that after spending time in Davis’ classroom, students with no experience and no initial interest in Theatre are soon budding thespians with their sights set on a future on stage.
“There are so many life skills to be learned from the study of Theatre. It is not only acting, but public speaking, critical thinking, team-building, culture, and self-confidence are all by-products of the academia of Theatre.”ShaVonne Banks-Davis
Acting With Mrs. Davis endeavors to pay it forward, ensuring that cost will never be a deterrent to youth experiencing an opportunity to learn and love theatrical expression. Thanks to the NAACP’s Empowerment Programs partnership with BeyGOOD’s Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund, Acting with Mrs. Davis will provide free virtual Theatre Arts classes for children ages 2-18 beginning with its spring season which begins in February.
“I really hope that the recognition provides more opportunities and collaborations with other like-minded individuals and organizations so I can expand my programs for the community. There is so much hidden talent in our community and our youth need a creative outlet to express themselves.”ShaVonne Banks-Davis
Mrs. Davis also plans to make a scholarship donation to the Maroon 9 Virtual Fine Arts Competition and is currently conceptualizing the 2nd Annual DFW Virtual Youth Enrichment Summit for Middle and High School students. The funds will also aid in the planning and preparation for the “Youth Need Love” summer program for previously adjudicated youth.
When asked who’d she like to thank, Davis began, “I want to thank my parents, family, and friends for motivating me to enter the field of education and encouraging me to start Acting With Mrs. Davis. I want to thank every single student that I have taught for showing me the magic that can happen through Theatre Arts and helping me to recognize my gift. I also want to thank Clark Atlanta University and my favorite Professor, the late Carol Mitchell-Leon for showing me the tools to be a compassionate educator and leader. I live by the CAU motto, “I will find a way or make one.””
To learn more about Mrs. Davis, Acting With Mrs. Davis or sign up for classes, visit: www.actingwithmrsdavis.com.