100 signatures reached
To: Santa Clara City Council
The proposed City of Santa Clara 2021-2022 budget includes decreasing the funds of Roberta Jones Junior Theatre (RJJT) in a devastating way. This cut includes eliminating the position of RJJT supervisor, cutting all productions, and reducing as-needed staff.
Eliminating the position of RJJT supervisor
Following the retirement of former RJJT supervisor Kevin Cornelius in November 2019, the program has been led by Supervisor Robin Shaddle, who was hired to take over the program. The budget proposal states the position of RJJT supervisor has been vacant since November 2019; however, Robin Shaddle has been filling this role under a different title.
Cutting all productions
Traditionally, RJJT produces 4 annual productions: a fall production at the Community Recreation Center (CRC; ages 8-18), a larger spring musical at the Mission City Center for Performing Arts (MCCPA; ages 8-18), a Springboard theatre show (CRC; ages 7-13), and a Creative Artistic Theatrical Showcase (CATS) summer camp (MCCPA; ages 8-15). RJJT participation comes in all forms; all children who audition for an RJJT production receive a role and there are opportunities for participants to learn technical theatre.
Reducing as-needed staff
RJJT as-needed staff funding will be reduced by $34,000; it is unclear how many employees will be affected by this proposition. RJJT trains older participants in technical theatre and life skills that prepare them to be ideal city employees. These staff members who begin their careers with RJJT support various city programs including Miss Santa Clara Auxiliary, City of Santa Clara’s Art & Wine Festival, Parks & Recreation Spring Dance Recital and Nutcracker, Showtime, Santa Clara Library’s Read Event, City of Santa Clara’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, and other city events.
We ask the City Council to support the revisal of the budget and not eliminate production funds from RJJT. We demand a chance for RJJT staff to increase revenue and cut expenditures internally without changing or reducing its programs.
Why is this important?
The Legacy of Roberta Jones
Community theatre in Santa Clara began when Roberta Jones and a small group of hardworking individuals conceived the idea of a theatre group. Roberta Jones picked the shows, directed some, and served as executive producer of the entire program and also as "Mom" for her young charges, working to instill a sense of responsibility and dedication in each child. Since 1968 and for over 50 years, the legacy of Roberta Jones Junior Theatre continues to serve the community.
Roberta Jones Junior Theatre Mission
In keeping with the vision of founder Roberta Jones, and its 52-year history, Roberta Jones Junior Theatre provides youth in Santa Clara with high-quality recreational experiences in Theatre Arts. All children are welcome to participate on stage and backstage in productions.
The program fosters a strong sense of place and community for participants and the general public. Youths are given opportunities for self expression in a fun, safe environment where they improve self esteem, confidence and social skills while learning the value of personal responsibility from adult role models.
Audiences are provided with excellent, affordable, family-friendly special events where young performers inspire joyful appreciation for the Performing Arts in the Santa Clara community.