Curtain closes on African American Children's Theatre

After 30 years it's time Milwaukee says goodbye to the African American Children's Theatre.

The organization's founder Constance Clark made the announcement Monday morning. She says one of the biggest reasons for the shutdown is funding.

It was becoming harder and harder to get money to keep the program alive; especially with other arts programs fighting for the same money. 

Since 1989  Clark says AACT has hosted 100 performances. The children were taught about African American artists, writers, shows, and music. The kids even got to write their own plays and songs, AACT gave them a chance to shine. 

"Building self-confidence and self-esteem and give your parents and community a chance to applaud for you," said Clark. 

The Rucks family says the program gave their children public speaking skills, confidence and integrity. Mother Linnis says her daughter Toni Martin has continued to reach great heights in her acting career thanks to AACT. 

Toni is an actress in New York. She's been on Broadway and acted in shows like Raisin in the Sun and Airline Highway, she's also been on the TV show "Gotham."

"The African American Children's Theatre was a way to be creative and to talk about things that were important to them and to have a constructive after-school activity," said Toni. 

While there aren't any definite plans on what's next, Clark says this isn't the complete end for the program. 

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