Skip to Content

The Actors Fund Expands Teaching Opportunities For Performing Artists


(New York, NY) The STARRR (Substitute Teachers for the Arts and the Three R’s) has been a collaborative effort of The Actors Fund and the New York City Department of Education for the last five years.  This program has prepared Fund clients for work as substitute teachers utilizing their drama and theatrical skills to teach literacy in elementary and middle schools in the South Bronx.  After the initial training period, program participants have been “regular subs”, helping to build a theater culture in the schools.

The program is now expanding city-wide and is open to artists of all disciplines such as actors, dancers, musicians, playwrights, scenic artists, and more. New York City’s Department of Education included information about the program in their principal weekly newsletter, and schools in all five boroughs are interested in participating.

“We are thrilled with our relationship with the New York City DOE and pleased that the program is expanding.  The STARRR Program has created a wonderful employment opportunity for arts professionals that utilizes their unique artistic skills and talents, while schoolchildren are able to develop academic and social skills in creative ways”, says Joe Benincasa, Executive Director of The Fund.

“We are pleased to work with The Actors Fund in creating an opportunity for their clients to work in New York City Schools. There is no question that the training and experience of the STARRR participants can greatly contribute to the welfare of our City’s children,” says Renee Harper, Director of Substitute Teachers Services for the New York City Department of Education.

Those participating in STARRR complete an intensive training program. Those interested in learning more about this program and other Fund services should attend an Actors Work Program orientation on Monday ,September 15 from 12 to 2:30 at 729 7th Avenue (between 48 and 49 St) 11 floor.  No pre-registration is necessary.
The Actors Fund  is a national human services organization that helps all professionals in performing arts and entertainment. The Fund, which helps not just actors but everyone who works in theatre, film, TV, music, dance, radio and opera, is a safety net, providing social services and emergency assistance, health services, employment and training programs and housing support for those who are in need, crisis or transition. Learn more about The Actors Fund at