More than $25,000 given to arts education. $12,000 pledged for 2020. 32 original plays created & performed. Dozens of lives changed. All right here in Catawba County, North Carolina.

This is the Hickory Playground.



The Hickory Playground is a unique and inventive way to bring together creative people to support arts education in our community. As a Hickory resident I am always excited about attending the Playground each year as the process is innovative and fresh. As an arts educator, I am truly moved by the fiscal assistance the Playground provides to arts education programs throughout our community. Thank you Hickory Playground for what you create and what you give back to children in our community.

Sally Ross, Orchestra Teacher,
Northview Middle School
(Hickory Public Schools)

I am the Theatre Arts Teacher at Bandys High School. I love my school, students, and program with all of my heart and we are a completely self-funded department. We receive no help in raising funds for our productions and are responsible for fundraising, grant applications, and more. In 2018, with [Hickory Playground] funds, we were able to pay for the rights and royalties to present “Cinderella.” This amount of money helped our program in a way that is indescribable. Without this generous donation, we would have definitely been short in other aspects of the production. In 2019, [Hickory Playground funding] will be used to purchase set pieces and the rights and royalties for our production of “Shrek: the Musical.” This organization is a blessing to our program… My students are thankful for the organization and it is great to know that someone outside of the four walls of our school cares about them and their theatrical experiences. The Arts touches students’ lives in ways that are impossible to count. Many thanks to Hickory Playground for their support for the Arts and I hope that they can continue to help many schools in our area.

Alison Andrews, Theater Teacher,
Bandys High School
(Catawba County Schools)

The Tractor Shed Theatre at St. Stephens High School is honored to be granted funds from the amazing Hickory Playground three years in a row! The funding helps us continue our civic engagement and creative arts work. We are currently using the funds to spark our newly formed S.A.V.E Promise club (Students Against Violence Everywhere) and our original project called Sticks and Stones. Sticks and Stones is a bullying prevention effort in collaboration with a local elementary school where we bring to life fifth graders own personal stories so they can see them played back. We have won national awards and the Hickory Playground gives us the resources to continue bettering our communities. Check out our work:

Molly Rice, Theater Teacher,
Saint Stephen’s High School
(Catawba County Schools)

Dr. Steven Clarke,
Choral Director &
Theater Faculty Advisor,
Hickory High School
(Hickory Public School)

What you hear on the street is true. Funding for special programming for the arts is hard to come by. We are among the fortunate ones. Our district supports the arts through classroom instruction, music holdings, an accompanist, and curriculum resources. Notwithstanding, we simply could not showcase the talents of our dramatically inclined students through plays and musicals without the support and generosity of our community. Indeed the world of theatre is a huge part of a balanced arts education. How grateful Hickory Public Schools is for the charitable and gracious gifts from the Hickory Playground over the past couple years. Hickory High Alumnus, Dylan Tashjian, has splashed onto the world stage with the cofounding of this non-profit. So many schools in our district are beneficiaries of his work and the many talented writers, actors, and supporters of this work. This is just one more way our community is ‘well-crafted.’


Executive Producers & Platinum Sponsors