In the midst of a sold out run of ANNIE! presented by the Charleston Performing Arts Center at the new Citadel Mall Community Stage, actress Catherine Ashmore Bradley (who stars as "Annie") visited the Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC) this past week.
While at CYDC, Catherine met with local children living in foster care ranging from ages 7 to 18. She sang songs from ANNIE!, taught them dance moves, played games, and chatted with them about the performing arts. Many of the children she met with are interested in pursuing the arts in the future which kept the conversations flowing.
“It’s so important to remember that there are children out there who aren’t growing up with their moms and dads and don’t have the things in life we all take for granted.," Bradley said. "It’s important that they have hope and that they know they can have a bright future too! It’s just like my character Annie, being optimistic and bright, I wanted to put that into their lives!”
CYDC is the first of its kind in the United States, founded as a municipal orphanage in 1790. Their mission is to empower and equip the community’s most vulnerable children by providing a safe environment, educational support, and career readiness, in collaboration with families and community partners.
“We’re proud of the work we do here at CYDC," Beverly Hardin, Chief Executive Officer of Carolina Youth Development Center said. "We’re excited about the future and creating opportunities every day to experience the arts and learn and grow. That’s why we really loved Catherine visiting us, they got to learn about life in theater. She brought sunshine to the kids’ day, especially when she sang a song from Annie.”
During Catherine’s visit she announced that she will be donating her earnings from the show to CYDC, which they will use to take the children on a mini vacation. Catherine and her family also provided transportation and tickets to see ANNIE! last week.
Your last chance to see Annie is on Saturday, January 26th and Sunday, January 27th. Tickets are on sale now at charlestonperformingarts.org.