"Play leads to brain plasticity, adaptability, and creativity. Nothing fires up the brain like play"
Spotlight was founded in 2019 and is based in Lima, Perú. Spotlight provides youth ages 12-22 with English language and 21st century skills through the performing arts to access post-secondary academic and economic pathways. The after-school enrichment programs at Spotlight are developed and iterated on based on extensive engagement with families and students and through market research. Specifically, Spotlight aims to address four key problems in its current market in Perú:
- “47% of companies [in Perú] have jobs that are difficult to fill and 76% of these are not filled due to the lack of [technical and soft] skills of the candidates” (Novella et al., IDB, 2019)
- Teachers are not trained to teach creatively because they have never experienced anything different themselves
- Parents want rigorous learning opportunities for students outside of the rigid classroom environment
- Students want safe, welcoming, and fun learning environments to learn deeply
Spotlight Founding Story
After 7 years of living and working in Perú, I found myself in a position as a music teacher and musical theater director at a school in Lima. There, I noticed a diverse level of English ability in my students. As the year progressed, I watched in awe as my students commanded the stage. Even as I was taken by their emerging performance skills, I started to become acutely aware and observant of the ways in which their English skills were concurrently flourishing in addition to creative thinking, adaptability, and overall confidence. This was nothing short of astounding to me. I realized then that my purpose was clear – I wanted to commit to the development of student’s language and social skills by way of story-telling and the performing arts. In 2019, I launched Spotlight to make this a reality.
– Kara Seigal
Founder & CEO, Spotlight
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Spotlight quickly adapted and moved its programming online, which allowed the organization to broaden its reach and accept students across Latin America. At the same time, Spotlight adapted its curriculum to focus on socio-emotional learning to address students’ mental health concerns during the lockdown. At the beginning of 2022, Spotlight resumed in-person programs and continues to strategize about how to make existing and future programs both dynamic and global.
Spotlight’s Program and Operation Model
At its core, performing arts is the mechanism through which Spotlight delivers all programs. Specifically, students engage in a range of experiences and activities for 10-12 hours per week for 16 weeks. Students' experiences include working collaboratively with teachers to adapt, co-direct, and perform a full-length musical show. Students learn from a group of local and international artist instructors. Students have the opportunity to learn from professional artists from Broadway, film, and theater around the world. Additionally, students who are interested in pursuing careers in the arts may also choose to participate in an in-house internship or teacher training program. Ideally students complete 3-4 lifecycles of the program to see the most impact in skills growth over time.
To activate students’ love for learning and creative potential to help them thrive in life and career.
All youth in Latin America, regardless of their socio-economic status, have access to quality arts-driven enrichment programs where they are engaged in out-of-the-desk learning to develop the skills and confidence needed to thrive in the academic and career options of their choice.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN SPOTLIGHT
Here at Spotlight, we strive to bring out the best in everyone. We promote diversity and authenticity. This is a space where everyone can safely explore freedom of expression. Because of this, we do not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation (including gender identity and expression), or disability. We want everyone at Spotlight to come to class and know that their differences are celebrated because differences are what make us great.
A safe space where everyone is an artist
We create an equitable and supportive space for students to acquire language in a multicultural environment. We provide a space for students to be their most authentic selves and minimize power structures by taking advantage of the fictional space of theater and theater practices.
In The Heights
Founder & CEO
Audiovisual and Graphic Design