Arts Education

Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts is committed to supporting and presenting all genres of the Performing Arts at The Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater and throughout the St. Petersburg, Florida area; funding arts education for school children and providing its member patrons with unequaled services, entertainment, and cultural experiences.

The Class Acts Educational Performance Series has a rich history of serving local students for 25 years. Since 2011, over 100,000 local school children have been able to experience the theater through the Class Acts program.

The Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts strives to provide quality performing arts programs that enhance the learning experience and correlate with Florida’s curriculum initiatives. A primary goal of the Class Acts Program is to provide access for student groups who have economic needs and challenges by offering complimentary admission and transportation services.


“I would most definitely plan another trip to Duke Energy Center for the Arts. Everyone was very helpful, polite, smiling and friendly. The performance was amazing! My students had never seen a musical before and they loved it! The help I received from April was outstanding”.
Karen Penzien – Skycrest Elementary

“Thank you for providing such a fun and educational program! I am always impressed with the organization during Class Acts”.
Melissa Lewis – Westlake Christian School

“I always enjoy bringing my students to the Duke Energy Center –Mahaffey. You all do a wonderful job of getting content to enrich our students”.
Tracy Leskanic – Gifted Teacher – North Shore Elementary

“We went to 3 shows this year and this was their favorite!  It was well done and jammed packed with favorite books that we have read and a couple we hadn’t that the kids immediately wanted to get their hands on!  Great Job and a great season!” 
Kimberly Berry – Northside Christian Elementary School

“Thank You! Love the staff, love the venue, and love the performance!”
Lynne Gulotta – Safety Harbor Montessori Academy

“Great show and Great experience all around!! Thank you for a fantastic day!”
Mr. Hortin – Child Development Center

“I love coming to the Duke Energy Center Mahaffey Theater for field trips! Everything is always so organized and efficient. The quality of the performances is unmatched by any other theater. Your customer service is fast, friendly, and always helpful. I have planned field trips for here for years and plan on continuing the tradition. Thank you for everything you do for our students!”
Mrs. Krynski – Plato Academy 

“The Class Acts Education Program at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts Mahaffey Theater provides educational and entertaining opportunities for students throughout Pinellas County.  Many of our students have never been to the theater; therefore Class Acts is often their first exposure to the performing arts.  The Class Acts staff provides a fully developed resource guide for every show in their educational series.  This guide allows our teachers to extend the theater experience and expand upon the academic content addressed in the show.  We are truly grateful to have this program in our community and look forward to many more years of partnership!”
Lori Matway – Associate Superintendent – Student & Community Services

“After attending a performance with 194 Voluntary PK students I wanted to express my sincere gratitude to the Bill Edwards Foundation for the Arts in providing this valuable opportunity. Without your support, most of these children would never step foot inside a theater and come to know the magic of a live theater performance. This enrichment to their education is priceless and we are all most gratefully, thank you!”
Gail Ramsdell – Early Childhood Education Coordinator

“Attending a Class Acts performance at Mahaffey Theater embraces our curriculum and lesson plans and is a tool we use to help engage our exceptional education students in social activities that empower them with the skills needed to communicate more effectively within the community!”
Nanci Tokach