Mission and Vision

Act One provides meaningful arts experiences that enhance the academic and creative potential of children and families in Arizona. We envision a time when all Arizonans acknowledge the value of creative arts experiences as a significant component of educational advancement and personal well-being.

What we do

Act One makes the arts accessible to thousands of children and families in Arizona each year through field trips for K-12 students from Title I schools and the Culture Pass program.

The Founding
of Act One

Act One was started by Russ and Mac Perlich to address the many issues faced by schools and arts organizations alike when organizing field trips. Although many theater companies offered student matinees, low-income schools could not afford the tickets, nor the necessary transportation. The solution became Act One’s signature program: Act One Field Trips.

Field Trips

Act One sends students from Title I schools on educational arts field trips and covers the cost of admission tickets and transportation. Act One facilitates the field trips from start to finish: securing tickets with the arts organizations, working with teachers to book field trips, paying for the transportation and providing educational materials that teachers can use to integrate the field trip into their curricula and prepare the students for their arts experience.

Culture Pass

In 2013, Act One adopted its second program, the Culture Pass. By “checking out” a Culture Pass at one of 64 local libraries, library cardholders receive free admission for two to one of the many museums, theaters and cultural sites that participate in the program. In its first year under Act One, the Culture Pass was expanded to include passes to performances, and today more than 10,000 performance tickets are available annually to library cardholders in Maricopa and Pima counties. In 2014, the Sedona Public Library joined the list of partners, bringing the Culture Pass to Northern Arizona. In October 2015, the program launched in Pima County and is available at 11 Pima County Public Libraries and the Pima Community College Desert Vista Campus Library.

In November 2015, Act One founder Russ Perlich received the Piper Trust Encore Career Prize for an Exceptional Individual. Read More

Act One
Board of Directors

Christina Burroughs, Chair

Principal, Financial Advisor, CAPTRUST

Hilary Smedsrud, Vice Chair

Retired, Community Leader

Al Priem, Treasurer

Retired, Community Leader

Mac Perlich, Secretary

Act One Founder l President and CEO, ON Media

Scott Candrian

Retired, Community Leader

Russ Perlich

Act One Founder | Partner, PWP Capital

Judy McDermott

Executive Director, First Tee Tucson

Ryan Conlan

IT Project Manager, LexisNexis

Priscilla Marquez

Retired, Community Leader

Christopher Houk

Owner and Founder, Houk Law Firm, PLLC

Southern Arizona
Advisory Committee

Andrea Crane
Gail Koshland
Jennifer Estrada
Jill Rosenzweig
Judith Brown
Judy McDermott
Lendre Kearns
Minna Shah
Priscilla Marquez
Robyn Lambert
Ron Marx
Scott Candrian

Act One Staff

Bernadette Carroll

Executive Director

Dr. Beth Maloney

Director of Arts Education

Anne Osborne

Program + Administrative Assistant

Hanna Schehr

Field Trip Manager

Rebecca Young

Marketing and PR Manager