Zeneith Performing Arts (ZPA) is a 501(c)(3) performing arts nonprofit. The organization was formed in 1999 when Lynwood High School’s theater instuctor, Janette Watson, and dance instructor, Nyiki Swain, recognized a need to train passionate students whom did not have the resources to obtain quality performing arts training. These instructors recognized that most students from low-income communities did not have access to quality dance schools, theater programs, or other performing arts opportunities.
Low-income communities have a critical need for quality programs for students in the performing arts. The social, academic, and professional achievement of these students is more difficult due to societal barriers. According to the Health Atlas for the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles neighborhoods with the lowest income per household include South Los Angeles, Southeast Los Angeles, Central City, and Wilmington. ZPA has intentionally sought teaching opportunities and program locations near these neighborhoods. These neighborhoods have a high-school graduation rate that is more than 45% lower, an unemployment rate that is 5% higher, and a social and emotional support rate for people in need that is approximately 35% lower than that of high-income communities.
To help these performing arts students overcome societal barriers, ZPA developed three rigourous performing arts programs. These programs include an After-School Youth Dance Program, a Junior Dance Company for students ages 3-16, and Adult Company for students age 17 and up.
To date, ZPA's programs have served more than 5,000 students. Most of our students remain close friends with their ZPA class into adulthood, demonstrating our commitment to community. We are also proud of our many students who have pursued successful careers in the performing arts.