WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The arts can be as formative for a child as anything they learn growing up.

Music Theatre Wichita is kicking off its summer workshop series. The skills students are taking away go far beyond the stage.

“It’s really fun, we’re just now learning music, and we’ve been dancing around and just getting the blood flowing and stuff,” said Lexye Collins, who has been performing since she was 6. “I’m just grateful for all the mentors that I’ve had along the way, and that theater has given me the outlet to express myself and perform for people because that’s what I’ve always loved doing.”

Music Theatre Wichita is taking songs and turning them into skills.

“Theater’s really, really fun,” said Collins.

“It’s taught me a whole lot, like to communicate and be very confident in myself.”

The impact lasting long after the curtain falls.

“How many hotel rooms we fill up, how many restaurants before the show, or bars after the show. You know we bring in about 150 people seasonally that live here, work here spend their money, do everything and that’s not including the 65,000 audience members that come through,” said Joshua Larson, Music Theatre Wichita education director.

Proof people are still escaping to the theater.

“The art form isn’t dead; there are lots of people that are coming through the ranks,” said Larson.

As kids show up and find their voice, they also find acceptance in exactly who they are.

“If you’re looking for a place to belong, then theater is definitely probably the place for you,” said Collins.

The next summer course kicks off the week of June 20. There are still spaces available to apply.