Cambridge Savings Bank (CSB) and Boston University’s Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program recently hosted a special performance of the groundbreaking play, Money Matters, at Charlestown’s Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC). The production took place before nearly 300 people, including international students from the Humphrey Fellowship Program.
Money Matters engages the audience in critical conversations about money and financial education, as well as educating them on topics related to budgeting, saving, managing bank accounts, and fraud through humor, dance, and music.
“Money Matters entertains while it educates,” said Evan Diamond, Financial Education Manager with Cambridge Savings Bank. “It exemplifies the bank’s outside-of-the-box approach to teaching.”
Created by Central Square Theater’s Youth Underground in collaboration with CSB’s signature CSBsmart financial education program, the script incorporates more than 80 interviews with real people– cast members’ families, friends, financial experts etc. – to depict the financial experiences of students, teachers, parents, business owners, and community members.
Dr. Ksenya Khinchuk, Director of the Humphrey Fellowships used the performance as an opportunity for the Fellows to discuss the use of stories and theatre as tools for financial education.
“Using personal stories in the show allows the audience to connect emotionally to the information so they understand why it’s important,” said Dr. Khinchuk.
“Theater can be very educational,” said Humphrey Fellow Eva Ramos, who teaches English in her native Panama. “Money Matters works because it reflects real-life stories and you connect with the actors.”
In addition to the Fellows students from BHCC attended, including those in Volunteer Income Taxes Assistance (VITA) courses. VITA is an IRS program designed to help low and moderate-income taxpayers complete their annual tax returns at no cost.
The play was followed by an audience “talk back” session with the Youth Underground actors and staff, giving the international and local students a chance for feedback.