This is an ongoing series that profiles Norfolk small businesses and entrepreneurs who have benefitted from the programs offered by the Norfolk Department of Development and their partners. This month, we are proud to spotlight Black businesses that have participated in our programs during Black History Month.
TRS Kids LLC is a performing arts company for children of all ages. Their mission is to bring the performing arts to children throughout the community. Not only do they provide a stage for their students to performs, but they also teach them valuable skills that they can use off the stage, too.
Tanya Rollins Shadley—C. E. O., Actress, Director, Vocalist, Writer, Producer — is a graduate of the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts and Maury High School. She has had a microphone in her hand since she was five. When she was eight, she was cast in her very first production – Norfolk Statue University’s theater group, Black Girl, under the direction of her mentor DeShera “Sunshine” Rainey. She would later go on to perform with SEVAA summer arts workshop at NSU and would later return to teach with the SEVAA arts workshop for over 10 years.
In 2006, she started her own production company, TRS PRODUCTIONS, Broadway in V-A. She continues to provide quality entertainment experiences featuring local talent and give others a platform to grow and learn in the Arts. TRS Kids, her newest endeavor, aims to teach children ages 4 – 17 all aspects of the Arts on stage and behind the scenes in hopes of opening their eyes to all possibilities.
When asked why a performing arts program for children, she said “The reason I started TRS Kids is because I saw the lack of choices that children had access to when it came to quality performing arts training programs. As a child, there was only one performing arts program that existed in the Hampton Roads and I needed a scholarship to attend that program, fast forward 20 years later and I now am writing scholarship letters for children to attend that very same program which still is the only one that exists. So I said instead of complaining about what I see, I’ll do something about it and create my own affordable quality training arts program to give kids the foundation, access and open their eyes to endless possibilities.”
TRS Kids has taken advantage of several programs that have been offered by the Department of Development. They were awarded a Capital Access Program (CAP) grant of $10,000.00 and “this literally helped us to maintain especially through the pandemic and after as we navigated moving from in-person to virtual and back to in-person”, said Shadley. ” We were able to purchase necessary things such as supplies, costumes, pay rental fees as well as personal protective equipment and as a result the children put on a wonderful virtual performance.”
She was also in the freshman class of the Small Business Technical Assistance Program, and shared “This was a wonderful experience – from meeting our consultant who completed and updated our logo with a new and vibrant look as well as reboot of our entire website. We are extremely grateful for the new energy that was poured into TRS Kids brand and a special shout out to Patrick McCarty of Evolv!”, on of the service providers for the program.
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