Project Daylight

Encouraging Metal Wellness

The Coterie’s Project DAYLIGHT is a new, in-school dramatic health education program to support mental wellness for KC area pre-teens and teens. It is built upon The Coterie’s 25-year history in schools with our first health education program, the Dramatic HIV/STDs Project (DSHP), which addresses STD prevention. Using our master storytelling skills and partnering with trained social work students, we present real stories and ignite life-saving conversations.

  • Dramatic format captures student attention and creates dialogue around a difficult subject
  • Presentations based on real stories of Kansas City teens dealing with anxiety and depression
  • Filling the gap in resources in KC schools for middle school programming on mental health
  • Moderated by trained UMKC Masters of Social Work (MSW) students paired with a professional actor
  • Always provided free of charge

Project DAYLIGHT is presented free of charge to Kansas City area youth through a unique collaboration between The Coterie Theatre and UMKC School of Social Work.

Beginning Feb 1st, we will accept bookings for Project DAYLIGHT in 6th and 7th grades.

Taylor Hubbard, Booking Coordinator or (816) 994-8832



  • 1 in 5 will experience a serious mental illness by age 18.
  • 1 in 12 high school teens attempt suicide.
  • Anxiety is the most common, affecting one third of adolescents.

There are many schools in the greater Kansas CIty area with little or no teen mental wellness support. Kansas City educators have communicated the need for programming for middle school students on mental health. The hope of Project DAYLIGHT is to create early intervention and, as a result, prevent serious mental health crisis in later years.



Help us send Project DAYLIGHT into all KC area schools free of charge. Designed to engage teens on difficult subjects while resolutely refusing to talk down to them, Project DAYLIGHT aims to break down the stigma and stereotypes around mental health. Stand up with our amazing group of donors that are supporting a program that empowers teens by providing them with essential mental health education.

As a new program for The Coterie, Project DAYLIGHT needs a firm foundation for it’s pilot season, and that can only happen one brick at a time. In December 2019, The Coterie is launching a fundraising campaign that will support its education programs, including Project DAYLIGHT. A gift of only $100.00 sends a trained UMKC Masters of Social Work student and a Coterie actor into a KC-area school. Donations of $2,500 or more will be honored with a Project DAYLIGHT Brick on The Coterie’s lobby wall and inclusion in future Project Daylight promotions.

CLICK HERE to Make a Donation Now




Our Dramatic HIV/STDs Project (DSHP) is an award-winning arts education program that has educated Kansas City youth in schools for 25 years. This program engages teens in a dramatic and impactful way that changes teen attitudes on HIV and STD transmission.

  • Collaboration with UMKC Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy and Nursing and KU School of Medicine
  • Presented free of charge in schools and community organizations throughout Greater KC
  • 8,000 teens through 200 presentations annually
  • 185,000 youth served since 1993


Project DAYLIGHT Advisors

  • Jessica Chanos, MS, MA, PPS
  • James Copaken, LCSW, LSCSW; Psychotherapist, Copaken Counseling LLC
  • Julia Harkleroad, MS, LCMFT, RYT 200
  • Avis Smith, LSCSW, LCSW. Adjunct Instructor, KU School of Social Welfare; Former Director of Trauma Smart, Crittenton Children’s Center

Project DAYLIGHT Founding Sponsors

  • Copaken Family Foundation
  • Graves Family Foundation
  • H&R Block Foundation
  • Menorah Heritage Foundation

Project DAYLIGHT Ambassadors

  • Jenny Atterbury & Ed Stern
  • Susan Bernstein
  • Stephanie & Henry Bond
  • Casey & Randy Brock
  • BK Christopher
  • Carolyn & Scott Elsperrman
  • Jackie & Bill Fromm
  • Erin & Steve Gorny
  • Julia Harkleroad
  • Mary Morris
  • Laura & Reuben Perin
  • Susannah & T.J. Sotos