Providing the arts to our schools matters, and you can help.

We lose money every time we perform a weekday matinee for students. A significant amount, actually. The top price charged for The Tempest is $7.50 (of which, less than $4 really makes it back to cover payroll) and there are a number of schools, like St Peter Claver Catholic School and private groups of migrant students, who we don’t charge because they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it. We do this because it’s the right thing to do, for a multitude of reasons I shouldn’t have to spell out.

I can’t do it, however, on the backs of artists taking time off of daytime employment or other paying gigs. Artist wages here aren’t great even when comparatively “good” for the region. Thankfully angels have stepped up in Healthy Agile LLC as well as Yann and Susana Weymouth (and Hal Freedman and Willi Rudowsky who’ve already done the same for 1984) who believe enough in the importance of arts education to make a donation. I’m still short, and time is running out to pay for what we’ve already committed to. The show closes Feb. 18.

Then it hit me, wow, The Tempest has sold nearly 2,000 tickets already and if everyone just kicked in $1 (yes, really, just $1) as a “tip” for a good show or an “attaboy” for the program — this is paid for. Maybe that describes you. Maybe you know someone else who could step in and join our list of community sponsors (if the timing is bad now we have the same need for 1984 in April/May).

We had to cancel 7 matinees for The Tempest simply because I couldn’t pay for them — I had the requests. Last year we offered nearly 600 free tickets to As You Like It, my lack of funding this year meant we were able to offer less than a quarter that number at no cost. But I’ll keep trying …

 

— David M. Jenkins, Producing Artistic Director

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