Supporting theatre means supporting a sense of community.
“There are a lot of pressing needs at this time. It’s also important to recognize the value that arts organizations provide our community and the need to ensure that those arts organizations are still there for us when all of this is behind us,” said Laura Efron, the Impact Ambassador for the Theatre Resiliency Fund with Charitable Impact’s #ChooseYourImpact campaign.
Efron spotlights those organizations as “places that build community, and provide experiences to learn and enjoy the arts in many ways, shapes, and forms.”
“There’s something special about a shared experience with members of the same community and experiencing and reacting to something together, laughing together,” said Efron in a phone interview.
How donors support theatre
With her experience, Efron knows what it takes to get performances up and running. She has served as Executive Director of the Vancouver Fringe Festival. While managing the performing arts space at Capilano University in North Vancouver, she coordinated 450 bookings per year.
Donor support for the arts and theatre is urgently needed right now. In fact, donations have always been a sustaining factor for the sector overall. Efron says people may misinterpret the role of ticket sales for theatres since audience revenue doesn’t typically cover the full cost of a live theatre production.
Arts organizations are usually not-for-profits that assemble grant and public funding, private donations, sponsors, and revenue from ticket and concession sales to keep going.
Currently many organizations have moved their performances online to maintain their productions. Or, they are trying to navigate how to soon bring people back as live audiences, considering difficult equations in audience flow in lobby and bathroom areas. “Even if there is an opportunity to have fewer than 50 people, the requirements of physical distancing make it extremely challenging for theatres,” said Efron.
#ChooseYourImpact for theatre
As the voice for the arts in our #ChooseYourImpact campaign, Efron is connecting donors to Vancouver charities that are fuelling future creative expression on local stages. This helps create a vibrant and diverse tapestry for performing arts across Vancouver, where there is something for everyone — from a big-marquee musical to a politically-charged show by a local playwright.
She has selected local organizations that reflect this diversity: the Arts Club Theatre Company, The Cultch, the Vancouver Fringe Festival, and Rumble Theatre.
By supporting these stages, you are helping individual artists. If donors aren’t able to give charitably right now, there are also many organizations looking for support from volunteers. “Supporting arts organizations is also a way to support the incredible talent of the artists in our communities that we look to especially during times of trouble,” said Efron.
“We look to movies, music, to help us cope, escape, learn. What would life be without art? It would be pretty sad. I would love to encourage people to support the arts and the arts community because it is something that makes our lives more valuable,” said Efron.
By supporting your local productions as a donor, you are helping ensure the sustainability of a dynamic community arts sector. As a possible bonus, you could be launching the career of the next star of your favourite binge watch. You never know what amazing things the arts can bring.
We understand most of us don’t have the time or resources needed to make the most informed giving decisions. That’s why we have launched the #ChooseYourImpact campaign, connecting you to passionate changemakers and thought leaders — called Impact Ambassadors.
We have partnered with the Vancouver Social Value Fund (VSVF), a youth-led fund created in partnership with the Vancouver impact community, and the Social Innovation Academy, a learning initiative led by UBC Sauder Centre for Social Innovation & Impact Investing (SauderS3i). Charities selected by our partners and Impact Ambassadors can be found under the Giving Groups tab of the #ChooseYourImpact Campaign. Today, you can choose to give to a range of causes impacted and affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including access to food security, seniors’ wellbeing, reducing violence, Indigenous communities. More Impact Ambassadors are joining as we continue to expand this campaign.