Connecting and Being a Part of The Rep

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Some of my best family memories are when we watched the old movies and musicals on TV. We absolutely had to watch Singing in the Rain, Roman Holiday, or An American in Paris any time it was on TV – no DVR to watch it later, just lucky chance if we saw it listed in the TV Guide.

Practically everything in our house came to a standstill so the girls could curl up on the bed to talk about Audrey Hepburn’s beauty or how they filmed Gene’s dance in the pouring rain. I wanted to swim like Ester Williams and dance like Leslie Caron and we laughed every time at Tony Curtis in Some Like it Hot like it was the first time we saw it. When Gene Kelly said, “And I’ll tell you why: I’m a painter, and all my life that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” I would always silently substitute dancer for painter and cross my fingers for the wish.

What I saw on TV, made me work harder in ballet class so that one day I could be on the big stage. I was glued to the TV or the actors when we saw live theatre. Still to this day, I need to arrive at the theatre early to look over the entire program. The show really starts for me when I read each bio and once again start to feel connected to the stage as I wait for the magic to unfold from behind the curtain. Even during football season, I love the pre-game and halftime shows as much as the thrill of the game. Recently, I sat next to a friend during the opening week of Pal Joey. She was mesmerized from the first song to the last – the singing and dancing in the first scene caught her and she was on that stage till the finale. She later wrote me, “….the first time I ever auditioned for a musical, I was 10 years old. Being in musical theatre really was my dream job! If only I could have put it into words back then to make it happen!” During this show, she reconnected to those wonderful childhood memories too! Having known her many years, I was genuinely touched to find out she loved musical theatre too.Audrey_Hepburn_and_Gregory_Peck_on_Vespa_in_Roman_Holiday_trailer

Becoming a Member of The Rep is the best way to reconnect to those sweet memories. We join a group with hopes of benefiting from the interaction we will have with other Members and to learn more about the art form. Joining with others who support The Rep means I am part of the collective support for vital programs that are not covered by ticket sales alone. When I am sitting in the theatre, I connect to the actors and occasionally interact with those next to me. As a Member, I can deepen that relationship by attending social events and behind the scenes theatre experiences. I find many Members are eager to share their own favorite musical or play that sparked the first of many good memories. As with my friend, it is fun to find out who was also watching and secretly hoping to be like Gene Kelly or Audrey Hepburn.

Connect to The Rep – you will enjoy the memories! I would love to hear about your favorite or the first time you saw live theatre.

State of the Arts in Arkansas Starting to Shine

Arkansas Repertory Theatre has amazing donors. Wow! And thank you! The last few years, and the last few months, have been inspiring. Arkansas has always been a generous state, and the state of the arts in our community is really starting to shine.

Need proof? Here are just a few recent examples.

Beginning in 2008 and finishing in early 2011, The Rep completed a $6 million capital campaign, successfully, during the worst economic downturn in recent history. Step through our front doors on Main Street to see the impact of these gifts. Every public space in the theatre was updated. Critical upgrades were made behind the scenes. A new scenic shop was purchased downtown. The Rep’s two apartment buildings were renovated, for housing guest artists. A much needed face lift for The Rep.

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During the 2012-2013 season, as we embarked on a new strategic plan, major donors began to step forward with us. New gifts were committed. Existing annual gifts were increased. We began to make progress toward a more stable fiscal reality. Amazing support from incredible arts patrons.

Then at the end of May we had a challenge. A $50,000 matching gift would help us finish the fiscal year strong on June 30, 2013. We asked our audience to help us get there, and wow, did you ever! We raised over $63,000 during the month of June. Giving came from many, including almost 100 brand new donors to The Rep. We have great fans!

Thank you rep fans

The summer wasn’t over yet. With growing excitement for an expanded arts corridor on Main Street, we had set a goal of raising $400,000 by August 15, in order to expand educational programming with a new young artist training facility across the street.

A longtime dream, this vision became possible with the help of 145 donors in July and August. A fast and furious campaign was supported by longtime Rep patrons, and by many of our young artist families already being impacted at The Rep. Now we are thrilled that we’ll be able to reach more young artists. Planning is underway.

We would like to give a huge Thank YOU to Matt DeLuca and the Bank of American Foundation for their support of our student matinee programs! Their $5000 donation will help to support The Rep’s student matinee program.
We would like to give a huge Thank YOU to Matt DeLuca and the Bank of American Foundation for their support of our student matinee programs!  Their $5000 donation will help to support The Rep's student matinee program.

 

Thanks to our donors, The Rep is well positioned for the future. Exciting changes are underway. A new membership program launched in the 2013-2014 season, with expanded donor benefits at every level. We want you to know how much we appreciate you, our donors.

Philanthropy is a vital part of Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Ticket sales make up half of our annual budget, and your charitable gifts make up the rest. I have full confidence in The Rep’s future, as support from you, our amazing donors, continues to grow.

With your help, we will continue to fulfill our mission, and continue to produce vibrant artistic and educational programming for Arkansas.