Georgia Shakespeare is thrilled to announce meeting the criteria of a $50,000 challenge grant during the 25th Anniversary Summer Festival. The challenge allowed for six months to meet the goal and double the gift to $100,000 but supporters rose to the occasion and met the challenge inside ten weeks, the duration of the Summer Festival.
In early June, the John H and Wilhelmina D Harland Charitable Foundation issued a challenge to Georgia Shakespeare: raise $50,000 independently by the end of the calendar year and they’d award another $25,000. The gifts had to be new, or an increased gift over 2009 gifts, and from individuals only. The challenge was announced at Opening Night of Shrew: the Musical, and the next day, an anonymous donor offered to match the challenge, offering an additional $25,000 when conditions are met, therefore making it a one-for-one challenge.
Georgia Shakespeare exceeded this $50,000 goal by the end of the Summer Festival. In just under ten weeks, the company raised over $64,000, meeting the challenge, and is now eligible for the balance of $50,000.
“We are humbled by the support we’ve received from our donors and patrons in rising to meet this challenge. It’s a very difficult climate for a challenge like this, and we are thrilled beyond measure to have met it,” says Richard Garner, Producing Artistic Director. “We are also hopeful for the optimistic message it sends: maybe things are turning around economically, in general, and for the arts.”
Individual donors and patrons at each performance this summer were encouraged to make gifts in an effort to reach this challenge. The company of actors also got into the act, offering to host post-performance “meet & greets” with any guests who donated $50 or more during intermission. The actors also mingled in the lobby after each performance collecting cash gifts in red buckets. The “bucket brigade” resulted in nearly 14% of the monies raised. Georgia Shakespeare closed its highly acclaimed 25th Anniversary Summer Festival ahead of projections for ticket sales, as well.
Next, the company will produce The Odyssey: a Journey Home, October 7-31. The Odyssey: a Journey Home, adapted by Richard Garner and Georgia Shakespeare’s Associate Artists, parallels Odysseus’ 10-year trek home with that of a modern-day U.S. soldier’s return from Afghanistan. And rounding out the season, A Christmas Story, the live stage show of the popular movie, runs December 7-24.
Georgia Shakespeare is grateful for its sponsors
Season Sponsors: AirTran Airways, Bank of America, The Georgia Council for the Arts, Oglethorpe University
Shake at the Lake Sponsors: Presenting Sponsor Bank of America, The Kendeda Fund, The Coca-Cola Company, The Charles Loridans Foundation, CornerCap Investment Counsel, Alston + Bird, LLP
Summer Festival Sponsor: CornerCap Investment Counsel
Shrew: the Musical Sponsor: Callner, Portnoy and Strawser PC, PBA:30, Reporter Newpapers
The Odyssey: a Journey Home Sponsors: DocAuto, Inc., Turner Broadcasting. Funding also provided by The National Endowment for the Arts
A Christmas Story Sponsor: Publix Super Markets Charities
Georgia Shakespeare is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts, through appropriation of the General Assembly. The Council is a Partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes a great nation deserves great art.
ABOUT GEORGIA SHAKESPEARE
Founded in 1985, Georgia Shakespeare creates thoughtful, bold and passionate interpretations of a diverse body of work rooted in Shakespeare and branching out to embrace the best writers and ideas of all eras. On the stage and through educational programming, we strive to entertain, to ignite the imagination and to creatively explore the journey of the human spirit. Our vision is to make Georgia Shakespeare a national model for establishing a welcoming creative home where artists and audiences unite in a shared discovery of the power of adventurous classic theatre. Georgia Shakespeare is a proud member of Theatre Communications Group, Shakespeare Theatre Association of America, Southeastern Theatre Conference, League of Resident Theatres (LORT), and Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts.
Georgia Shakespeare is the Professional Theater in Residence at Oglethorpe University, and is located at 4484 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30319.
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