Dear Friends of Oddfellows Playhouse,
Thank you for your continued support. I wanted to update you on some exciting changes happening at the Playhouse and explain how you can help.
This past year we had the good fortune to have Charles Frey as our Interim Executive Director. Charles, bringing extensive nonprofit experience, helped us transition from Betsy Morgan and the Volunteer Management Team (who literally saved OP) to a new, more sustainable model that I hope will make it possible for us to continue on for years to come.
I am very pleased to announce that our well respected Artistic Director, Kristen Palmer, is taking over leadership of the organization. She has been working into this role for months now, representing OP in the city and throughout the community. Kristen will be supported by a Part-Time Business Manager and a Full-Time Program Director, both of whom will handle the day-to-day operations under Kristen’s guidance. With this model, the Playhouse is poised to reach young people, offer engaging, dynamic programming and respond to community needs. Our Board is fully supportive of this shift and is rallying to back the transition and ensure its success.
As you know, many arts and community service organizations are feeling the squeeze from reductions in government funding – the Playhouse, combining these two oft-cut areas is no exception. At the same time the demand and participation in our programs is on an up-swing — what we offer is more necessary now than ever!
For example, in our after-school program this year 70% of students received full financial aid to participate. These are the kids who your financial contribution helps the most.
These are our kids. Kids who pour off the bus in the afternoon and holler “I’m Free!” as they rush up the steps to meet their friends. Kids who practice their magic tricks in the hall, put the finishing touches on art pieces and build houses together. This safe, creative space is possible because of your on-going support.
Each year we see the difference we make in the lives of the children and families who claim the Playhouse as their space – to learn, grow and make connections that will last a lifetime.
Can you help us right now with your financial support? Thank you for all you do to support the Playhouse and keep our programs open to all young people.
Steven E. McDermott