Broadway Outreach to Families
In December 2009, Blumenthal Performing Arts announced a commitment to greatly expand ticket scholarships in order to provide families with limited financial resources attendance at select touring Broadway shows included in Blumenthal’s Broadway Lights Series. The effort commenced with the distribution of over 250 free and highly discounted tickets to THE ALUMINUM SHOW in January 2010.
The Education Department currently partners with several local organizations (Boys and Girls Club of Greater Charlotte, Communities in Schools, CMS Afterschool, Latin American Coalition, Thompson Child & Family Focus, and YWCA) to identify and invite families to participate. Several weeks prior to each performance, participating families are given a show packet and study guide. The Education Department also hosts post-show talk-backs with performers when possible. This outreach effort to families consists of two concurrent programs: 1) Family First Night, modeled after a program of the same name originated by New York’s Broadway League and 2) the Duke Energy Ticket Scholarship Program, funded by Duke Energy.
During the 2014-2015 Duke Energy Broadway Lights Series, Family First and Duke Energy families saw NEWSIES, THE ILLUSIONISTS, and ANNIE. For the 2015-2016 season, we will host events in conjunction with BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and STOMP.
Ticket Scholarship Account Program
Beginning with Blumenthal’s 2010-2011 performance season, the Education Department has provided a unique ticket scholarship account program for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Greater Charlotte. This account allows BBBS to acquire tickets to any performance of any Blumenthal-presented show. This show selection flexibility enables BBBS to incorporate Blumenthal theater attendance with their own awards programs and as special incentives—accommodating the individual schedules and show preferences of respective “Bigs” (mentors) and “Littles” (mentees).
BBBS of Greater Charlotte frequently mentions the value of the ticket scholarship account program in relation to their mission and goals and continues to express their appreciation to BPA in numerous ways. Michelle Youngs, Blumenthal’s Assistant Director of Education, describes BBBS personnel as “extremely helpful, attentive to details, and supportive in every facet of the program—utilizing every dollar of their account for the past four seasons, just as Blumenthal intended.” Blumenthal will continue the BBBS scholarship program for the 2015-2016 season.
Ultimately, the goal of this program is to acquaint at-risk children with the wonder and transformative power of live theater. With the help of future donations by individuals and corporations, Blumenthal hopes to expand this service to other community organizations.