Topic

performing arts

13 petitions

Update posted 11 hours ago

Petition to David Pollack, The Pollack Family Trust

Save Our Historic Fairfield Community Theatre #SaveOurCommunity

THE SHORT OF IT:  The goal of this petition is to facilitate the sale of the Fairfield Community Theatre to a developer or group to provide a center for affordable entertainment, cultural development and community involvement, while contributing to the vibrancy and economic vitality of downtown Fairfield, Connecticut. We call upon the current owners—David Pollack and his family—to sell the property as soon as possible to allow for the theatre's timely redevelopment and restoration as a performing arts space. THE COMPLETE STORY:  We all see it just sitting there, in a sad state of disrepair, our Fairfield Community Theatre. It makes us feel as if the town is also in sad shape—despite the vitality that surrounds it. And why not? When a downtown theatre closes and the theatre remains vacant, it is usually one of the first signs of downtown decay. Collectively, we are saddened that something has been lost here and we can’t help to feel the pain for our children, our community and the future of our town. We drive by and wish that somebody would do something to fix it. We wonder, "who owns it?” And, "why doesn’t the town do something about it?” The truth is that there have been many attempts to revitalize this property since its closing on September 8, 2011—nearly 5 1/2 years ago. In fact, there are many interested property developers and private groups today that would like to buy the property and invest several million dollars needed to revitalize it into a performing arts multifunctional space for events such as concerts, live theatre performances, comedy shows, etc.  You don’t realize it, but it’s a big space; nearly 8,000 square feet seating over 700 people in its current configuration—giving it plenty of space for different uses. Imagine attending a children’s production on a Saturday afternoon or taking-in a comedy act; in a place that was constructed in 1900 and operated continuously at the center of the Fairfield community for nearly 100 years. We all want it fixed and we can envision how it will bring vitality and further economic development to our community—especially at a time when our property taxes continue to rise. In fact, its revitalization has very widespread community support. According to a 2013 survey conducted by students at Sacred Heart’s Jack F. Welch College of Business Graduate Program, 97% of the 1,901 respondents were aware of the theatre and they were overwhelmingly positive about a potential revitalization project. Many respondents wanted to help fund the effort or left comments of general support for the project. Others described their memories of the theatre and noted it as a historical landmark. There was a true affinity for the Fairfield Community Theatre and a strong desire to revitalize the space. Their research and analysis has proven that a multifunctional space is the best analysis and most popular choice from a financial perspective as well as from the community members. If we have nearly full community support and active interest by developers to revitalize the Fairfield Community Theatre, then what’s the problem, you ask? That is the very reason for this communication and petition—we need the current owners to agree to sell the property. The building is owned by The Pollack Family Trust—led by David Pollack, who is a long time Fairfield resident—and to date they have rebuffed all efforts to lease or sell the property despite repeated attempts by First Selectman Mike Tetreau, Mark Barnhart and the Fairfield Economic Development Commission to broker a deal between David Pollack and various developers over the years. David Pollack and the Pollack Family Trust were offered their asking price to lease the theater, but David and his family declined the offer—defying both logic and our collective community interest. And, its costing the Trust money every year to just sit on the property, which I estimate to be greater $500,000 in total lost rental income since the property closed in 2011—calculated using their own reported monthly lease payment for the property. The value to the community is clear and only David Pollack and his family are standing in the way of our community and our children having our Fairfield Community Theatre back. I call upon David and his siblings to have a heart and work with the Town of Fairfield toward the timely sale of the property. Who am I and why am I the ideal person to lead this groundswell of community support for change? I am an 11 year Fairfield resident with 2 children (who attend Sherman and Trinity Pre-school) and a new baby girl on the way later this summer. I was appointed to the town’s Economic Development Commission in late 2016 by the First Selectman and I promised that I would make it a priority to do something about this theatre—selfishly for my children and for the entire Fairfield community. Also, I am Vice President, Brand Strategy and Integrated Communications at Quinnipiac University, so I know something about branding, marketing and audience activation—especially how to leverage social media to drive change.  Simply put, I love our town and like so many others in our community, I'm pained to see such an extraordinary opportunity wasting away.  We can do this together. We know that David Pollack and his siblings are reasonable people, they just need to know how important it is to all of us. Please sign and leave a comment to tell David and his family how you feel.  Or, if you know David and his siblings please tell them in person.  Most of all, PLEASE distribute to everyone you know—through email, through social media and through conversation and with your full support. If you have questions or know of other opportunities to spread the word, I am happy to speak with you. Please email me at mail@keithrhodes.com. Best, Keith Rhodes 

Keith Rhodes
5,876 supporters
Started 4 months ago

Petition to info@icandothattheatre.com

The Belasco Theater Project: Help Complete a Danville Performing Arts Center

We are the I Can Do That Theatre Company in Danville, a non-profit youth musical theatre company of 100+ students. The founders Shayna and Jarusha started the company two years ago at the passing of their beloved mentor and friend Ed Belasco. Our dream and goal is to finish an abandoned 20 year old theater in-progress that was originally started for Ed Belasco, and we recently discovered. This facility is at 500 La Gonda Way in Danville, only two miles from our current studio. At I Can Do That Theatre Company, we foster student creativity, teamwork, and confidence in a safe and loving environment.  This new facility would allow us to reach even more students with this goal, as well as expand into one of our other goals in providing workshops of technical theatre aspects.   Our current rehearsal space can only hold 30 people maximum when many of our shows have companies of 50 students or more.  There is also noise from the gym above us.  To add to this, our current performance venue now lacks the space and amenities for our increasingly larger audiences and productions; it seats 245 people. This new theater however, has Greek rotunda-style seating for a warmer community atmosphere, as well as larger stage and backstage space for our actors.  Seating 300, this discovery is exactly what we need for our growing family. While we do not yet have exact budgets or a timeline (we plan to have this accomplished as soon as possible), we greatly need the support of the East Bay Community.  With this new facility, we can continue to give back to an area that has been incredibly supportive of the performing arts and youth theatre in the past.  What we need from you are any shares, news coverage, and power of word of mouth as possible.  We also need anyone that has financial/management experience or advice to help us along in this project. Please sign and share on your social media, and visit our website for more information. We thank you in advance for all of the support and we will make this project happen! Sincerely, I Can Do That Theatre Company and its students Contact - Email: info@icandothattheatre.com Website: www.ICanDoThatTheatre.com  

I Can Do That Theatre Company
808 supporters
Update posted 8 months ago

Petition to Tom Wolf

Better Funding for Performing Arts Programs in PA Schools #Don'tDreamItBeIt

My name is Olivia Rose, and I am a student of Danville Area High School in Pennsylvania. Ever since I was 8, I have loved the realm that is theatre. I have been graciously a part of 9 musicals with local theatres since then, including 4 with the Danville Area High School Preforming Arts Ensemble. What I have noticed about the shows that my fellow classmates have worked months on to perfect for the community is that frankly, we are a little under appreciated. For Danville especially, we as of now do not have the resources available to present a show big enough to get everyone in the community excited for. As you may know, you need more than just space, talent, and cast size to pull off any musical. You need money too. Renting scripts, getting rights for a show (and the more well known the show, the prettier the penny will be to do it), and purchasing resources for set all make up the financial end of it. I could get into more expenses, but you get the point- musicals are not cheap or easy!  To say our school's drama club is well funded would be a lie. While other schools have done "Grease", "Hairspray", or even "The Addams Family Musical", we have been stuck with little money, thus only being able to do more obscure shows. As you can assume, the community doesn't exactly get really excited for these musicals. People want to see the classics, or at least a show they've vaguely heard of. Fellow Danville students only come to see our shows for the incentives of extra credit promised by teachers. Sets, costumes, and everything else also come into play. This creates a never ending cycle, unexciting musicals are done with no funds, and no one comes to watch, giving us little profit. I can only imagine this issue is worse in other Pennsylvania schools, (especially urban schools that aren't well funded to begin with) who may have had to get rid of their theatre programs.  Aspiring actors and actresses of this generation need a foundation to perfect their talents. Auditioning for the school play should be encouraged highly, the drama program should be funded as equally as the athletic department, and each school should have some sort of music or theatre class. Theatre can definitely change lives. Additional funds to the performing arts in schools can help influence and inspire youth. This will also encourage the community to gain an experience in the arts and culture when they come to see the shows produced by said schools helped with this extra money.  This epidemic is growing in Pennsylvania, and for kids like me who want to pursue performing arts as a career, this is a catastrophe. Very few take us seriously for our career pursuit as it is, and neither will our school peers or communities if this issue goes unnoticed. Pennsylvania hasn't delivered a famous talented actor since Will Smith, and with the lack of encouragement in our schools it isn't hard to see why. Whether this problem is solved by leveling out school funds to be more equal or proportionate, or state funding, the arts need to be embraced and funded, not laughed at and left destitute. 

Olivia Crumb
45 supporters