16 petitions

Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Kirk Schultz

Immediately re-instate the theatre program at Washington State University

Washington State University President Kirk Schultz has targeted the self-sustaining theatre program at Washington State University and cut the positions of well-liked and respected professors Ben Gonzales and Mary Trotter. The theatre program has already been cut down over the years, and operates on a budget so small that it doesn't have a large impact on the WSU budget. Without the presence of the theatre, not only will the theatre building be an empty wasteland, but so will the soul of WSU be empty. Theatre has an amazing impact not only on the students who choose it as a major, but on the campus community and greater community as a whole. Theatre teaches students the importance of empathy, diversity, problem solving, communication, working to a deadline, narrative, group leadership, and is now an area that the business world is seeing as a well-spring for adaptable employees who can work with complex issues and meet deadlines and budgets. Groupon purposefully hired actors and comedians for customer service, sales, and account management positions within the company. Even top team leaders and managers come from the arts world in that company, and several others. Several graduates for the program have worked in Hollywood, New York and Chicago. The program has also brought in incredible guest artists, and former students like Ted Tremper who now works for comedienne Sarah Silverman. Theatre also enriches the educations of students in the Pullman area from kindergarten through grad school by providing performance opportunities, educational opportunities that teachers can add to their lesson plans, and opportunities that are sorely underserved in the Eastern Washington State Community giving children their first glimpse at the arts. President Schultz is selling the Washington Community short by eliminating this program in such a narrow-minded cynical fashion. In this era of devisiveness, theatre can heal divides, but that takes foresight, support, leadership and care, which the Washington State University Administration seem to be lacking. I will make it my personal mission to let the world known about corporate bottom line administrators like you, President Schultz who are undermining the well-rounded educations of liberal arts and state universities everywhere. President Schultz this is your chance to correct a wrong. Save the artistic soul of WSU.     

Christopher Plummer
2,215 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Theatre Historical Society of America, Rick Fosbrink, Jeff Greene, Matt Lambros, Ross Melnick, David Syfczak, Ed Kelsey, Craig Morrison

Growth, Transparency & Authentic Communication for Theatre Historical Society of America

OPEN LETTER TO THS PRESIDENT & BOARD OF DIRECTORS: We, the undersigned members and supporters of Theatre Historical Society of America (THS), have significant and substantial concerns regarding the current leadership and management of the organization. Recent decisions call into question whether the Directors and Management are operating in the best interest of the Society and its Members with responsible stewardship of its finances, holdings of unique artifacts and entrusted collections.This organization, founded in 1969 by Time-Life editor and theatre historian Ben Hall, has a rich history in its collection and its activities. We have a history of altruism, inclusion and helpfulness. We do not feel that the current board and staff leadership is taking to heart the damage it is doing to the soul and morale of THS. You have taken almost all of the "Society" out of Theatre Historical Society of America. Therefore, we will submit our concerns to the President of the Board, the Board of Directors and the Executive Director via this online petition and request a response from the Board of Directors on or before March 1, 2018, as follows: PURCHASE OF A COMMUNITY THEATRE BUILDING: It has been reported by media in recent days that THS leadership intends to buy and operate a cinema, the Hollywood Theatre in Dormont, Pennsylvania. We feel that is contrary to our mission and fiscally irresponsible. Additionally, the local volunteers and patrons of this theatre are vocally and vehemently opposed to a THS takeover. Why are we pursuing something so costly and disconnected from the mission of our organization? Who are the volunteers asserting this agenda and how have they brought this plan to the membership?Where is the business plan? Have you shared an annual report with us, your members? RELOCATION: The THS Board of Directors has undertaken an extensive plan of substantial change in the functioning of the organization, including the transfer of all operations from its 25 year home in Elmhurst, IL to Pittsburgh, PA. This project was undertaken without the approval of the membership. CHANGE OF DIRECTION/FOCUS OF THE CORE THS MISSION: The membership was informed that the Board was “in the process of identifying a blue-ribbon advisory committee…to guide...our new entity, the ‘National History Center’”. How can THS embark on another new service when it apparently is struggling to perform its basic oversight of our mission and goals? COMMUNICATIONS: Statements made to the membership in the announcement of these sweeping changes contained mostly vague assertions, unsubstantiated by financial data or verifiable facts. Misrepresentations were made regarding the cost of remaining in our Elmhurst, Illinois location and the availability of alternate locations. LACK OF RESPONSE FROM MANAGEMENT & THE BOARD REGARDING FIDUCIARY REQUESTS: The membership has a right to ready access to all Accounting Records; namely the annual profit and loss statements together with the Balance Sheets comparing the most recent several years. Requests for same were met with silence. When eventually supplied, they were not up-to- date and did not address the inquiry posed. Other pertinent requests from dues paying members in good standing have made to the Leadership (Executive Director and/or President) that were not addressed in a timely or complete manner. Many in the membership feel a sense of disconnect with an organization that previously had been extremely responsive to its members. STEWARDSHIP OF FINANCIAL ASSETS: Recent staffing and relocation expenditures by the board call into question the use of paid consultants and contractors to complete functions that previously were performed by professionals who DONATED their time and expertise. Most notably: Publications Editor – publications now contain numerous errors of fact, the publication schedule has been reduced, the quality of content, articles and photos has dropped considerably. Distrust and ill-defined information are insidious things. Let’s get our organization back on track! We ask that the following issues be addressed: 1. A tolling period of six (6) months for transparent communications and inclusion of THS membership in all major matters of significant and material change to the Society's operations. 2. A policy directing expedient response to specific requests for information as allowed by our by-laws and all other applicable laws with up-to- date information including meeting minutes and financial reports. 3. A blue-ribbon committee of members to assist staff in: Researching the true needs and operating costs for our museum, archives and headquarters that meets with THS’s goals and geographic needs. Growing membership and increasing valuable partnerships. Address employee and board performance and maintaining a high quality of member services interactions 4. A commitment from the board that THS will be volunteer-led with a goal of Growth, Transparency and Authentic Communication with the Members who, ultimately, are the true owners and voice of Theatre Historical Society of America. What can you do?MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS: ASK QUESTIONS INSIST ON SUBSTANTIVE ANSWERS BECOME ENGAGED IN THE OPERATIONS OF YOUR SOCIETY SIGN OUR PETITION TO ADD YOUR VOICE! We owe it to the legacy of our Founders to respect the History of Theatre Historical Society of America. WE, THE UNDERSIGNED MEMBERS OF THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA 

Concerned Members of Theatre Historical Society of America
412 supporters
Update posted 3 months 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 Best, Keith Rhodes 

Keith Rhodes
6,240 supporters