Photo @ Tom Henderson Photography
It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is already here! Scrooge! The Musical is in full rehearsal mode and on track to have a sensational opening on December 8th (get your tickets early). It’s also a time of year to reflect on what we’re thankful for, and celebrate our accomplishments in 2022.
This is the 27th year Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts has impacted thousands of lives in the greater Matthews region. Our summer camp programs, classes, and live performances continue to thrive with the support of the community! With Giving Tuesday around the corner (November 29th), we thought this would be a great time to share some of the reasons to support Matthews Playhouse and the programs that we offer.
#1 We Offer Financial Assistance to Expand Access to our School of Theatre Programs
We pride ourselves on never having to turn away a child from camps or classes due to an inability to pay. The Courtney Leigh Ballard Scholarship Fund was established in 2003 to honor the memory of Courtney Ballard, a young woman who had been an active participant and champion for Matthews Playhouse since its inception in 1995. Partial scholarships are granted to those families who demonstrate a strong financial need, and who would otherwise be unable to participate in our classes/camps. To support this scholarship, click here to make a one-time or recurring donation.
#2- We Offer Pay-What-You-Can Performances for Main Stage Productions
The Matthews Playhouse is committed to extend accessibility of the arts to those on a limited budget by offering “Pay-What-You-Can” performances for each mainstage production in our season. The purpose of this is two-fold; to offer members of our community the opportunity to enjoy high-quality live theatrical productions for a fraction of what they would pay in other venues, and to help raise funds for our local non-profit partner for the production. Your donations (usually collected at the door the night of the show) goes to help others in OUR community! Visit www.matthewsplayhouse.com/pwyc to learn more.
#3- We Support Other Local Non-Profit Organizations
Our motto is “We Are Better Together” and we seek to foster that collaborative spirit by engaging with local non-profits and other organizations that enrich and improve the lives of people within our community. These partnerships allow us to build more awareness and support for the organization as well as raise funds and supplies by rallying support and collecting donations from our audience members and School of Theatre families. Here are some of the organizations who have benefited from our partnerships in the past:
Blessed Assurance Adult Day Care
Matthews Free Medical Clinic
Matthews Help Center
Matthews Human Services Council
Matthews Women's Club Service League
Matthews Historical Foundation & Heritage Museum
Matthews Public Library
Kiwanis Club Foundation of Matthews
Alexander Youth Network (Charlotte)
#4- Our Roots Are in Theatre Education
Our commitment to arts education and enrichment is reflected in our School of Theatre program offering year-long musical theatre/acting classes and day-camps. Since launching in the 1990s, thousands of children of all ages and backgrounds in the South Charlotte, Mecklenburg, and Union County region have benefited from these classes, camps, and performance opportunities. Our commitment to arts education and enrichment is reflected in our School of Theatre program offering year-long musical theatre/acting classes and day-camps. These programs provide participants of all ages with fun and inspiring opportunities in the performing arts. Each spring, the School of Theatre puts on a series of productions that are cast exclusively with students from our year-long classes, with performances showcasing the training received throughout the year. Visit matthewsplayhouse.com/classes2223 to learn more about our School of Theatre Programs.
#5 We’re Actively Engaged with Our Community
Matthews Playhouse passionately believes that the performing arts provides a wonderful
platform to engage our community. Not only do we partner with local nonprofits, we serve the business community as active members of Matthews Chamber of Commerce. Through our Community Partnerships, we help build awareness and encourage members of the community to support local restaurants, businesses and non-profit organizations. We actively work to expand our reach within the community by participating in events and festivals sponsored by both public and private organizations throughout the year. We also support the arts in Charlotte through our participation with the Metrolina Theatre Association and our newly established membership with Share Charlotte allows us to make even deeper connections within the local community. Members of the Playhouse Staff are also actively engaged with organizations like the Rotary Club of Matthews and frequently serve as volunteers for various other community organizations and initiatives.
#6- Our Commitment to Building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Matthews Playhouse is committed to modeling diversity, equity and inclusion for the entire arts industry of the nonprofit sector and maintaining an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all. In May of 2021, Matthews Playhouse implemented a Diversity and Inclusion initiative that allows us to expand theatre awareness and opportunities among the diverse and underserved communities in the area. That same year, we launched our first-ever BIPOC Playwrights Festival, an annual event that highlights and celebrates original works written by Black & Indigenous People of Color. We also make every effort to increase cast diversity by expanding auditions to different communities, developing local and national partnerships with diverse organizations, and looking for talent outside the theater arena.
#7- We Offer Financial Assistance to Increase Access to School Performances
In addition to its School of Theatre, Matthews Playhouse offers day-time school performances of its mainstage productions. Multiple studies have linked the performing arts to vocabulary development and reading comprehension skills, and our school show performances enhance the learning experience by supporting the curriculum. “There is simply no substitute for the learning that occurs when a child experiences live theatre,” says Matthews Playhouse Executive Director, Sarah Baumgardner. “Not only does it stimulate the imagination, it opens young people up to new stories, people, and ideas.” To ensure equal access to these educational opportunities, Matthews Playhouse offers Field Trip Assistance for children and schools in need from our Sponsor-A-Student Fund. To support this program, click here to make a one-time or recurring donation.
#8- We Offer Full Transparency
When you donate to Matthews Playhouse, you can give knowing that your donation will go directly to furthering our mission to enrich the lives of people in our community with outstanding arts programming. We have 4/4 Rating on Charity Navigator and our organization has earned a 2022 Silver Seal of Transparency with Candid, a nonprofit organization that provides the most comprehensive data and insights about the social sector.
Have you, or know someone who has, benefitted from the opportunities and the programming offered by Matthews Playhouse? Consider supporting us on Giving Tuesday, November 29, 2022! Here are ways you can help:
Make a Donation - Every little bit helps, no matter how large or small! We ask that you consider making a one-time or recurring contribution to Matthews Playhouse by clicking here so we may continue to thrive and build a robust arts community in Matthews and beyond!
Volunteer- As a volunteer-driven organization, we rely on those willing to donate their time or in-kind services to support our programming. We are always looking for assistance with Front-of-House operations (ushers, concessions, etc.), audition assistants, administrative support, set builders, backstage crew members, community outreach programs, School of Theatre programs, and so much more. Visit matthewsplayhouse.com/volunteer.
Become a Business Sponsor - Our business sponsors help to ensure the success of our productions and educational programs each season. In return, we offer multiple advertising and promotional opportunities for each business and invite them to be part of a great movement that keeps the arts alive and well in Matthews. Click here to learn about the different levels of sponsorship and how to get involved.