Each year, students from public and independent schools throughout Providence come together, as peers and performers, to produce a play by William Shakespeare, in "Shakespeare in the City." This gem of a program has included dozens of schools and nearly 2,000 students since 2009, and has provided an exceptionally authentic opportunity for children in different stages of their education, and from different backgrounds and circumstance, to meet, admire and learn from one another, as they engage in this exciting, shared, dramatic experience. The 2016 production of Midsummer Night's Dream, for example, held at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium on May 25th, included 250 students from 23 Providence schools!
The popularity and inclusivity of Shakespeare in the City (SITC) has led to growing demand from local schools, and enormous demand from families who want to experience the annual SITC production. Since 2013, the program has been able to rehearse and present the annual production on the great (and for the students quite thrilling) stage of the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Until 2015, the VMA costs had been covered by a generous annual grant of $10,000 from the Vets Foundation; but, unfortunately, the Foundation's circumstances have changed dramatically. This year, Shakespeare in the City could afford only the performance and not the rehearsal at the VMA, and without additional funding SITC's future use of the VMA is very much in doubt.
A group of Providence parents, whose children are, have been, and (hopefully) will be participants in this incredible program, has come together to raise funds to make sure Shakespeare in the City will continue to be able to use the VMA. The goal is to raise enough money to pay for the costs of one rehearsal and one performance at the VMA each year, in perpetuity, and we want to do so as a one-time fundraising effort that will secure this wonderful Providence program, and prevent the need for annual solicitations and worries. In short, we want to raise $200K by the end of 2016.
On behalf of Shakespeare in the City, and the Providence parents group, we respectfully and enthusiastically ask you to help us. Please consider doing any or all of the following:
- Contribute directly to the fund drive by sending an email with your pledge amount to shakespeareVMA@sitcpvd.org, or by sending a check to: Shakespeare in the City Providence, c/o Lincoln School, 301 Butler Avenue, Providence RI 02906; or by contributing electronically (We are happy to report that Lincoln School is serving as the Fiscal Agent for Shakespeare in the City, so your contributions are fully tax deductible!)
- Join the project by sending mail to shakespeareVMA@sitcpvd.org.
- Contact and solicit the support of the Mayor, your Providence City Council members, your RI legislators, as well as local education, arts and humanities organizations who might be able to help us -- and feel free to give them this webpage address or the email address: shakespeareVMA@sitcpvd.org.
Thank you very much for your attention, consideration and support; and for your appreciation of Shakespeare in the City!
Martha Douglas-Osmundson &
Roger B. Blumberg