Friends and Family and the Cost of Three Pizzas

The MACBETH audience tracking chart

The last few months have been a whirlwind of work to bring MACBETH to the stage and wrap up Flatwater Shakespeare Company’s 2019 season.

Every production this year, we have tracked how audience members heard about the shows to help us know the impact of different methods of advertising and outreach.
The category of “Family & Friends” always overwhelmingly outweighs the other categories.

This is how arts and other nonprofit organizations survive–the people who know and love us come out to support and help spread the word.

I wonder though (as do the administrators and leaders of every nonprofit everywhere), how do we move from surviving to thriving? How do we reach beyond these small social circles? How do we get stronger commitment from those who follow our social media or support the IDEA of what we do, but don’t help bring it to fruition?

AND how can we do that for the other organizations and missions that we support?

Earlier this year, Flatwater Shakespeare Company crossed the threshold of 2000 followers on Facebook.
If every one of those people donated $50 and bought a ticket for ONE production each year, we’d be able to fund the budget. That’s all the sustenance it would take to fuel the arts and other missions we support. Everyone joining forces.
And many, many people have! We have supporters who give generously and attend productions faithfully. I am well aware, also, that we have supporters who can come out to a show or actively participate in productions who do not have funds to give $50. But if those who are able give a bit more, those young-and-just-out-of-school artists are covered in this equation.

Three large pizzas
Six fast food Value Meals
Ten lattes
Two trips to the movies with popcorn and soda.

$50 to sustain the arts.
In return, the arts nourish us:
We gain perspective.
We practice empathy.
We see the world through the eyes of another.
We walk that proverbial mile from the safety of our seat.
Our souls are nourished and the ripple effects spread out from our inner circle to impact our loved ones and our neighbors and our communities.

The dramatic arts feed our individual and collective souls.
And that’s well worth the cost of a few pizzas, lattes, and popcorn.**

I don’t know if Churchill truly said this or not. He may have. He SHOULD have.
But SOMEONE did, and they are correct.

**A special note of thanks to my friend Hawkeye for added insight on this post.**

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