Letter From Stacey Seaman, Executive Director

Create. Educate. Advocate.

As some of you may know, the mission of the BlackBox Foundation is to create opportunities for members of our community to experience the arts through performance, education, and advocacy. We are pleased to announce great progress in all three of those areas in 2014.

We started the year by placing our focus on Education. After receiving a $4000 Art Tank grant from the AZ Commission on the Arts, we used that money to jump start our education programs. We expanded our after school program in the CG Elementary District and are currently serving over 300 district students at no cost to them. We also participated in the CGESD Career Camp in June, and ran a musical theatre camp for kids and teens in July.

Additionally, this fall we opened the BlackBox Studio. The Studio currently consists of Youth Theatre, which started with a production of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians Kids, and Studio classes, lessons, and workshops in art, music, and theatre to local students at affordable prices.

Though we focused on the Education portion of our Mission this year, we didn’t neglect Performance. Our community theatre show, The 39 Steps, played for 12 weekends in four communities to over 800 patrons! Additionally, we produced a zany Melodrama and several Variety Shows at the Western Trading Post, a murder-mystery dinner theatre for the CG Boys and Girls Club, as well as monthly events with the Casa Grande Downtown Main Street organization and the Museum of Casa Grande.

On the Advocacy front, one of our biggest accomplishments this year was co-sponsoring the first ever Casa Grande Arts Impact Survey. Through a partnership with Downtown Main Street, the CG Chamber of Commerce, and local high school DECA programs, and through the hard work of local resident Debbie Benitez, we administered the survey at community events throughout the spring. Our next step is to expand the survey to include more data and to be able to use it to help inform local decisions in the arts.

What’s next?

We’re excited about 2015 and are starting off with a bang. On January 30th, we will host our first annual BlackBox Bash-a fundraising dinner with a full night of entertainment at the the newly built Hermosa Ballroom at Robson Ranch. Get your tickets while they’re still available!

Also, we are expanding our Studio classes. We’ve recently welcomed more teachers onboard, and are growing our classes, workshops, and lessons! Check out our Spring 2015 Catalog at BlackBox Foundation

Expanding programs is great, but it also means that we’re getting crowded! This year will bring more of a focus for us to try and find a permanent home for our events, lessons, classes, workshops and programs. Stay tuned!

Additionally, this year we plan on working on fund development of individual donors, grants, and corporate sponsorships to fully fund our organization. Though we pay all of our class and workshop instructors, the BBF itself is currently a completely volunteer-run organization. In other words, no one gets paid to run the BlackBox. We are looking to change that in 2015 by creating three at least partially paid positions.

As you can tell, it’s been a great year for us, and you can help us make 2015 even better. With all of this growth, we need your help! Please consider donating to the BlackBox Foundation to help us continue to invest in the future of the arts in Casa Grande. Here are just a few examples of the things your donations could be used for:

-To purchase art supplies for our three Kids Art Classes
-To cover costs of our Youth and Teen Theatre Productions
-To pay for sets and costumes for our three after school drama programs in the Elementary School District
-To pay instructors and supplies for the 2015 Entertainment Camp
-To cover overhead for education programs, such as printing, advertising, etc

Since we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit, your donation is tax-deductible (please talk with your tax professional).

Finally, we are also always looking for teachers and volunteers. Please go to our website and sign up if you are interested in helping us with our mission to create, education, and advocate for the arts in our community!

Thank you for all of your support. Have a wonderful holiday season, and we’ll see you in 2015!

Yours,

Stacey Seaman
Executive Director

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