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Five Theater Organizations Who'd Love Your Tax-Deductible Donation in 2011

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Wow, 2011's nearly over. If you're desperate to improve your tax situation, you have just a couple of days to decide how. How . . . about giving some money to the arts? (This does not constitute professional financial advice.)

As we've been mentioning, some of the best theater companies (and the ones that employ the most Valley residents) are in dire straits for some clearly identifiable and temporary reasons -- not because they're crappy at what they do or at managing their assets. These are institutions we won't merely feel sorry for if they disappear; our lives would be less enlightened and enjoyable without them, and the domino effect of a dimmer arts scene (go, mixed metaphor!) would take years to overcome.

Get a wide-ranging list and more details -- including, in some cases, how to contribute without even getting up from your damn chair -- after the jump.

5. Actors Theatre has met a few of its interim emergency goals and continues to restructure and plan for a stable future, but they still need more than $300,000 to complete this season and guarantee more -- and they need at least another $50,000 by the end of the year, so visit this page to do your part by credit card.

4. Nearly Naked Theatre is still working to make up the $20,000 that left their annual budget when a local business that had been a loyal supporter relocated. There's only so much fundraising vodka you can slam, so give your liver a break and just send a check to Nearly Naked Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85004.

3. Stray Cat Theatre also had a major sponsor leave the Valley. (Possibly the same one.) Hit 'em here with some nice fresh Google Checkout.

2. Arizona Jewish Theatre is a relatively small professional company that provides a unique and distinctive voice in local theater. They were hoping to get just $25,000 to keep going, and they're nearly there; go here to help out via PayPal.

1. ShowUp.com, which offers giveaways and discount tix, and without which it would be nigh impossible even to tell what shows are running, also needs a hand to keep doing the good work. Help support umbrella organization Alliance for Audience and their programs like the amazing get-in-free CulturePass (and maybe help them afford some spaces between words) by Googling your dollars away here.

Just about any arts group with official 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status is probably only squeaking by right now and perhaps even considering cutting some of their programs that make them such great neighbors to have in your community

So pick your fave, make sure that your contribution will be considered deductible if that matters to you (if you get something of value in return, like tickets, it can get more complicated), and give what you can, even if it's $5 or $10. (Your support will also fight the current epidemic of ELCS -- Extremely Long Curtain Speeches.)

If you don't have $10, we hope things look up for you very soon. And have a happy New Year!

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