It's been another year of sloooow economic recovery, and those of us who are not yet down to (or still down to) living in an unregistered Oldsmobile making ketchup-packet soup have many opportunities to help support the arts organizations who help make life worth living.
Space 55 Theatre Ensemble is fundraising to stay at Seventh Street and Pierce for another season of 115!!!! performances and all the awesome stuff they do: kickass plays by fresh writers from all over, teaching performers and authors, crazy late-night weekend shows, the 7 Minutes . . . and A Bitch in Time series, hosting PHX:fringe performances and occasional mind-bending tours like The Amazing Acro-Cats -- you get the idea. And for a limited time, you can get more than just a good feeling from helping out.
The flasks above are up for grabs and for $20, you'll have it handy in your pocket like a human hipster St. Bernard when it gets cold out. Every penny goes to the theater. If you aren't attending a Space 55 event soon, you might be able to arrange to get one by contacting the theater while they (the flasks) last.
If you have $100 -- and if you don't, you really might want to beg or borrow it for this -- there's a Creative Writing Intensive workshop on Saturday, October 6, that's worth about five times that much.
Again, your entire fee goes to help Space 55 and is deductible to the extent allowed by the IRS for your particular situation. Not only does admission include lunch and snacks; not only will the workshop be amazing no matter whether you write plays, poetry, fiction, comics, or political party platforms; not only is it led by supernova playwright/instructor and Big Brain Kim Porter; but five other powerful local writers will also be teaching that day: Tania Katan, Chris Schnick, Stacy Reed Hanlon, Deborah Sussman, and New Times' managing editor Amy Silverman.
People having cultural stuff to do is good for the economy as well as our souls (because arts create other jobs and spending, even from something as simple as playgoers visiting a restaurant or club). So it means a lot to the Valley that Actors Theatre, for example, was able to raise enough last season to hang in there. And it's super-sad when we lose a company or venue, whether it's a gifted youngster like Venue 104 or an old friend like Arizona Jewish Theatre Company.
It ain't easy. From paper towels to rent to summoning Cthulu (hey, whatever it takes), money is, in fact, a thang. And support from government and corporations has gotten ever so tight, so that's why you're hearing more appeals from arts orgs to you as an individual.
So consider donating, even if you don't want a flask or a day of creative writing. Keep the momentum up! Space 55's shooting for $3000 immediately, $5500 and 55 donors by Halloween, and $30,000 total to get things back on track. Crowdsourcing, a.k.a. anonymous public panhandling, is the wave of the future, and at least this is for a legitimate charity for a change (which means that if your employer matches stuff like that, everybody wins!).
(It also couldn't hurt to go see Space 55's season opener, Monsters, Mutants and Other Tales of Love, starting Thursday, October 4.)