Burbank's Colony Theatre Overcomes Financial Crisis; Raises More Than $250,000
The Colony Theatre has successfully raised over $260,000.00, vastly exceeding their end-of-year campaign goal and ushering the once-struggling company into a secure future. The Colony announced the fruits of their labor at a recent invitation-only subscriber event in January, demonstrating that even after 38 years, it still has a few surprises up its sleeve. Artistic Director Barbara Beckley couldn't be happier.
"What a difference a year makes," said Beckley, the mid-sized theatre company's Co-Founder and Artistic Director who, along with a stalwart team of staff, volunteers, and friends of the beloved Burbank theatre, rallied members and long-time supporters for the giving campaign. "In November, an anonymous donor pledged to donate $25,000 if we were able to match it by December 31st. We raised that amount in two weeks. Our benefactor was so impressed by the outpouring of support, he agreed to continue the match through the end of the year. The results were astounding," Beckley added.
Colony theatre supporters stepped up in an unprecedented show of solidarity, giving amounts large and small to the award-winning company whose programming they have enjoyed over the decades. In less than two months, the donors, subscribers and friends of TheColony had given over one hundred-thirty thousand dollars, all of which was doubled at midnight on New Year's Eve. "Hundreds oftheatre-lovers eager to invest in our future opened their hearts and their wallets...needless to say, our gratitude is boundless," Beckley added.
Firm on its feet, The Colony is looking forward to strengthening the organization through expansion, programming, and community outreach. As part of that plan, the theatre has hired their first-ever Director of Development, Karan Kendrick, whose focus will be broadening the theatre's audience base and reach to the community, while building new relationships for sustainability. Kendrick graduated from Spelman College with a BA in Theatre, and Wesleyan College with an MBA in Management. In addition to her work in TV, Film and Theatre as an actress, she has spent over a decade in leadership and development with her arts organization-The Kendrick Academy-in her hometown of Fort Valley, GA. Through her academy, she has built community partnerships with local universities, school systems, and government agencies that have allowed her students to become contributing members of a global arts society. Her areas of expertise include fundraising, community building, arts education, and marketing.
The award-winning Colony Theatre Company was founded in 1975 as a 99-seat Equity-waiver theatre in Silver Lake. Over the years the company was so successful artistically, and built such a large subscriber base, that in 2000 it was able to move into a 270-seat theatrecreated for it by the City of Burbank, becoming one of only a handful of mid-size professional theatres in the LA area that produce a year-round season of plays and musicals, and that employ actors under contract with Actors' Equity Association. The theatre has received countless awards for excellence, and has been listed in the Encyclopedia Britannica Almanac as one of "25 Notable US Theater Companies."