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The Wilma Theater Announces First Ever Online Fête Fundraiser, Featuring Martha Graham Cracker

The Wilma Theater Announces First Ever Online Fête Fundraiser, Featuring Martha Graham Cracker

The COVID-19 health pandemic has dramatically changed how arts organizations operate. The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia is no exception. Adapting to social distancing practices, the groundbreaking company is pleased to announce three innovative initiatives to connect with audiences and students: the digital Fête Fundraiser, the Wilma Home Theater, and the Wilma Virtual Studio. These digital initiatives demonstrate the Wilma's dedication to sharing adventurous art with their audiences, no matter the circumstance.

The Wilma's first-ever digital Fête fundraiser features a streaming performance from Martha Graham Cracker. The online party with a purpose will take place on May 3,2020 at 5:30 PM EST. Philadelphia singing sensation Martha Graham Cracker headlines this special one-time "desktop" gala performance. The Fête will include special access to an evening of exciting streamed entertainment featuring special guest appearances by Wilma HotHouse company of artists, a sneak-peek at the Wilma's next season, a Q&A with new co-Artistic Directors, a virtual dance party, and more. Guests who purchase a premium ticket to this year's digital Fête will receive a special link to the exclusive Fête performances, automatic entry into a raffle for prizes, a special gift to be enjoyed during the performance, and more.

"The Fête is our annual opportunity to gather with our supporters in celebration of the Wilma. While we cannot gather this year in person, we took this challenge to as an opportunity to reinvent and reimagine," said Wilma Managing Director Leigh Goldenberg. We are looking forward to our first-ever Virtual Fete, and the opportunity that this virtual space will offer to bring even more people together, introducing everyone to our amazing Cohort of Artistic Directors and to joyfully usher in the Next Chapter of the Wilma."

The Fête is the Wilma's main fundraiser of the season, and the company relies on these funds to support their artistic and education programs. In particular, during these challenging times, the Wilma is committed more than ever to supporting their acclaimed artists. Currently, the company has launched Wilma Home Theater, where the Wilma HotHouse company of artists, Co-Artistic Directors, and teaching artists will share original digital content to the public. The goals are to keep creating content until the physical theater doors reopen after the health crisis, and to continue to pay artists during the COVID-19 health emergency. The HotHouse artists, the Wilma's acclaimed resident company, are continuing to digitally meet weekly to train, read plays, and develop their artistry, all while ensuring that members are compensated. Wilma Home Theater content will be available for streaming at www.wilmatheater.org/wilma-home-theater/

In addition, the Wilma's Barrymore Award-winning Education Department has launched the Wilma Virtual Studio, weekly online initiatives for students and the public that will culminate in a variety of digital performances and tutorials, including virtual poetry slams in partnership with the Philly Slam League, juggling and mask-making tutorials, and crowdsourced poetry. The Wilma's AllStars, its afterschool program for high school students, also continues to meet virtually weekly. Teaching artists are continuing to be compensated during this time for their work.

Wilma Virtual Studio content can be viewed via the Education Department's Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/wilmaeducation or the Wilma's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheWilmaTheater. If anyone does not have social media and would like to participate in the prompts, they can email Education Assistant Rachel Beecher at RBeecher@wilmatheater.org to join the mailing list.


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