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OSF 2020 Dare To Dream Gala Exceeds Goal Raising More Than $600,000

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The free online event is still available to stream on-demand through October 30.

This past Friday evening, Oregon Shakespeare Festival artists, supporters, patrons and arts supporters from around the world gathered for a virtual, fun and inspiring live stream event focused on supporting both OSF and the Rogue Valley communities it serves. The free online event, which is still available to stream on-demand through October 30, is hosted by actor Christiana Clark and OSF Associate Artistic Director Evren Odcikin , featuring performances and appearances by beloved OSF artists, including Jenna Bainbridge, Royer Bockus, Catherine Castellanos, Breena Cope, Dan Donohue, Rodney Gardiner, Amy Lizardo, Michele Mais, Terri McMahon, Greta Oglesby, Annie Paul, Mozart Pierson, Brian Quijada, James Ryen, Jonathan Luke Stevens, UNIVERSES and Caro Zeller , as well as a Cambodian Rock Band reunion. The event also featured messages from OSF fans and Amy Brenneman, Ray Fisher, Donal Logue, Lynn Nottage, Jeff Perry and Robert Schenkkan.

"In this extraordinary time, despite the challenges we are all facing from the global pandemic and recent wildfire devastation, our OSF artistic family, the Rogue Valley community and everyone who joined us online truly came together not just for recovery reasons, but in support of causes that matter the most," said Nataki Garrett, OSF artistic director. "By daring to dream together, we share a joint vision of access for all to OSF and the commitment, shown by so many who contributed and participated, to guarantee the successful future of this 85-year-old organization."

The inaugural event, which moved online because of Covid-19, surpassed its goal, raising more than $600,000 in support of OSF's groundbreaking artistic endeavors, education programs, and globally focused digital programming expansion, as well as Southern Oregon fire relief efforts.

Rogue Valley organizations that benefited from OSF's Dare to Dream Gala fundraising include:

"Having joined OSF so recently and transitioning into this leadership role," added David Schmitz, OSF executive director, "it has been incredibly moving to witness the selflessness and dedication of so many driven to serve the communities they live and work in, while at the same time ensuring theatre and the arts will continue to flourish through their commitment to the growth of the Festival. This celebratory event has risen to meet both the responsibilities and opportunities that define what theatre and community can truly create together."

The Dare to Dream Gala video can still be viewed at http://www.osfashland.org/2020gala through October 30, and donations continue to mount via text and online. To donate in support of OSF, text OSF to 44321 or visit http://www.osfashland.org/donate.

The inaugural Starcatcher Award was also presented during the gala event to longtime supporter and board member Sid DeBoer, as Community Recipient. DeBoer has served on the OSF's Board of Directors for several decades, and he and his wife, Karen, are often considered the "First Couple" of Ashland for their visibility and philanthropy throughout the city and region. The Sid and Karen DeBoer Foundation has contributed millions of dollars to local charities. Octavio Solis was named Artistic Recipient of the Starcatcher Award. Author of more than 20 plays and a Southern Oregon resident, Solis is broadly considered one of the most prominent Latino playwrights in America. With works that both draw on and transcend the Mexican-American experience, he has worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival on several world premieres, including Mother Road, El Paso Blue, and Quixote.

Though social distancing prohibited OSF from hosting a traditional gala, the free online event managed to inspire and engage on October 23, reaching a much larger audience from across five continents and 15 countries, including Australia, China, Morocco, Germany, France and Mexico. The evening closed with a virtual dance party with Gala artists and OSF staff featuring DJ YUNGUPTOWN.

OSF's 2020 Dare to Dream Gala was made possible by the generosity of premier sponsor The Standard and supporting sponsors Dancing Hearts and Lithia Motors, Inc.

OSF 2020 Dare To Dream Gala Exceeds Goal Raising More Than $600,000



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