Oregon Children's Theatre Calls for Community Support Amid Declining Participation and Rising Costs

Oregon Children's Theatre Appeals to the Community for Support Amid Financial Struggles

By: Jun. 05, 2024
Oregon Children's Theatre Calls for Community Support Amid Declining Participation and Rising Costs
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KPTV reports that Oregon Children's Theatre (OCT) is appealing to the community for $150,000 in financial assistance to sustain its programs through the summer and beyond. Executive Director Hartmann-Luck has highlighted significant declines in participation and increased operational costs as major challenges facing the organization.

“In years past, the theater group has served 120,000 young students, but this past year’s numbers saw half of that,” said Hartmann-Luck. “We’re talking about millions and millions of kids across the region who have received programming from OCT. That cannot be lost.”

Hartmann-Luck noted that arts communities nationwide have been struggling since the pandemic, with decreased ticket sales, reduced grant money, and higher production costs. “I say everything from lumber to labor. It’s becoming really difficult to do our work. We’ve reduced hours and eliminated positions.”

The theater group serves students from pre-kindergarten through high school, and Hartmann-Luck believes the arts positively impact youth. “We know the arts completely have the power to transform the lives of young people. We were born to be silly, connect, and sing songs. That is who we are at our core and what I fear is that when organizations start to lose their capacity to do their work at their fullest, it’s the kids who lose.”

The requested funds will not only help OCT get through the summer but also allow for a re-evaluation of sustainable service to the community in the future. “I think about the millions of children that would lose these opportunities if OCT is unable to survive this moment,” said Hartmann-Luck. “I believe we will because the community cares. I think the community believes OCT must survive.”

Donations can be made here.


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