Theatre Puget Sound To Remain Open; Board Of Trustees To Vote Against Closure Of 27-Year-Old Organization

Since launching two months ago, the #SAVETPS Campaign has raised nearly $48,000 from 224 donors.

By: May. 16, 2024
Theatre Puget Sound To Remain Open; Board Of Trustees To Vote Against Closure Of 27-Year-Old Organization
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.




Existing user? Just click login.

Theatre Puget Sound has announced that they are no longer facing imminent closure. The TPS Board of Directors recently gathered for a special board meeting to decide the fate of this membership and service nonprofit organization which has served the region since 1997.

The organization had struggled to rebound from a three-year COVID hiatus, as well as the permanent closure of several member organizations including the area’s beloved Book-It Repertory Theatre which used to produce in TPS’ largest performance venue. However, preliminary negotiations for an updated agreement with Seattle Center to continue managing the Space4Arts Program, as well as the recently launched #SAVETPS Campaign, have proven successful enough so far to give the board confidence that TPS can continue to grow, restabilize, and serve the community. 

TPS Executive Director, Dr. Crystal Yingling, continues to hold an optimistic outlook on the organization’s future. “Our growing partnership with Seattle Center as well as the success of the Save TPS Campaign so far has given us a longer runway to continue rebuilding from the ongoing effects of COVID closures. There is still much work to do, and continued fundraising is a part of that plan, but the future looks bright.” Yingling believes “our region needs TPS, and a Creative Solidarity Economy that TPS can foster might just be what’s needed for our sector to recover, ensuring the area’s cultural vitality.”

Since launching two months ago, the #SAVETPS Campaign has raised nearly $48,000 from 224 donors, but fundraising is not the only goal. The organization is exploring revamping an outdated business model to ensure long-term sustainability. TPS Board Treasurer Ry Armstrong has launched a SAVETPS Task Force bringing community leaders from around Puget Sound together to innovate new paths forward for TPS. 

The new SAVETPS Task Force has three main priorities: 1) Fundraising, 2) Membership & Programming for Members, and 3) Updating the Licensing Agreement and Partnership. The preliminary negotiations for a new licensing agreement between Seattle Center and TPS have been promising and have lined the path toward organizational sustainability. “We couldn’t be happier that Theatre Puget Sound will remain on our campus and continue to run Seattle Center’s Space4Arts program,” said Marshall Foster, Seattle Center Director. “Seattle Center will continue to stand by TPS, extending our steadfast support as they chart new paths and endeavor to elevate our community through the performing arts.” Once finalized, the anticipated agreement should enable the Space4Arts Program to continue to provide affordable rehearsal and performance spaces for the community and ensure the success of TPS’ new Resident Company Initiative, which includes five area performing arts organizations: Seattle Shakespeare Company (who has been performing in Center Theatre since before TPS began managing the Space4Arts Program); Sound Theatre Company (who has has already produced more than 20 shows there and will once again call Center Theatre home); The 14/48 Projects; Latitude Theatre; and Parley Productions. 

Working to foster and advocate for a robust and equitable theatre community. 

PO Box 19643, Seattle, WA 98109 | 206.770.0370 | tps@tpsonline.org

Efforts thus far will afford TPS an additional 18 months to continue recovery, regrowth, and reimagination of future planning and business modeling. Beyond Space4Arts, other TPS programs which will now be able to continue include the area’s Unified General Auditions with plans to return the Tech & Design Job Fair for a second year; the region’s most comprehensive Jobs & Auditions Callboard; professional development workshops for industry members to include OSHA 10 Authorized Trainings; a Community Events Calendar; the Online Membership Directory; and the soon-coming Theatre Online Resource and Community Hub (TORCH). The 2024 Gregory Award nomination and selection process, which was relaunched in September 2023, will also continue, although whether TPS will be able to secure funding to host an in-person celebration is still to be determined. Additional services and community programming are also to be determined based on community feedback and analysis.

As Armstrong describes, “TPS is the backbone of any creative economy future we hope to see in Seattle as so many arts workers and organizations rely on its community hub for work. Marshall Foster and his team at Seattle Center have promptly stepped up to help save this sacred space, and we look forward to continuing to work with them on the long-term health of a vibrant theatre community in the Armory building and beyond.”

Other community leaders wanting to join the effort to ensure a strong future for TPS and the region’s performing arts community should contact tps@tpsonline.org. 

About Space4Arts 

In partnership with Seattle Center, TPS provides access to 25,000 square feet of affordable rental spaces, including 10 rehearsal studios and three performance venues at the Seattle Center Armory that serve 20,000+ artists and 60,000+ audience members annually; they have been used by 840 performing arts organizations, fostering a vibrant and thriving arts community in the Puget Sound region. While artists have returned to these spaces, many organizations continue to struggle with long-term stability under rising costs and real estate costs in particular. Space4Arts offers the most affordable artist spaces within the City of Seattle. The five new Resident Companies will return these spaces to their highest and best uses. 

About Theatre Puget Sound 

Theatre Puget Sound (TPS) is a leadership and service membership organization founded in 1997. A 501(c)3 nonprofit, TPS works to foster and advocate for a robust and equitable theatre community. TPS is one of the Northwest’s leading arts advocacy and leadership organizations and serves all stages of the arts. In addition to SPACE4ARTS, TPS hosts the region’s Unified General Auditions, which since 1999 has been Seattle’s most important audition of the year; runs The Gregory Awards, the region’s annual honors for local performing arts and artists; promotes events which strengthen and celebrate our local community; manages the region’s most comprehensive listings of jobs and auditions; and serves as an industry community hub both on-line and in-person. 

About Seattle Center 

Connect to the extraordinary at Seattle Center, an active civic, arts, and family gathering place in the core of our city and region. Seattle Center’s 74-acre campus, centered around the International Fountain, is part of the Uptown Arts & Cultural District and home to Climate Pledge Arena; more than 30 cultural, educational, sports, and entertainment organizations; and a broad range of public and community programs. In everything it does, Seattle Center’s mission is to create exceptional events, experiences, and environments which delight and inspire the human spirit to build stronger communities. 

Visit theatrepugetsound.org/save-tps/ to learn more.



Comments

To post a comment, you must register and login.



Videos