Great news! Women’s Work Productions has been given a $10,000 matching funds donation by the Miller Group Charitable Trust for the production of Carried by the Current. We have to raise the first $10,000 to access the matching funds and, actually, we’re already a good chunk of the way there; but the donors, Cathy and Eric, encouraged us to go for the full $10,000 since it’s always a plus for individuals and businesses to donate when they know their money will be doubled. And already in the few days we’ve known about the matching funds, that insight is proving true.
What inspired Cathy and Eric to make this generous donation? Well, they came to one of the previews we’ve been performing. Back when we started toward our goal of a full production, Dustin Moore, a founding member of WWP and an actor, suggested we put together a “teaser” if you will of the play—three or four scenes acted out, with a narrative of the plot running through them—then perform it wherever we could get the space. And once again, that proved to be a great suggestion. We held a number of previews and were gathering momentum, in addition to funds, when the pandemic hit and we had to lie dormant for a while. Then in May 2021, Seaport Books in La Conner invited us to come help restart live events with a preview of the play on the town square outside their bookstore. We agreed, very enthusiastically. Because if there’s one thing we all like to do at Women’s Work Productions, it’s act. On the day chosen, the wind was blowing so fiercely that Janna Gage, the owner of Seaport Books, was worried some audience members might be swept away into the Swinomish Channel alongside Gilkey Square. So she invited us to perform inside the bookstore. We set up in one corner, at the far end of the racks of books, and the audience filtered in, happy to be out of the weather and back at a live event after more than a year of lockdown, until eventually, all the seats were taken and it was standing room only in the back behind the cash register. And in that cozy space, where we felt unified in our togetherness once more, the story of the Women’s Commonwealth from Belton, Texas, resonated as fiercely as the wind outside the bookstore, and led us to this place of matching funds.
In the meantime, we regrouped at WWP, especially given the impact of the pandemic on live theatre, and decided to aim for a production in Everett sometime in 2023. I had just attended an event at Schack Art Center and was very impressed with the support for the gallery and glassblowing/teaching facility. I happened to mention this to a friend, who then introduced me to Wendy Poischberg, who has been pivotal in revitalizing the arts in downtown Everett. Wendy then connected me to Carol Thomas, Advancement Development Director, and between the two of them, helped us set up a preview at Schack Art Center in December 2022. And again, the ladies from Texas drew in an eclectic and very supportive audience including politicians, artists, writers, librarians, theatre lovers, community outreach advocates and the editor and publisher of Welcome Magazine.
The next step is another preview in Snohomish, hopefully in late April, so our new supporters can invite their friends to learn about this story and we can make more headway with our goal of making $10,000 to be matched by $10,000. I will post when we have a date set for this preview, with the location and an open invitation for you to come and join us. In the meantime, if you would like to make a donation now, you can use the DONATE button on our website, or send a check, made payable to Women’s Work Production to the address under the Contact Us tab. We do come under the umbrella of Innovation Foundation for the 501(c)3 non-profit status, so your donation can be tax deductible. And please feel free to share this blog post to your social media sites.
Finally—the light at the end of the tunnel—the goal is to rent the theatre in the Snohomish County PUD facilities building in Everett for a full production of Carried by the Current in October or November, 2023. If I can just get whoever is in charge of that auditorium to call or email me back. What’s it take to put on a play? Tenacity, my friends. Tenacity. And a whole commonwealth of supporters. Thank you for being a part of that.