Welcome to the Grateful Season!

Thank-You Notes to VTA's Patrons For A Wonderful Year!

A Note From Perry Payne Millner, Jim Ackley and Jeff Price...

Before the excitement of the holiday season is upon us, we want to take a moment to offer our most sincere thanks for your generous support of VTA’s expanded programming and offerings this year. Without your leadership and creativity in believing in this “little non-profit that can,” newly situated in Lynchburg after decades at James Madison University, VTA would not have enjoyed nearly the success it has realized in this first year in central Virginia.

At 2015's Virginia Theatre Matters Annual Conference just two weeks ago, we again set attendance records beyond our imaginings. Having doubled attendance from 2013 to 2014, we nearly doubled again, raising our total attendance to 2,600 members. For the first time we drew major conference sponsors including Disney Theatrical Group, Music Theatre International, Barbizon Lighting, Busch Gardens, and Eastern Costume Company.

We are thrilled to have met more first-time VTAers that weekend than ever before - Virginia theatre people of all ages, at all levels, from all corners of the Commonwealth, and from every division: College & University, Community Theatre, Professional theatres and theatre professionals, Secondary Schools including middle and high schools, Technical theatre folk, and non-school based Theatre for Youth programs. These are accomplishments that certainly would not have been possible without your generous contributions of time, talent and financial support. Your gifts are our treasure, and we are tremendously grateful for your part in VTA's work.

VTA is NOT just an Annual Conference. We've been very busy this year...

As you contemplate your year-end gifts, please keep VTA in mind!

$50 Funds a teacher’s registration for a one-day professional development conference.

$100 Funds a theatre education visit for a far-afield community theatre in Appalachia.

$250 Subsidizes a needy high school student’s fees and expenses at VTA’s High School Theatre Festival.

$500 Covers VTA’s Intern Program for a semester, offering experience and training to Lynchburg area college students.

$1,000 (Star/Named) Underwrites a scholarship for an undergraduate or graduate theatre student in performance or design.

$2,500 (Director/Named) Underwrites VTAngels’ intergenerational Theatre Talkbacks program for a year.

$5,000 (Producer/Named) Covers VTA’s Virginia Outreach initiatives for a year.

A few more highlights from a wonderful year...

We launched our VTAngels Talkback pilot program, offering evenings of conversation between young theatre professionals and their more sage compatriots, with topics around theatre in Central Virginia. We talked about theatre at the Old City Cemetery, Johnny Cash in Virginia around Endstation’s Ring of Fire, and Leading the Academy of Fine Arts Then and Now, a conversation between Geoff Kershner, Jim Elson and Clifton Potter. The program will continue in 2016.

As partners in a grant funded through the Kennedy Center and Imagination Stage we offered Everybody Plays: Inclusion Training for teaching artists working with multi-abled drama students. VTA was in great company; the other two grant partners to be offered this training were Roundabout Theatre in Manhattan and the Chicago League of Theatres.

We advocated for a new curriculum option for technical theatre students in Virginia’s high schools which makes it possible for non-academic track students to be certified in the trade of technical theatre and go straight to work in Virginia’s robust theatre and film industries.

With E.C. Glass Theatre last winter we co-hosted 500 little princesses in full Disney garb at a Frozen Sing-A-Long, and offered a sparkly, early summer fundraiser as part of Oakwood Arts, featuring champagne, dessert, silent and live auction, and our executive director Perry Payne Millner singing a ditty or ten on a lovely evening.

From Abingdon to Suffolk, Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg to Williamsburg; from Southside Chatham and Danville to Charlottesville and the Northern Neck; from Richmond to Blacksburg, Radford and Roanoke; we have covered the state as we work to achieve our mission: to connect, develop, nurture and advocate for theatre people Virginia-wide.

The state of Virginia thrives upon the state of Virginia theatre, as a vibrant theatre culture serves to raise up our communities separately and together as a Commonwealth, in the best definition of that term. It is the hope of VTA’s leadership that in coming years we will be able to affect increased visibility, dialogue, development and advocacy, resulting in universal appreciation for the influence and impact theatre exerts on our towns.

If, as we achieve these goals:

  • We listen, learn, grow and reach out;
  • We connect, develop, nurture and advocate;
  • We embrace, lift up and encourage Virginia’s widespread, but close-at-heart communities of theatre folk;
  • We let them see that they can ACT, together, as a big, happy party of one;

…only then will we have changed the way theatre is perceived in Virginia. Our collective soul will grow full to bursting and shine its rays out on the larger world.

So, as we head into the grateful season, please know that all of us at Virginia Theatre Association most sincerely appreciate YOUR presence and your presents; we wouldn’t have been able to do it without you. And it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun.

In the words of Mr. Shakespeare, we "can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks."

Wishing you a beautiful, grateful season of your own and a productive, happy 2016!

Most Sincerely,

Perry, Jim and Jeff

Perry Payne Millner, Executive Director

Jim Ackley, VTA President

Jeff Price, VTA President-Elect

Stop By and Visit Us At VTA's Office in Downtown Lynchburg!

Virginia Theatre Association develops, connects, nurtures and advocates for theatre people of all ages, at all levels, from every corner of the Commonwealth.
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