Since 1952, the day after Thanksgiving has been considered the official start of the holiday shopping season, although the term “Black Friday” didn’t come into popular use for several decades. In 2005, the phrase “Cyber Monday” was first used to describe the increase in online shopping just days later.
Not to be outdone (and, one might hypothesize, to redirect excessive spending toward more worthy causes), our own Centennial State created “Colorado Gives Day” in 2010, which this year will be on Tuesday, December 8.
No break-of-dawn lines outside the doors of shopping centers. No stampeding crowds fighting over limited inventory of the newest tech gadget.
Just giving…of one’s self to help others.
Can we all just take a moment to feel good about giving?
Since Colorado Gives Day began ten years ago, more than $257 million has been raised to benefit the state’s nonprofit organizations. At the Denver Center for the Arts alone, more than $700,000 has been given to ensure that we can continue to engage and inspire our community through live theatre.
Thanks isn’t enough.
And this year, we can’t even return the favor. Due to the pandemic, our theatres have been closed for nine months with no reopening date in sight. Sadly, that crochety ol’ Scrooge won’t scare tiny (and not-so-tiny) tots when he pops out of the stage floor.
Instead, we’re breaking holiday traditions and maybe a few hearts. But still, our community stands with us.
In March, we quietly launched a $4 million Recovery Fund. Through ticket donations and charitable gifts, our theatre family insisted “the show will go on.” In mid-September, we launched a robust public phase to our campaign, and now, we are nearly halfway to our goal.
Yet, we are appealing once again.
If you look at best practices on fundraising, there is one recurring suggestion — tell a story.
We could tell you about a five-year-old child who danced and sang and acted in our classes and went on to grace the Broadway stage. We could tell you about our Costume Crafts director who has been tapped by national productions, yet chooses to make his home in Denver because we are his family. We could tell you about each and every new play that has made its debut on our stages before being replicated in theatres across America.
But that’s not our biggest story.
Theatre is a two-way street. Actors need an audience to do their best work and audiences crave entertainment. Together, we have cultivated a relationship for more than four decades through shared stories that have elicited gasps of awe, tears of heartache and joyous laughter. And in return, your presence has given us purpose. Your appreciation has given us energy. And your gifts have given us fortitude.
This year is hard…hard for everyone. But we ask you once again to help us preserve your traditions, enable us to rehire our artists, allow us to revive our programming, and make it possible for us to reopen our theatres and return to the stage.
Please know that we wholeheartedly believe that it is not what you give but that you give.
Colorado Gives Day takes place on December 8, 2020 and pledges may be made at any time. Thank you for enabling our story to continue.