my raison d’être #1.
by Michael King
“The theater is the only institution in the world which has been dying for four thousand years and has never succumbed. It requires tough and devoted people to keep it alive.”
― John Steinbeck, Once There Was a War
“When acquaintances ask me what I do, my usual response is this, ‘Take everything fun you associate with theatre, and I do the other stuff.’ Now, before you paint the mental picture I sit in a cubicle and run expense reports from nine to five each day, let me lay some Bob Ross happy trees on you.
“I lead the marketing, operations, business, and outreach activities for a historic nonprofit community theatre. Having first started as a volunteer, I’ve worked with the theatre for five years now (though only three of those years were paid). In those few years I’ve been able to take part in raising this old theater out of its own ashes, and work to preserve the future of this great local tradition for another century. Developing sustainable business models and patronage that spans generations are the two visionary goals that focus my everyday decisions.
“Most businesses don’t have the forethought to plan for 100 years of business, but we have four generations walk through our doors for various programs. How do you cultivate customers for more than just one lifetime? By taking full advantage of the power and lasting impression art has in people’s life story. I’m defining what it means to genuinely be a community organization; we enrich our whole community through theatre performance, education, and outreach. The impact I make on an organization that transforms real lives through art is my ‘raison d’être.'”