Playwright/Director Stephen Sachs shares his thoughts on the new play.
Here we go! A new year. A new season. Company members assembled on Tuesday for the first rehearsal of the upcoming world premiere of Human Interest Story, written and directed by Stephen Sachs. The riveting drama opens Feb 15.
In Human Interest Story, Newspaper columnist Andy Kramer is laid off when a corporate takeover downsizes the City Chronicle. In retaliation, Andy fabricates a letter to his column from an imaginary homeless woman named “Jane Doe” who announces she will kill herself on the 4th of July because of the heartless state of the world. When the letter goes viral, Andy is forced to hire a homeless woman to stand-in as the fictitious Jane Doe. She becomes an overnight internet sensation and a national women’s movement is ignited.
Audiences enjoy Daniel’s Husband at the Fountain Theatre.
Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture has awarded The Fountain Theatre a 2019-20 Organizational Grant in the amount of $20,900 to support the creation and implementation of the new staff position of Development/Outreach Associate to increase the infrastructure of the organization, expand fundraising and broaden community outreach.
“This new position will enable the Fountain to further its organizational growth,” says Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs. “We are grateful to the County of Los Angeles for its ongoing partnership with the Fountain for more than twenty years.”
The mission of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture is to advance arts, culture, and creativity throughout LA County. It provides leadership, services, and support in areas including grants and technical assistance for nonprofit organizations, countywide arts education initiatives, commissioning and care for civic art collections, research and evaluation, access to creative pathways, professional development, free community programs, and cross sector creative strategies that address civic issues. All of this work is framed by its longstanding commitment to fostering access to the arts, and the County’s Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative.
The Fountain Theatre is pleased to announce that it has been awarded an Arts and Humanities grant from the Ahmanson Foundation in the amount of $24,500. The Ahmanson Foundation is committed to the support of non-profit organizations and institutions which continually demonstrate sound fiscal management, responsibility to efficient operation, and program integrity.
“We are deeply grateful to the Ahmanson Foundation for its funding support,” said Fountain Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs. “This grant will allow us to upgrade and enhance our ability to serve the Los Angeles community.”
The Ahmanson Foundation serves Los Angeles County by funding cultural projects in the arts and humanities, education at all levels, health care, programs related to homelessness and underserved populations, as well as a wide range of human services. The vast majority of the Foundation’s philanthropy is directed toward organizations and institutions based in and serving the greater Los Angeles area.
“This is our first grant award from the Ahmanson Foundation,” says Sachs. “We look forward to an ongoing partnership together for many years to come.”
Katie McConaughy and Susan Wilder in ‘Freddy’, 2017.
by Randy Cohen
The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts bring us joy, help us express our values, and build bridges between cultures. The arts also are a fundamental component of healthy communities, strengthening them socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even in difficult social and economic times.
Arts improve individual well-being. 63 percent of the population believe the arts “lift me up beyond everyday experiences,” 64 percent feel the arts give them “pure pleasure to experience and participate in,” and 73 percent say the arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world.”
Arts unify communities. 67 percent of Americans believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race, and ethnicity” and 62 percent agree that the arts “help me understand other cultures better”—a perspective observed across all demographic and economic categories.
Arts improve academic performance. Students engaged in arts learning have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, and lower drop-out rates. The Department of Education reports that access to arts education for students of color is significantly lower than for their white peers, and has declined for three decades. Yet, research shows that low socio-economic-status students have even greater increases in academic performance, college-going rates, college grades, and holding jobs with a future. 88 percent of Americans believe that arts are part of a well-rounded K-12 education.
Arts strengthen the economy. The arts and culture sector is a $730 billion industry, which represents 4.2 percent of the nation’s GDP—a larger share of the economy than transportation, tourism, and agriculture (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis). The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $135 billion in economic activity annually (spending by organizations and their audiences), which supports 4.1 million jobs and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue.
Arts are good for local businesses. Attendees at nonprofit arts events spend $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters—valuable revenue for local commerce and the community. Attendees who live outside the county in which the arts event takes place spend twice as much as their local counterparts ($39.96 vs. $17.42).
Arts drive tourism. Arts travelers are ideal tourists, staying longer and spending more to seek out authentic cultural experiences. Arts destinations grow the economy by attracting foreign visitor spending. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that, between 2003-2015, the percentage of international travelers including “art gallery and museum visits” on their trip grew from 17 to 29 percent, and the share attending “concerts, plays, and musicals” increased from 13 to 16 percent.
Arts are an export industry. The arts and culture industries had a $30 billion international trade surplus in 2014, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. U.S. exports of arts goods (e.g., movies, paintings, jewelry) exceeded $60 billion.
Arts spark creativity and innovation. Creativity is among the top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders—with 72 percent saying creativity is of high importance when hiring. The Conference Board’s Ready to Innovate report concludes, “The arts—music, creative writing, drawing, dance—provide skills sought by employers of the 3rd millennium.” Research on creativity shows that Nobel laureates in the sciences are 17 times more likely to be actively engaged in the arts than other scientists.
Arts improve healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and even staff. 78 percent deliver these programs because of their healing benefits to patients—shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication.
Arts and healing in the military. The arts are part of the military continuum—promoting readiness during pre-deployment as well as aiding in the successful reintegration and adjustment of Veterans and military families into community life. Service members and Veterans rank art therapies in the top 4 (out of 40) interventions and treatments.
Happy New Year!
Randy Cohen is Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts, the nation’s advocacy organization for the arts.
As you probably know, the LA theatre community has been deeply embroiled in a struggle with Actor’s Equity Association. More details here. A lawsuit is now pending. Both sides are finally at the table, ready to work together to try to resolve this dispute and craft a new plan for Los Angeles intimate theaters. Both sides have agreed to share the cost of this arbitration. As long as both sides talk and work together, there is hope.
The importance of this moment can not be overstated. The future landscape of the Los Angeles theatre community is at stake.
We are raising funds to pay our share for a neutral third party to facilitate the discussion between Actor’s Equity and the Plaintiffs (LA actors & intimate theatres). And to cover the legal fees that have been accruing throughout this process. We are hoping to raise $75,000 towards this cause. Money raised will not go to the Fountain or any specific theatre. It will be held in a trust account to pay legal costs for our side.
Please help if the Fountain — and the intimate theatre experience in Los Angeles — is important to you. The number of folks contributing is just as important as the dollar amount raised. Better to give $10 than nothing at all.
Please donate right now. We need to have the funds raised by the end of the day on Friday, February 26th. That gives us two weeks to raise $39,517. An average of $2,800 per day. Can we do it? YES! If you give now!
Donating is fast, easy and secure. And the right thing to do.
The Fountain Theatre is thrilled to introduce two new members of its Board of Directors: Dick Motika and his wife, Jerrie Whitfield.
Dick and Jerrie are avid arts supporters and share a love for theatre, especially The Fountain Theatre and Center Theatre Group. Fountain subscribers for many years, Dick and Jerrie are eager to dedicate themselves to furthering the growth of The Fountain Theatre in 2016.
Dick received his BA from the University of Colorado and an MBA from the University of Chicago. With over 30 years of banking experience, Dick is a Senior Private Banker for the Beverly Hills region of Wells Fargo Bank. Jerrie, also with Wells Fargo Bank, is a second generation Angeleno who received her BS from St Mary’s University.
In addition to their shared passion for the arts, Dick and Jerrie are active volunteers at their church, All Saints Episcopal in Beverly Hills, through which they also began their support of The Episcopal School of Los Angeles, for which Dick serves as trustee. Hobbies for the busy duo include jazz piano for Jerrie; cooking and gardening for Dick.
Welcome, Dick and Jerrie! We’re honored and delighted to have you on our Board.
Who would have guessed that buying a gallon of milk at Ralphs will help support a playwright at the Fountain Theatre? Or a carton of eggs and loaf of bread will help pay for our costumes? A box of Cheez-Its will support building stage scenery?
It’s that time again! As of Sept 1st, you must RE-ENROLL your Ralphs card to continue donating to the Fountain Theatre. Everyone must RE-REGISTER your Ralphs Rewards card and RE-ENROLL to the Community Rewards program and re-assign your card to the Fountain Theatre for another year.
Go to www.ralphs.com, sign in, go to “my account” then “account settings” and re-enroll the Fountain Theatre (#84796). You are set for another year of having Ralphs donate to the Fountain every time you shop.
What? You’ve NEVER registered your Ralphs card? You know nothing about their Community Rewards program? It’s easy and allows you to support the Fountain Theatre every time you buy groceries and — best of all — costs you nothing!
It’s easy! Go to www.ralphs.com and “create an account”. To link your card to the Fountain go to “Community Rewards” and follow instructions to assign your card to the Fountain Theatre (#84796). Then every time you shop and swipe your Rewards card, Ralphs donates a percentage of your grocery bill to the Fountain Theatre. The more you shop, the more they give. A no-brainer easy way for you to support the Fountain and it costs you nothing!
IF YOU HAVE NOT REGISTERED YOUR REWARDS CARD ONLINE
The Fountain Theatre is pleased to welcome Barbara Goodhill as its Director of Development. Barbara will guide and oversee fundraising and marketing for the Fountain and advise the award-winning theatre on other organizational goals. She played an important role in the Fountain’s recent Cyrano in New York fundraising campaign (which exceeded its fundraising goal) and the very successful Forever Flamenco at the Ford event on June 15 at the Ford Amphitheatre.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Barbara Goodhill is a respected development and marketing professional with broad-based experience in the non-profit sector. Theater has been a life-long passion for Ms. Goodhill, who began her career as a teacher and an actor, and is a long-time subscriber to The Fountain Theatre. Her most recent staff position was as Director of Advancement at Inside Out Community Arts, an award-winning non-profit that empowers underserved youth through theater-arts based programs. Prior senior staff positions include at Sinai Akiba Academy and PS#1 Elementary School. Her efforts at these organizations resulted in professional awards, significant growth in revenue, compelling brand building, outstanding special events and highly successful marketing and communication campaigns. Also active as a volunteer on Boards of Directors, Ms Goodhill brings a high level of expertise and sincere dedication to every project. Barbara received her B.A. from UC Berkeley in English and History and attended UCLA’s Masters program in Theatre Arts.
“Barbara has quickly become an important asset to the Fountain Theatre,” says Fountain co-artistic director Stephen Sachs. “Her energy, determination and expertise has truly ignited and revitalized our fundraising efforts. We’re fortunate to have her with us and look forward to a thrilling new phase of development at the Fountain.”