Portland, OR. Artists Repertory Theatre has just received a $7 million anonymous gift, which is twice its current operating budget and represents one of the largest single gifts to an arts organization ever made in Oregon. This historic gift is in support of Artists Rep’s mission to produce intimate, provocative theatre and provide a home for artists and audiences to take creative risks such as its current production of Magellanica. (It’s a 6 hours production about the early scientific discoveries in Antarctica about climate change. Magellanica has three 10-minute intermissions and a 25-minute dinner break.)
The funds are unrestricted and have been made available immediately according to an announcement made on February 2nd. Due to this exceptional contribution, Artists Rep has paid off its mortgage and other debt. Earlier this month news reports from The Willamette Week, OPB and The Oregonian focused on financial challenges, leadership transition and Artists Rep’s intention to sell half of its property to create a sustainable home and operating model for the organization. Artists Rep will proceed with the sale of the building.
The plan empowers Artists Rep to remodel the south half of the block in a way that right-sizes its facility by creating two theatres, multiple rehearsal spaces and offices, including space for the many theatre organizations that call Artists Rep home via its ArtsHub residency program. Artists Rep looks forward to working with the buyer, Wood Partners, the City of Portland, the ArtsHub companies, audiences and the neighborhood throughout this process.
“I am deeply grateful for this transformational gift and the trust that comes with it,” said Dámaso Rodríguez, Artists Repertory Theatre’s Artistic Director. “These funds afford us an incredible opportunity to carefully plan our future as a theatre company, while continuing to support Portland artists and arts organizations through the ArtsHub. This generous demonstration of philanthropy acknowledges the value of our mission, our 35-year body of work and our potential to impact our community in the years ahead.”
“Immense responsibility and trust come with this gift, and we are confident that with these funds Artists Rep can plan long into the future about what’s best for the theatre, our artists and the ArtsHub,” said Mike Barr, Artists Repertory Theatre Board Chair.
ABOUT ARTISTS REPERTORY THEATRE:
Artists Repertory Theatre’s mission is to produce intimate, provocative theatre and provide a home for artists and audiences to take creative risks. Artists Rep is Portland’s premiere mid-size regional theatre company, and is led by Artistic Director Dámaso Rodríguez. Founded in 1982, Artists Repertory Theatre is the longest-running professional theatre company in Portland. Artists Rep became the 72nd member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) in 2016 and is an Associate Member of the National New Play Network (NNPN).
Artists Rep’s 2017/18 season of play selections for the company’s 35th anniversary season can be found here.
Artists Rep offers the second year of their groundbreaking Frontier Series which presents internationally acclaimed artists who are reimagining how theatre is created and shared. The 2017/18 series features three bold new works: They, Themself and Schmerm by Becca Blackwell (New York), The Holler Sessions by Frank Boyd (Seattle) and White Rabbit Red Rabbit by Nassim Soleimanpour (Iran). These are limited, one weekend engagements, offering Portland audiences access to fresh touring performances from around the world. The Frontier Series is curated by Jerry Tischleder, Artists Rep ArtsHub Director and Artistic Director of Risk/Reward Festival.
Artists Rep has become a significant presence in American Regional Theatre with a legacy of world, national and regional premieres of provocative new work with the highest standards of stagecraft. The organization is committed to local artists and features a company of Resident Artists, professionals of varied theatre disciplines, who are a driving force behind Artists Rep’s creative output and identity.
Artists Rep is committed to developing new work through its new play development program Table|Room|Stage. With T|R|S, Artists Rep strives to empower and support Oregon-based playwrights while also creating a Portland home for writers from around the country to develop their work. Additionally, this program strives to make a meaningful impact on diversity, equity and inclusion in the theatre field by mandating opportunities for women writers and writers of color, and cultivating the next generation of theatre- goers by creating work specifically for young people (13 and up). Artists Rep makes a vital impact on the Portland arts community with its ArtsHub, creating space and offering a home to 12 multidisciplinary arts organizations within its facility.
RESIDENT ARTISTS – Artists Rep productions feature the work of a core group of over two dozen multidisciplinary theatre professionals. Hailing from around the country, our Resident Artists are nationally renowned and award-winning actors, directors, writers, designers and educators who have chosen to make Portland and Artists Rep their artistic home. Working together and independently, they create inventive and theatrically rich experiences for our audiences while playing a major role in defining Portland’s cultural landscape.
TABLE|ROOM|STAGE – Established in 2015, Table|Room|Stage (T|R|S) is Artists Rep’s robust new play program that offers development opportunities for local and national playwrights, and ensures that underrepresented voices are heard on stage. With this program, Artists Rep is committed to bringing the work of exciting women, transgender and non-binary writers and writers of color to its stages. Artists Rep’s first completed T|R|S commission was The Talented Ones, by Yussef El Guindi. They will produce Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play as part of their regular season in April. Current playwright commissions include: Linda Alper, Larissa FastHorse, Hansol Jung, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Rathje and Andrea Stolowitz. The works created by these writers through T|R|S will establish Artists Rep and Portland as an engine for new play development and will enrich the national new play landscape. To learn more about all the projects, playwrights and programs of Table|Room|Stage visit here.
ARTSHUB – Artists Rep is also home to the growing ArtsHub, where 12 arts organizations find a home in the building. A diverse range of artists and arts organizations can thrive here with access to affordable administrative, performance and rehearsal space, as well as a myriad of support services. The ArtsHub serves as a community arts center, where its performance venues and lobbies buzz with creative energy and Portland’s arts-loving audiences can gather. Over the last year, Artists Rep hosted 324 rehearsals and more than 602 performances, events, and other happenings by 51 groups. To learn about the arts organizations Artists Rep’s ArtsHub visit here.
The 2017/18 Artists Repertory Theatre season is presented by Ronni Lacroute, David & Christine Vernier, and The Robert & Mercedes Eichholz Foundation. Other season support comes from The Collins Foundation, The Renaissance Foundation, Regional Arts Culture Council, Oregon Community Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation and Work for Art and Media Sponsor The Oregonian.