Portland, OR. Just two days before its annual gala, Artists Repertory Theatre (ART) made the difficult decision to cancel its 2020 benefit scheduled for March 14th. The decision was based on Governor Kate Brown’s recommendations to suspend all large gatherings.
The nonprofit theatre company pivoted to a “virtual paddle raise,” and its community of supporters responded: 170+ donors gave more than $130,000 total, or an average gift of $760. Gifts ranged from $10 to $10,000 and also came from ART staff and artists, the broader community that supports theatre and the arts. Administrators expressed their gratitude for this, “amazing” outpouring of support.

It’s good news because Governor Brown’s executive order limiting gatherings of 25 or more people until at least mid-April, has also forced the nonprofit to postponed the final production of its current season. The theatre company will continue to follow developments in the coming weeks before announcing new performance dates.

Indecent by Paula Vogel was the last production staged. It was directed by Josh Hecht, choreographed by Adin Walker

From ART:

We are continuing to conduct business as our staff works remotely; don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions! Our Box Office window at Portland Center Stage has been temporarily closed, but staff can be reached at 503.241.1278 or at [email protected] and will return your call or email within 48 hours. Our administrative staff can be reached by email or phone (a full directory can be found here).

We’ve been hard at work in the past few months securing venues and creating a dynamic line-up of plays for our upcoming 2020/21 season, but we have made the decision to delay the announcement of our next season until there is more clarity as to when public assembly will once again be safe. We appreciate your patience and support as we use this time to stay flexible and responsive.

In response to rapidly shifting recommendations, all in-person classes and public events are postponed until restrictions on public assembly are lifted. If you are enrolled in a class, we will be in contact with you directly. We’re doing our best to move as much as we can to remote/video-conferencing; we hope you’ll partner with us in exploring these new ways to connect and learn together.

Thank you for staying engaged and supportive of Artists Rep. The effects of COVID-19 will be felt across the arts community. While every organization is facing unprecedented challenges, the livelihood of individual artists is at stake with every postponed or canceled performance. If you want to help provide financial assistance to members of the Portland-area theatre community facing a medical or personal emergency, Portland Area Theatre Alliance’s Valentine Fund is a resource; to support independent/freelance artists facing lost income, consider the PDX Artists Relief Fund. If you’d like to show your support directly to Artists Rep, you can do so by the link below our signatures.

All of us here at Artists Rep are grateful for your generous support. We will continue to monitor the ever-evolving situation. As we do so, we look forward to once again sharing stories that matter.

We are also appreciative of Vibrant Table Catering & Events, who manages the venue we were planning to use. While food had already been purchased for the event, VT donated as much as possible to Urban Gleaners, a Portland non-profit that helps connect communities in need with surplus food. It has been moving to witness the many ways businesses and individuals alike are striving to support each other.