Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bigger than yourself

Why did I wait so long to read this book???  "Yours for the Asking" is changing my world view.  Or maybe revamping it.  It's subtitled "An indispensable guide to fundraising and management". Maybe that is why.  Because it is soooo much more than that.

And while Chapter 2 is really focused on working with your board ie "It all begins with a generous, committed, resourceful and energetic board of directors." it is a testament to teamwork.  Encouraging those of us in leadership positions to spend personal time with each member to create a vital and thriving team of committed and valued folks who believe in what you believe. That might be the arts, or business, or religion or a number of subjects which you are passionate about.

Taking it more personally, for NPT, sometimes it's easy to get lost in the "theatre" of it all.  If we take the work more seriously than we take ourselves it flows.  And our work is the mission of this theatre.

What makes it the "New" Paradigm theatre?  Well, when there are so many worthy causes out there that include poverty, cancer, women and children, refugees, etc how do you "sell" theatre as being important compared to that?   How do you get new committed board members, or new donors?  The New Paradigm of this theatre is that we use our talents for more than just "shows".   Sidebar: I have always felt that the folks (actors, directors, artists)  in my field were so intelligent it was a shame they didn't use their brains to cure cancer.  They are also resilient, persistent, relentless and resourceful.  What a great combo for coming up with a world peace solution.  If we could just graft these brains into a field that does that.....

So we perform for the causes that do.  We aim to be a draw at their Galas and fund raisers. We take their mission to heart and create a show that expresses it to the audience they are hoping will donate at the end.  We offer innovative marketing ideas to them prior to the event. We often reach out to the media to get their non profit attention.

Not only are we aiming to be a critical artistic endeavor, but also a civic cause.  A major contributor to the quality of life in an area through our outreach.  Of course we hope to be a tourist attraction for the area and an engine of economic development.

Yes, this sounds huge.  Yes, this is far reaching.  But we are laying the ground work right now with our outreach to other non profits, our mentoring and our high quality performances with Broadway actors who also believe they have been given a gift meant to help others as well as themselves. Like-minded folks. Team players.

This is The New Paradigm that says non profits can work together instead of competing with each other.  The New Paradigm that says you don't have to start with a building to be called a theatre.  The New Paradigm that expands the word "theatre" to mean more than just "the arts".

Clearly I am reinvigorated and feel like it might be a calling to change the world.  Oooo, how very pageant girl of me.

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