Category: Administration

December 2020 Update – State of the Theatre

December 2020 Update – State of the Theatre

December 2020

Dear MYACT families, friends, and community supporters:

We are writing to provide an update and status on our theatre operations.  

2020 started out normally with high expectations for a full year of productions, events, and growth.   Our first production “Catch A Falling Spy”, an original story set to contemporary music, was going to be our launch pad for another great season of shows.   Due to COVID-19 we were forced to cease performances and all operations in mid-March after only one weekend.

For the next several weeks we struggled, as did much of our community, to figure out how it would be allowable, safe, and feasible to continue operations.  It soon became evident that the entire 2020 season of productions and other events would likely need to be put on hold and then ultimately cancelled.  Summer Camp, Paint Nights, Fall and Winter productions and other revenue generating events we had planned were all ultimately cancelled

There are three areas we would like to update you on.  

FINANCES (1)

We began the year with about $12,000 in our accounts.  The 2020 operating budget established at the beginning of the year was approximately $50,000.  Of that amount, $26,000 was for production expenses like music rights, sets, costuming, director stipends, and other related items.  $24,000 was allocated to non-discretionary expenses; those expenses we must pay regardless of whether we use the theatre or not.  For example,  building rent, liability insurance, electricity, and miscellaneous building maintenance.

Over the years our main source of revenue has been ticket sales, tuition for summer camp, and various fundraising events.  As mentioned above Catch A Falling Spy was forced to close after only a weekend and we lost money due to having to cancel two weekends of shows.  Without our normal source of revenue we have been able to stay afloat in part due to the generosity of so many of you and your ongoing support. Since April we’ve raised over $6,000 through cash donations, fundraising events like food delivery, and our yard sales. 

In late November we were awarded $6,721.00 through the Tuolumne Count Small Business and Private Nonprofit Assistance Grant Program.  This grant came just in time!  Otherwise we would have run out of money by the end of January.  This grant increases our cash on hand to $10,532 which will be enough to cover our expenses through April 2021.

With the uncertainty of when we will be able to begin theatre operations and start generating revenue from tickets sales and theatre programs we will continue our fundraising efforts in an effort to operate beyond April. (2)

THEATRE LEADERSHIP

Board of Directors

In 2019 we had a vision for 2020 where MYACT would grow artistically and organizationally and expand operations to begin moving up to “the next level”.  2020 turned out to be a year nobody expected. Since April 2020 our primary focus has been on ensuring we can maintain the theatre financially until we can once again begin normal or close to normal operations. 

Looking towards 2021 that vision remains in our sights.  We are seeking additional board members who can provide leadership in specific areas of theatre operations, fundraising, marketing, and community outreach.  Board members are typically also part of sub-committees with specific objectives like marketing activities, social media advertising, fundraising, building maintenance, production, etc.   The full Board meets once every two months (currently via Zoom) and meetings are typically two hours long.   In those meetings specific assignments and activities are assigned to individual members or committees.   Committees meet on an as needed basis to achieve annual goals and specific objectives and outcomes.  If you are interested in learning more you can contact Jessica Shapiro, Board President at (209) 743-5833 or Mike Morales, Treasurer at 925-337-3600. 

We will also be holding virtual informational meetings to provide more information to interested parties and to answer questions.  Those virtual meetings will be announced in the near future.

Junior Advisory Board

The Board of Directors recognizes the value the youth of our theatre family and community bring to the table.   We want to incorporate those voices into the development and growth of MYACT.  Therefore we will be establishing a Junior Teen Advisory Board beginning in 2021.  This group, comprised of youth between the ages of 12 and 18, will meet once a month to discuss issues related to Mountain Youth and Community Theatre. Under the direction of a board member the group will discuss and create proposals to present to the main board on everything from potential performance ideas to fundraising, community outreach, and overall youth involvement.  Besides the value we expect this group to bring to the theatre we also believe the members will  learn about effective communication, conflict resolution, leadership, and everything it takes to run a theatre during and in between shows.  If any youth are  interested in participating they can email mountainyouthact@gmail.com to express their interest.  

We will also be planning virtual informational meetings to provide more information to interested parties and to answer questions.  Those virtual meetings will be announced in the near future.

2021

While there is still uncertainty about the coming year we are optimistic that we will be able to resume some level of operations, hopefully by Spring or Summer.   In the coming weeks we will begin preparing, as we do each year, for the new year of productions and events.  We are hopeful that we will be able to put up at least two youth productions, summer camp, and one community production.  We also hope to resume the popular paint nights as well as introducing some new educational programs centered around theatre.  We will continue to provide updates to you and the general community through email, our Facebook Pages (https://www.facebook.com/mountainyouthact and https://www.facebook.com/groups/116581809037741) , and our website (https://mountainyouthact.com).

Thank you for your ongoing support.  We hope to see you in 2021. 

Meanwhile, please feel free to reach out to us if you are interested in joining our Board of Directors, the Youth Advisory Board, or just have questions or ideas.  

With deep appreciation,

MYACT Board of Directors

  • Jessica Shapiro, President
  • Kandas Wright, Vice-President
  • Bonnie Bettencourt, Secretary
  • Mike Morales, Treasurer
  • Jessica Miranda Rhoades, Member At Large
  • Erin Santoro, Member At Large

 (1) For a complete accounting of our 2020 Operating Budget and Expenses please contact Mike Morales at 925-337-3600 mike@goldenk.net.

(2) Mountain Youth and Community Theatre is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  Our non-profit identification number is 11-3797591

MYACT Mission Statement: This corporation has been formed for public purposes, to foster educational opportunities for children and adults of all ages in the performing arts, with a specific focus on theater, music, dance, voice and other arts.

MYACT Statement, May 24, 2020

MYACT Statement, May 24, 2020

Like many organizations in our community Mountain Youth and Community Theatre has been greatly impacted by the on going situation with the global Covid – 19 pandemic. We have every hope and expectation to come back to you as strong as ever when we are allowed to re-open in the ways we have operated in the past. Unfortunately we are not able to host our flagship summer camp program this year. Summer camp is what our program grew from, it is also how we earn much of operating costs for the year. We believe we can overcome the temporary shut down and come back with a new found strength within a stronger community. In order for this to be possible we are continuing to explore fundraising methods and performance opportunities that allow us to keep working on our Mission Statement.

How can you help? Please take part in and/or enjoy our online Entertainment Extravaganzas, the next one will be available on Facebook or YouTube on May 29th at 6pm, free for all to watch Donations greatly appreciated.

Look for our songs of summer presentation June 27th, tickets information and advertising opportunities to come. In July we will be holding a yard sale fundraiser please look for more information to contribute or purchase at that event. Be on the look out for our next MYACT Food Delivery fundraiser which both supports local business and raises funds for the theatre.

We are working on some alternate plans for summer camp, this would not look like our normal summer camp but instead small group activities. As soon as we have more information and the go ahead to proceed under current regulations we will announce more information.

Continue to let us know what you’d like to see from us and how’d you’d like to help us.

Mountain Youth and Community Theatre is only as strong as our community of families that participate and our community of patrons who support what we do. If you are able at this time please consider a donation.

We are down but we are not out!

Thank you from the MYACT Family

Cost Of Running A Theatre

Cost Of Running A Theatre

The Legalese 

MYACT is a 501(c)3 organization formed for public purposes, to foster educational opportunities for children and adults of all ages in the performing arts, with a specific focus on theater, music, dance, voice and other arts.

The Practical Benefits 

MYACT provides opportunities for children, youth and adults in our community to become involved in the arts. Our organization brings people together in enriching classes, recitals and full performances. Our flagship program, Summer Hideout, started in 2004 with 13 students. Since then over 500 youth and adults have participated in various programs and productions. During that same time over 5000 audience members have experienced and enjoyed MYACT community musical theatre productions.

Some History

In 2012, after eight years of using temporary rehearsal spaces and renting various auditoriums for performances, MYACT acquired a warehouse building on Cuesta Court in Sonora (off Tuolumne Road) and turned it into permanent rehearsal, learning, and performance space.

MYACT generally produces four shows per year and would like to increase that number to provide additional opportunities – for youth and adult participants – and to establish a greater presence in the community.

The Cost of Running a Theatre

It takes money to run a theatre and related programs. MYACT’s annual operating expenses range from $25,000 to $30,000 per year. Approximately 80% of the funds to pay those expenses come from ticket sales, summer camp tuition, and sales of concessions.

However, MYACT relies heavily on donations, fund raisers and grants to fund the balance of annual expenses.

Over the years, the community has generously supported us but like any non-profit organization we are constantly in need of more donations, especially as we expand the operation to greater levels.  

Estimated 2019 Expenses

Rent & Utilities $14, 400 
Show Rights $8,000
Set Materials $2,500
Costumes $1,500
Ongoing Theatre Maintenance (Paint touch ups, equipment repair, basic supplies, etc.) $2,000
Liability Insurance $4,200
Paid positions and or stipends vary based on the production.  As an example, the Summer Camp stipends run up to $2,000.  
 
If you made it this far down this article then perhaps you would consider a donation or sponsorship.   In most cases (please check with your tax accountant) donations and sponsorships are tax deductible.