110 years of community theatre... don't let this one be our last!
Guild members were busily planning to celebrate our 110th birthday last year on the Forest Theater stage, home to our founding members. Getting contracts finalized and casting our play, amid vast community support. But then...
COVID-19 ransacked our nation, our globe, and yes…the arts.
It’s been a hard year, to say the least, and we do need your help as we now head into our 111th year here in 2021.
Forest Theater Guild shares a rich narrative with the beginnings of the village of Carmel. This history is woven into the tapestry of our community and into the lives of Monterey County residents. We can't bear to see it possibly end.
From David to Dolly
For over 100 years, the Forest Theater Guild has been present in our community in one form or another. We wonder if our founders could have ever envisioned just how far we have come. Could they possibly have imagined all of the hurdles we have bounded and all the metaphorical curtains we have raised?
We have survived pandemics, wars, economic downturns, and upheavals.
From David (our opening performance in 1910) to last season’s Hello, Dolly!, we have succeeded. All because individuals like you have always believed in the transformative power of the performing arts. You know its impact on our community.
Will My Donation Matter?
Whether you're donating $10 or $10,000 every single penny counts!
Did you know that just 7 people giving $10 helps us to pay our monthly email service fees?
Just one person donating $10,000 helps us to pay for storage and insurance, wages, and other administrative costs.
Your donation of any size means the world to us during this time of COVID shutdowns!
...But Does Community Theatre Even Matter Anymore?
Some folks think that community theatre is not worth the effort. Low attendance. Outdoor coastal climate. Budget restrictions.
Many people worry that COVID will inevitably take down many theatre organizations anyway. The pandemic has already claimed thousands of businesses, so what makes us think that, as a non-profit, we can continue on?
If this is you, our GoFundMe Charity campaign may not be for you at this time.
The Forest Theatre Guild Believes Community Theatre Does Matter and that We Can and Must Carry ON!
And if you too cannot imagine a world without the vast benefits of community theater, if you want to see the Forest Theater Guild continue in the legacy of our founding members, then please consider how your donation can help.
Why Help the Forest Theater Guild?
One of the oldest remaining outdoor theaters west of the Rockies, the Forest Theater was built in 1910 by Herbert Heron and Carmel’s Bohemians
It was funded by village leaders who recognized the importance (and great benefits) of building a community through the arts.
The goal was to provide an open-air theater where plays could be produced by “locals, who would also have the fun doing the acting, directing, lighting, costuming, and staging” (from the personal letters of Founder, Herbert Heron).
The Guild continues this tradition today, along with the shared vision that community theater is valuable, nay, essential, to today's culture. We continue to encourage arts for our youth and the betterment of our society:
It is our mission to present quality performing arts and to foster growth and appreciation of the dramatic and allied arts among the broad community utilizing community talent with an emphasis on youth.
Our purpose is to uphold the heritage and integrity of Carmel’s historic Outdoor Forest Theater through stewardship, preservation of its unique character, and enhancement of the use of the theater property to promote community theater, films, and events that support our mission of community theater and art.
We are a 501(c)(3) Certified non-Profit, originally founded in 1910 and known now as the Forest Theater Guild.
Exactly how your generous donation will be used
Your donation, no matter its size, will allow us to support our staff, administrative budget, and take care of critical matters such as insurance and storage. Funds allowing, we will also begin sponsoring outreach efforts around the Peninsula until the time comes to once again open on our stage.
Expenses include the following:
• Production on our beloved stage—given an on-time release of COVID restrictions (and including all COVID precautions) — stage crew, updated film equipment, royalties, marketing
• Cover fixed monthly expenses — Storage, insurance, utilities, phone, internet, accounting, bookkeeping, security
• Wages for our bookkeeper and Executive Director
• We don't know how long this state-mandated closure will last; our current fundraising goal would cover expenses through 2021.
Other possibilities, funds allowing:
• Hosting Memoir Writing Workshops for those in assisted living facilities
• Hosting theatre classes and other community outreach programs
• Partnering with other organizations and theatre groups to keep the arts alive and flourishing and to provide entertainment and hope to our community
Every Dollar Counts!
Your donation of any size means the world to this little theatre group. It is the lifeblood of our ability to serve the community around us. We’re also open to financial advice from donors.
Every dollar counts!
Without your help, the Forest Theater Guild cannot continue.
Connecting with Family under the Stars
This campaign is about more than just raising money to keep yet another theatre open.
It’s about the hundreds of shining, expectant faces that fill the wooden seats every summer.
It’s about baskets of cheese, bread, and wine as theatre-goers huddle with loved ones under the stars.
It’s about introducing the arts to each new generation as time goes by.
This campaign is about protecting and conserving the past while creating a voice for the future.
It's about you. Residents and visitors who have loved coming to this community theater year after year after year. The Forest Theater Guild is part of your memories and legacy.
Lastly, it’s about everything that is good. It's the power of art to transform and educate. It’s the love shared with every song and every line.
Sounds Great, But Can I Remain Anonymous? How Much Do You Actually Receive?
You can select to remain anonymous, and you can even select to "hide" the actual amount of your donation! Your information and privacy is important, and we value and will protect it.
The best news is that...
We Receive 100% of All Donations Given Here on GoFundMe Charity.
You may offer the platform a small "tip" to help cover their costs if you wish. And because the payment goes through the PayPal Giving Fund, there are no fees whatsoever.
How You Can Help
Here’s what help we need: Your donation will help us with our administrative budget and paying wages. We will use it to help take care of important costs such as insurance and storage, lights and heat, Internet and office space. As funds allow, we will also begin sponsoring outreach efforts around the Peninsula until the time comes to once again open on our stage.
Here’s what will happen when you donate: Once you donate, we will keep you up-to-date about how the fundraising is going, what steps we’re able to take and when, and we’ll also give Forest Theater Guild updates to keep you informed of what’s up with the Guild! Then, once we’ve reached our goal, we’ll let you know that our 2021 Season has been saved!
We’ll still keep you in the loop so that you’re first to know when any of our programming becomes available, such as Films in the Forest, and what comes next.
Here’s what you can do next. Please donate today. As Carmel’s only community theatre, we would hate to be the next in the long line of COVID casualties. We know that as a community, we can fight this end and beat the odds.
Please click the “Donate” button
...and fill out the order form. Once you do, please help get the word out by sharing the link to your Facebook Timeline and other social media. Together, we can keep the stars shining, the fires lit, and the hope for a brighter future for Carmel’s Forest Theater Guild.