Four months ago we decided to take a big leap of faith and open up a brick and mortar theater/performing arts venue of our own in the city of Montebello. We had been operating out of Montebello for the past year because of it’s proximity to our alma mater, California State University- Los Angeles, which makes it a feeder community to CSULA, and because of the need for a theatre company within this community.
This city of over 64,000 residents does not have a single theater or arts collective within its city limits. This is especially sad because in the early 1900’s Montebello used to be a vibrant theatre community with several theaters along it’s main street, Whittier Boulevard, that played host to a national touring theatre circuit. This combined with its incredibly diverse population of working class people who are in need of a stronger arts presence, made Montebello the ideal location for the Circle Squared Collective to open it’s doors.
The Circle Squared Collective’s mission statement is to bring diverse voices to a new generation of theatre patrons. What this really means is that the C2C has been looking at how to change the American Theatre landscape both on stage and off to more truly reflect the diverse and changing community in which we live. We’ve always tried to push the boundaries of storytelling on stage with the choice of material we present and the casting of our shows. Now we want to push the boundaries of how theatre is accessed by the public. For too long theatre has been perceived as a “luxury item” affordable only to a privileged few as the average price of a ticket to a Broadway show hovers at over $100. The C2C has always been mindful of making our shows as accessible as possible to the public with extremely low pricing. Now we want to do something even more revolutionary. Because we believe that the Theatre Arts should be for all, not just the few, we want to offer our upcoming season and events completely FREE of charge to the public. However, we know that theatre does, and shouldhold monetary value in our current culture. Knowing this, we will ask our theatre patrons whocan pay to pay what they can, so that those who cannot pay have access and the ability to attend. We know theatre is expensive to produce, but that high cost shouldn’t prevent community members from becoming audience members and theatre lovers.
With this in mind we are launching a crowd funding campaign with the goal of raising at least $30,000. This goal will ensure that we are able to pay for the bare minimum of infrastructure costs for maintaining the theater, paying for rent, utilities, and insurance for 12 months. If we raise more than that, the additional funds will go towards funding our four show season, with each show having an average production cost of $2,000 each. If we raise more than $38,000, then we will be able to offer free educational theatre and film classes to the public, and be able to pay modest stipends to our hard working company members who have been volunteering all their time and energy to creating the C2C over the past 3 years.
If we do not reach our goal of $30,000, then the percentage of what we raise will be offered as Pay-What-You-Can seats to every show in the season. For example, if we only reach $15,000, then 50% of the seats in each show will be offered as Pay-What-You-Can.
Thanks to our partnership with Fractured Atlas, every contribution given to our company istax-deductible.
The Circle Squared Collective is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of the Circle Squared Collective must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
We all know that the Arts are undervalued in our society. Help us to change that.