This is not your typical appeal letter. I write to you as a fellow supporter of an organization I believe in. These are indeed unusual, stressful times. Precautions that seemed absurd even a week ago seem vital today. The sky may look dark, but it is not falling. If anything, this is an opportunity to reflect, reach out to each other and strengthen ourselves for the future.
Missoula Children’s Theatre and Missoula Community Theatre are experiencing the financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. At this point, with the necessary measures we have taken, we are looking optimistically at a $1.5 million loss in revenue, through May alone. Rest assured; we are doing everything in our power to mitigate the potential impact. MCT typically employs more than 120 people. We are one of Missoula’s largest employers. Our priority remains the safety of our patrons, our staff, the thousands of young people we serve across the globe, the community members who volunteer as actors, ushers, set builders, and so many others.
In our initial response to the outbreak, we amped up our cleaning and disinfecting measures, and we relaxed our ticket exchange policies. When it became apparent that these initial measures were well-intentioned, but not nearly enough, we canceled our spring break day camp, the remaining performances of The Spitfire Grill and put Matilda rehearsals on hold. Our most proactive (and most necessary) move was to cancel our entire spring Tour (256 weeks cancelled) and call back and release from their contracts the 66 touring artists and teachers we have out on the road. At least half our local staff has opted to work from home. As I write this, I realize that overnight, the United States jumped to more than 6,500 cases of COVID-19. We are now number eight in the world in number of cases, and it is estimated that number will increase.
Arts organizations depend on patrons. We survive because we provide hope, inspiration, beauty, and entertainment. More importantly, MCT provides education and life skills to children across the globe. The show will go on. We are already rescheduling residencies, looking forward to our summer education programs, and enthusiastically planning our 50th season.
I write you today, not knowing what tomorrow will bring, to implore you to dig deep and continue to support MCT because when the show does go on, we want you to be by our side! Please consider making a gift via check or giving directly on our website. You can even make a gift directly from your cell phone by texting “mctgive” to 44321!
Please stay safe and do your best to find a little sun during these dark times.
Beth Burman Frazee
MCT, Inc. Development Director