Performing Arts In The Valley – Giving Shape To Life

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By Kathryn M. Miller ~ The object of art is to give life shape – so says a gentleman by the name of William Shakespeare. Nearly 400 years after his death, his works are still being brought to life onstage, and still have the power to shape and move an audience. That is, after all, the purpose of live performance.

Valley performing arts organizations are gearing up for the 2014-15 season and are looking forward to engaging with audiences by sharing their energy and excitement.

“The new season promises to be one of the most entertaining and varied in ATC’s long history,” said Arizona Theatre Company’s ( artistic director David Ira Goldstein in announcing details of the new season. “All of these productions will be surrounded by a wide array of opportunities for audience engagement and involvement, and supported by community outreach, education and learning opportunities for all ages.”

Arizona Broadway Theatre’s ( executive producer and founder Kiel Klaphake is excited to celebrate the theatre’s anniversary season with audiences.

“This momentous season is all about being bold,” says Klaphake. “ABT has become synonymous with full-scale, high-quality musical spectacles, so going into the 10th anniversary season we knew the productions had to be some of the biggest musicals to date with mesmerizing scores, stunning choreography and incredible stories. We know you won’t be disappointed.”

However, many arts organizations continue to struggle in a down economy, and continued support from audiences, donors and cultural organizations is important. The City of Scottsdale Cultural Council awarded $59,000 in grants in recent months to 12 local nonprofit arts and cultural organizations for projects that serve the Scottsdale community. The City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture also stepped up and announced that it will award $805,346 to 47 area nonprofit arts and culture organizations.

“We know that these grants provide critical operational support to many of our arts and culture organizations, and for others this funding enables essential community outreach programs to flourish,” says Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Executive Director Gail Browne. “With 5.1 million attendees, the arts and culture sector in Phoenix is a $300 million economic engine that generates $14 million in tax revenue. That’s a return of $20 for every $1 invested through the arts and culture grant program.”

The funding is in place, the stage is set. The third ingredient for a successful theatre season is an engaged audience, and with everything from Alvin Ailey’s modern dance to Shakespeare’s classics, the 2014-15 performing arts season in the Valley is sure to breathe new life and energy into those who experience it. |CST

Look for the 2014-15 Performing Arts Preview beginning on page 56.

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