As the latter half of this year rapidly approaches, a lot is on my mind. Every year I look at A Stage Reborn and ask myself, what could I do better the next 12 months? What can our team do? What we do as a charity is different — and challenging — because many arts organizations are founded in physical things like performance spaces and arts centers. Many charities don’t struggle to be recognized as a charity by the public and their supporters.
While our remote team spans across the map, almost all of our charity’s existence is online and many of our programs are reminiscent of the work content creators do. Technically, A Stage Reborn creates content but our purpose and mission aren’t entertainment or profit. We don’t put on plays like Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Final Fantasy XIV to rack up entertainment views or get you to “smash that subscribe” so we “make a living” — we’re doing it for the purpose of educating the public while promoting arts and culture in ways traditional arts groups aren’t. We’re making a stage reborn and that’s why we’re A Stage Reborn!
Being predominantly online has given us a lot of good things to work with. Digital space is at the core of our mission because using the internet to make accessible arts opportunities feels easy. So easy that we sometimes forget just being on the internet is not accessibility. That troubles me. It becomes easy to forget too that we’re not a theater troupe, we’re an arts charity and we need to focus on visual and literary arts just as much as our performing arts have gotten the spotlight.
This year, we’ve started to focus on new ways to pursue our mission to help the public recognize our all-arts encompassing mission and our status as a 501(c)(3) charity. We hope that programs like Reads:Anon help people understand the multidisciplinary aspects of what we do, and that improving our volunteer staff program helps show that it’s not just about being a creative but being able to build legitimate career skills in the arts industry as well. We had plans to try to make convention appearances around the country to talk about arts to pop culture convention audiences who are a large part of the creative community, but unfortunately COVID-19 impacts our ability to do that kind of outreach, so instead we’re doubling down on our online programs by including more Discord-related programs, Mixer streaming and other ideas leading to adjustments like our recent Patreon revamp.
Our team has solid ideas that go unheard about our future. One of the biggest ideas is to open an hybrid arts center for a community that could use a safe space for all ages of creativity that is not just a space focusing on physical creative arts, but brings digital creative arts into it. Coming full circle, it would provide a place where we can teach people in-person how to embrace online platforms and technology to grow as creatives and collaborators as well as. We would have a place where online creatives could work with us to broadcast to a live audience that isn’t just local. We could work on building programs that explore interactive creativity while making the costly technology accessible to the public. The problem is, none of this can happen without your support.
Every dollar counts when it comes to our mission. We try to show the public the impact of their donations by showing things like the public outreach we accomplish, the new programs we start. The more you support, the more we will be able to show for but we need your support to be able to do the things. We had local interest at a convention about providing a local after-school program because we were better positioned to understand technology and youth in a meaningful way to encourage arts engagement, but we can’t just go out and rent a storefront or building with a stage to start on our arts center dreams, we’re simply not there yet with the public support yet. There are grants but they are difficult to obtain and many require matching with tens of thousands of dollars from public support to quality.
Why does A Stage Reborn need to be a charity and need funding? Our Patreon is a good start for making it easy to support us but it will take great increase in public support to achieve the milestones we want to see. As it stands, we already have perpetual overhead costs for being a 501(c)(3) charity but this allows us to do so much, from volunteer programs to getting donations and deals from companies that makes it easier for us as an organization to give back to the public through our activities versus doing it without being a charity. We’re organized because it shows the public that we’re serious about our mission, so serious we’re willing to learn and play by all the rules to be taken seriously by leading industries, the government, schools and so on. We need funding not only to cover the costs of being a charity, but also so we can do things like create and partake in making truly accessible arts and raising public awareness of this — not just online, but offline too. We’re here to make real impact, but your support is needed to make it happen.
What can you do to make a difference? Our goals and aspirations are public, so we’re calling on you to help support our mission more than ever in this coming year. Please, help us make arts more accessible. If you can’t donate, share our organization on social media and offline to help us reach out to those who can support us or at least do the same. Even the little things like following, liking and sharing our social media posts, or Nitro Boosting and sharing our Discord server do a lot more than you imagine. Participate in our programs or volunteer your time on our team, even if it’s only for one year. If you want to help but don’t know what you can do ask us and we can help you figure out the best way to support us no matter what your position is.
If you’re not willing to do any of these things to support us, please, tell us why and tell us what we can do to change that. Tell us anonymously, tell us on social media, tell us 1:1 and we’ll listen. However you need to communicate it, get it in our ears. Help us improve how we get the word out there about A Stage Reborn and making arts accessible. Help us reach more and do more — we’re counting on you!
Founder & Executive Director
of A Stage Reborn
PS: Looking to get in touch? There’s countless ways. Talk to us on Discord, discord.gg/AStageReborn. Send us a DM or @AStageReborn on Twitter, twitter.com/AStageReborn. You can do the same on Facebook, facebook.com/AStageReborn and even Instagram, instagram.com/AStageReborn. You can always email Staff@AStageReborn.com too or send a letter (though it’ll be lower) to our address listed on our public record or even leave a text or voicemail at (650)665-9860. Need to reach out to us a different way? Tell us what you need and we’ll open that channel. We’re always here and always ready to listen.