Many of you became familiar with A Stage Reborn through our virtual theatre projects in Final Fantasy XIV. As an arts charity with a mission to make arts more accessible, facilitating and supporting virtual theatre has been an important part of our mission; however, it’s important that the public understands we need to do more outside of what we’re known for currently.
A Stage Reborn is an arts charity and our mission is to make arts accessible; however, many lose sight of that, confusing us as a “theatre troupe” or “content creator” project for Final Fantasy XIV instead of the arts charity we are. Many don’t understand or recognize us as the charity we strive to be, and this hurts our program development and our team. Our current state has led to only receiving the most of our support when we play Final Fantasy XIV and this isn’t sustainable as an arts charity.
We have to change this.
This year we began exploring new activities on a variety of platforms, with a more general audience reach so we can be more true to our mission. As a result, we are no longer prioritizing projects on Final Fantasy XIV.
This doesn’t mean that we are abandoning FFXIV productions completely. We still plan to host the occasional educational play production in the game, but these will likely only occur once every one or two years so long as our core charitable activities and housekeeping are doing well.
We want our supporters to lend their support to us as a charity while we work to develop accessible programs overall, and not only because they enjoy the content they experienced on Final Fantasy XIV. Broad programs like Reads:Anon and our educational workshops should be at the forefront of our mission because those programs contribute to sustaining our organization and its mission beyond a single community. We want our Discord community to be a hub for sharing more creativity than just the creativity from one video game. We’re hard at work trying to grow our charity to be more aligned with our mission.
Here are some things we’d like to focus on.
- Making creativity more accessible. Open or partner with other charities on creating affordable arts centers to give people of all ages access to virtual creativity locally. We envision providing a place of business for new content creators to get established, or providing a place to host local arts programs that are often cut from school extracurriculars.
- Making arts education more accessible. Expand our free educational programs to include live, VR and on-demand visual, literary and performing arts workshops that teach you how to be creative with any kind of limitation so anyone can learn art, creative writing and performance regardless of physical ability.
- Making creative growth more accessible. Continue teaching and reading, performing or displaying new creativity of participants in programs hosted by A Stage Reborn to help encourage and reward creative development such as galleries, contests and other feature opportunities.
- Making licensed works more accessible. Advocate to play publishers to establish allowances of virtual performance rights where currently most publishers only grant blanket rights for a physical stage performance before a live audience and refuse to negotiate.
- Making arts employment more accessible. Expand our funding and staff program to provide accessible and accommodating remote employment. As we are a Seattle, WA based arts charity, our goal is to be able to employ all paid staff at the local rate — $15 per hour. Steve (our executive director) has taken a pledge refusing any compensation until the rest of the staff are given paid positions.
These are some large but important goals which we can attain, but we can’t achieve these if our sole focus is Final Fantasy XIV projects. Our Final Fantasy XIV projects demand a great amount of time and resources because we put professional effort in organizing the programs to be not only high-quality, but educational as well. We’d like to continue creating theatre on Final Fantasy XIV, but we can’t until we’ve made great strides in at least some of the bulleted points above.
We understand many of those who have supported us over the years did so out of an interest in Final Fantasy XIV projects, but we truly believe in our mission and the reality is that in order to pursue it we have to expand beyond where we began. We understand if this isn’t what many of you wanted for right now, but this is what we believe is the right course for A Stage Reborn, and we’d be happy to have you stay to see what exciting new projects we’re working on. Once we’ve successfully taken some important steps for our organization, including such problems as addressing our staffing difficulties and diversifying our range of arts programs, we’ll be happy to look into revisiting Final Fantasy XIV virtual theatre programs! But we have plenty of other ideas in the works that we feel are just as exciting, and we encourage you to stick around if you’ve stayed with us this far, or join in with us if you’re just now hearing about us for the first time!