Are YOU in the circle? VYT's ARTISTIC DIRECTOR'S CIRCLE (ADC) is an exclusive group of supporters who have decided to increase their level of support for VYT and receive exclusive and exciting rewards. This helps to ensure and increase the reach of our unique programming.
Through your investment, our young actors who perform fee-free will continue to receive extensive training in the theatrical arts, bolstering their chances for success in life through higher self-confidence, elevated leadership standards and public speaking skills. Additionally, we have the capacity to expand our reach in the community, inspiring underserved children in local public schools through our Literacy and the Arts program and partnering with local social service agencies to bring the magic of live theatre to children through our Adopt-A-Seat campaign.
ADC members receive exclusive and exciting rewards for their support of VYT and the fostering of its mission. As a member, you will be among the first to know new details about VYT happenings, get early access to events and join a social group of people who truly believe in what we do!
We would be honored to have you join the Artistic Director's Circle and help us continue to INSPIRE the youth in our community.
ADC Levels of Giving & Associated Benefits
All of the benefits above, plus:
All of the benefits above, plus:
We are happy to assist you in becoming a member and payment options are available. For additional information and to join the Artistic Director's Circle, please contact our Development Director at 602.253.8188 x304 or at Development@vyt.com.
Your contribution is tax-deductible as allowed by law, less the fair market value of the benefits received. Valley Youth Theatre is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and our Federal Tax ID number is 86-0641978.
*All monies associated with your ADC membership, less the dollar value of any benefits, may be tax-deductible. ADC members also have the option of receiving a 100% tax deduction for their gift by declining any associated benefits with dollar value.
Donations earmarked as End-of-Year Giving are for those donors looking to maximize their charitable donations before the close of the current fiscal year. All End-of-Year donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law, less the fair market value of the benefits received from in-kind contributions. Valley Youth Theatre is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and our Federal Tax ID number is 86-0641978.
Your End-of-Year support will go directly toward our General Operating Expenses and allow us to continue inspiring young people to be the best they can be.
Through this donation, you have the opportunity to play an important role in children's lives and will see them become successful entertainers, leaders, activists, volunteers and parents –proving that your investment in today's youth is an investment in tomorrow's leaders.
VYT is recognized as a respected, award-winning theatre company that teaches children leadership and life skills through our incredible productions and outstanding education programs. We also provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences for thousands of underserved Valley children who might not otherwise have live theatre in their lives – let alone live theatre with kids their age, on stage.
With your support, we can remain fee-free for performers, with no pay-to-play requirement, no costume purchase or rental needs and no expectation for actors to sell tickets. That is what ensures that all young performers, no matter their social, cultural or economic status, have equal opportunity to audition for, be cast in and spotlight their talent in VYT shows.
You'll also help our community outreach programs continue and thrive. This past year, more than 3,300 children from Title 1 schools participated in our Literacy and the Arts Program, more than 1,000 children from Valley social service agencies attended a performance of Freaky Friday through our Sponsor-A-Seat program and more students than ever before received scholarships to our camps and classes through The Nigel Ross Scholarship Fund
Donations earmarked as General Operating Support are for those donors who wish to contribute to VYT's productions and internal programs, throughout the year. All General Operating Expenses donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law, less the fair market value of the benefits received from in-kind contributions. Valley Youth Theatre is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and our Federal Tax ID number is 86-0641978.
Donations contributed to General Operating Support help fund the following internal programs:
VYT's Literacy and the Arts program gives students from Title 1 schools a page-to-stage experience by effectively combining the power of in-school learning with the enchantment of experiencing live theatre. Books related to the production and accompanying study guides prepare children for a production that helps them learn. Last season, 3,3,308 Title 1 school students benefitted from this program.
Improving literacy among at-risk youth is one of the most direct and viable routes out of poverty and critical to the future of our community. We created the Literacy in the Arts (LTA) program in 1993 to give K-8 students from two inner city school districts - Roosevelt and Phoenix Elementary - the opportunity to develop an enthusiasm for reading and enhance their reading comprehension and literacy through live theatre. Every year since, 3,000 to 5,000 students have had the wonderful opportunity to enjoy the benefits of this program.
Outcomes of the program are to motivate students to read more and, subsequently, to improve their reading comprehension and literacy skills.
The LTA program runs concurrent with the districts' school year at no cost to them. Activities include:
The Roosevelt District is comprised of 12,500+ mostly economically disadvantaged students, with 40% living in non-English speaking households. Eighty percent (80%) of Roosevelt students are Hispanic and 15% are African American. Phoenix Elementary has almost 9,000 students and 85% are Hispanic. On average, 83% of the students in the Roosevelt and Phoenix Elementary (Title 1) schools qualify for free or reduced-price lunches; the average for the state is 51%. Poverty, according to the Children's Defense Fund, is one of the largest factors for family stress and relates directly to failure at school. The stresses that children face at home are huge, as a result of economic status and of the consequences that result from that, such as poor nutrition, unstable family lives, less access to mental health care, and frequent absence of stable male role models.
Each school participating in the LTA program adapts it to best serve its students' needs: some use it as a reward for reading progress (Roosevelt School District's "Superintendent's Reading Club)" the benefits of which are participation in the LTA program. Others use it as an incentive to encourage children to read more books during the school year. All participating schools integrate it into their curriculum as an essential arts-based learning experience.
While we, of course, do not take full credit for improved reading and comprehension scores, many of the same students participate in the LTA program as they move through grades, and some of the same schools participate and we therefore can track how these students are improving in reading and literacy. Also, feedback from school officials and teachers demonstrate that we are making a difference in improving the reading and literacy skills of their students.
The program is free to students. Our goal is reach 3,600 at-risk youth at a cost of $25 per student and an annual budget of $90,000. Support for the program is broken down by increments of 200 as our theater holds 202 seats.
|$25,000||1,000 children (and so on)|
"Increased literacy, love of reading, and appreciation for live theatre among disadvantaged children has developed through this innovative program." - Myrium Roa, Superintendent of the Phoenix Elementary School District.
"Our students are provided exceptional learning experiences through our partnership that enhances our ongoing focus to increase student achievement and cultural experiences for all of the children." - Jacqueline Jackson, Ed. D, Superintendent of the Roosevelt District.
"You have made a huge difference in our children's lives by combining reading and the performing arts to inner-city children while expanding their world through educational and creative opportunities they otherwise might not experience." - Frank Diaz, social worker at Lowell Elementary School.
"I read all the time now. Can you guys invite us again please?" - Name of 3rd grade Garfield School student withheld for privacy purposes.
Studies sponsored by the United States Department of Education, National Endowment for the Arts, American for the Arts, and other respected cultural policy and arts advocacy organizations have demonstrated that community collaboration through the arts has had a farther reaching effect on youth at risk than any other youth program in the United States. These studies have consistently emphasized that participation in the arts by young people living in poverty-stricken inner city neighborhoods inspires and equips young people with the tools they need to make positive change happen in their lives, such as increased self-confidence, connection with the community, ability to solve problems in their lives and school, the economic benefit of growing up less dependent on social programs, and a greater ability to cope with the world.
Valley Youth Theatre's partnership with two of the largest inner-city school districts in Phoenix on the Literacy and the Arts program helps at-risk youth see beyond the circumstances of their lives to the world of possibility that awaits them, and promotes their healthy growth and development through a well-rounded curriculum that opens up a new way of learning for them and breathes creative energy into a community.
To commemorate the special talents and unique spirit of Nigel Ross, a victim of domestic violence, on Christmas Eve 2017, Valley Youth Theatre and United Surgical Partners International (USPI) created the Nigel Ross Scholarship Fund. Supported by contributions from USPI and the local community, this fund enables other young performers to attend the summer theatre workshops that Nigel enjoyed so much.
A natural leader with an infectious smile, Nigel loved acting, singing and dancing – talents that were recognized by his securing the lead role in the theatre company's production of "Aladdin." Not only did VYT's annual summer camps offer Nigel a place to hone his craft and feel accepted and inspired, they afforded him a temporary respite from the hardships he endured at home.
Sensing how important this workshop was for Nigel, VYT insisted that his family accept a scholarship for him to attend a second four-week session last July. "I just had a feeling that Nigel needed us as much as we needed him," explained Bobb Cooper, VYT's Producing Artistic Director. "In his brief 11 years, he went through more than most people will in a lifetime. But for a few weeks last summer, Nigel was able to take a break from those daily challenges and just enjoy being a kid."
The initial funding was granted by USPI-run St. Joseph's Surgical Outpatient Center where Nigel's mother worked as an administrator.
"Our team at St. Joseph's Surgical Outpatient Center was happy to have initiated the fund and to have contributed to it in memory of Nigel," said Francie John, VP of operations at USPI. "We hope the Scholarship Fund will help children to have a great experience at Valley Youth Theatre for years to come."
VYT's Summer Camp is offered twice each year for boys and girls ages 5 through 18. Donations will be gratefully accepted as one-time contributions or on an ongoing monthly basis.
VYT's Sponsor-a-Seat program allows disadvantaged children from dozens of social service organizations to attend a free VYT performance at the Herberger Theater Center and enjoy a complimentary lunch with the cast and crew. Last season, 1,001 children enjoyed a complimentary Sponsor-a-Seat performance of Freaky Friday.
Now in its 23rd year, Sponsor-a-Seat provides underserved boys and girls with a truly unique opportunity to experience the performing arts. For two magical afternoons, each season, 1,500 children from more than 30 local social service agencies fill the Center Stage seats at the Herberger Theater Center. They then enjoy a healthful lunch, donated by Subway, that they get to enjoy while meeting and socializing with the show's cast and crew.
"Last year, our sponsors gave more than 1,000 youth who live with physical disabilities, come from broken homes, and/or regularly deal with domestic violence and poverty the opportunity to experience the wonder of live theatre through Freaky Friday," said Bobb Cooper, VYT's Producing Artistic Director. "This year, we've serving even more children and we look forward to seeing the hope and inspiration this program provides as they witness and interact with our young actors and musicians."
The social service agencies attending last year's Sponsor-a-Seat productions included Arizona Children's Association, Chicanos por la Casa, Devereaux, Down Syndrome Network, First Place, Homeward Bound, Marc Center, New Pathways for Youth, One Step Beyond, Project Access, Salvation Army Chandler, Salvation Army Phoenix, Save The Family, Southwest Human Development, Sunshine Acres and UMOM.
Throughout the year, local companies and individuals are encouraged to donate to Sponsor-a-Seat or to provide volunteers for performance days. Last year, employee volunteers from APS and Edward Jones volunteered their time to help VYT make Sponsor-A-Seat an extra-special day for all attendees.
Every $50 donation provides a child's ticket and lunch. Since 1996, more than 20,000 Valley youth have participated in the program.
VYTal (Valley Youth Theatre Applauds Leadership) is our annual gala, placing the spotlight not only on our talented young performers, but members of the community who have made a difference in the lives of children. By checking the VYTal Affair box on our Donation Page, you can purchase tickets or make a financial contribution toward the gala.
Last season's event represented VYT's 20th VYTal Affair and its largest fundraiser of the year, with 92% of all money raised going directly to VYT programs. Each year, VYTal Affair offers the opportunity for local arts patrons to network and support our nonprofit theatre that has gained national recognition for the high quality and professionalism of arts in The Valley. Premium tickets typically cost $300 and balcony seats are usually $175.
According to 2019 Event Chair, Andrea Tyler Evans, "It is an honor for me to help Valley Youth Theatre grow, thrive and serve an even broader cross-section of the community. VYT serves a critical role in the arts in the Valley and is a tremendous resource for our young people in helping them achieve dreams they never thought possible."
Top sponsors of the 2019 event were APS and Sanderson Lincoln. BOK Financial, Carstens Family Funds, Edward Jones, Gammage & Burnham, KPMG, PONO Construction, Andrea & Tom Evans and Sherman & Howard were also large contributors. Bar sponsors were Tito's Handmade Vodka and Crescent Crown Distributing with complimentary valet service provided by Pescatore Cooper, PLC.
VYT's Producing Artistic Director, Bobb Cooper, states, "Though we are a small company featuring very young performers, I believe our theatre is mighty in the way we have garnered support from some of the most well-respected people and businesses in the community."
Hosts for the 2019 event were local personalities, Gina Salazar-Hook and John Hook, and the evening's live auction "Auctiontainer" was the renowned Letitia Frye. Complimentary catering was provided by 1130 The Restaurant, Aioli Burgers, Alexi's, Canyon Café, Cibo, Conceptually Social Catering, The Dirty Drummer, The Farish House, Hava Java, New York Pizza Dept., Pomo, Portillo's and Short Leash Hot Dogs/Rollover Doughnuts. Deserts were provided by Nothing Bundt Cakes, AJ's and Pie Snob.
Thanks to the new stimulus bill, you can take a one-time above-the-line deduction for cash contributions of up to $300 to qualifying charities. That means, you can claim your VYT investment on your tax forms next year, even if you don’t itemize!