If you’ve been at Main Street Arts recently, chances are you’ve heard people saying,
“It feels like it used to feel—that sense of community!” “Thank you for bringing MSA back.” “Thank you for this opportunity for my daughter to be in a play!” “This was so fun!” “Thank you for including me.” We are hearing this regularly from community members, and it makes us glad. Main Street Arts’ number-one value is to be inclusive and accessible. We aim to create a culture of warmth and belonging, connecting with people and community, and acting with transparency, dignity, and respect. How do we practice this value and build community through the arts? We make events, classes, and concerts affordable for audiences and students. We welcome participants of all ages and levels of experience. For example:
Everyone who auditioned for The Books of Alice and Wonderland this summer was given a role and became part of a close-knit acting ensemble. This included 24 actors aged 12 to 74, some of whom had never been on stage before. Tickets were only $10
A group of community members received free Charleston lessons to perform in the Fourth of July parade and helped MSA win first prize. Many of them now take swing dance lessons at MSA and joined a live-music dance party later in the fall.
A group of 12 local visual artists developed a gallery show last spring around the theme Renewal. Over the course of many weeks, a giant phoenix puppet slowly emerged from its egg and nest. This giant phoenix went on to fly, with the help of five people, in the July 4 parade.
Another part of inclusiveness is acting with transparency. We want you, our supporters, to know what it takes for MSA to keep its doors open. Most of the money from tuition and tickets pays for teachers, directors, and production costs. How do we pay for elevator inspections, utilities, insurance, and all it takes to run a community arts center? We rely on you! Thanks to your support and that of other donors, local businesses, and foundations, we are able to keep MSA a vital, thriving community center for arts and education. Our Annual Fund goal this year is $50,000. We’re thrilled to announce that an anonymous donor has pledged $20,000 as a challenge grant and board members have contributed another $5,000 to the challenge, bringing it up to $25,000. We’re calling it the Matchmaker Challenge. For every dollar donated to MSA, the challenge grant will match it 1:1. In other words, every dollar you give will mean $2 for MSA. Your gift matters for MSA and it matters even more with our challenge. Please be a Matchmaker today!