Letter to the Editor: $1 MILLION ENDOWMENT WILL HELP THEATER ARTS

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Editor, defender of time

The purpose of this letter is twofold: first, to share my experience with the California Center for the Arts Foundation, which operates the California Center for the Arts, and second, to share an exciting new initiative.

My first connection with the Arts Center was in 2001 when a client wanted to make an endowment contribution to the Foundation because she understood that any contribution to the Foundation’s endowment would reduce a loan to the Foundation on the books of the town. The idea behind the endowment was to help ensure that the Foundation would continue to bring art in many forms to the community.

In 2010, I was asked to attend a meeting with the City and the Foundation because the Foundation was in serious financial difficulty. The purpose was to see if the funds that were donated to Endowment (which is a separate entity, a Charitable Trust) to secure the future of the Foundation.

Shortly thereafter, I became a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and served on the Board until 2017. I am very proud of the Foundation’s accomplishments both during my time on the Board and since. The Foundation is the organization under an agreement with the City of Escondido whose work was to use city buildings to bring art in all its forms to the community. He did it.

The Foundation has undertaken an education program with Escondido Schools. He ran a string program offering free violin lessons to third graders and what a joy it was to attend the final recital at the Center Theatre. The Department of Education sponsored a smart festival every school year, gave educators the opportunity to get instruction and art supplies, held masterclasses with well-known artists of all kinds, brought kids for special performances at school and participated in internship programs and provided a student art wall for budding artists to display their works at each museum presentation.

With the help of the Charitable Trust (Endowment), he was able to bring back a profitable performing arts season featuring all genres of artists, from classical, country, pop, comedy and musicians international. The Foundation has organized many free community events, Dias de los Muertos, Jazz Jam, military bands, Musica in the Plaza, Holiday Light Festival and of course the 4th of July celebration with the city.

The Foundation has opened the museum to three or more exhibits a year, ranging from outdoor artists to hubcaps.

The latest effort of the Foundation is to create a theatrical department to produce high quality musical productions. This department has done it, starting with drive-ins during COVID, and cabarets which are always sold out. Their most recent productions have received excellent reviews. But the best is yet to come. The Foundation is continually looking for ways to fully serve the community with exposure to the arts and the positive benefits that result. The union platform published an article this week on how to use music and the arts to uplift homeless youth.

I’m also a board member of the David T. and Dorris E. Staples Foundation, founded by a woman from Fallbrook, and we recently decided to donate a million dollar endowment through the trust to the Foundation to be used for two purposes – to establish a theatrical conservatory by creating significant opportunities to educate, engage and uplift future arts professionals from all facets of theater productions – regardless of their socio-economic status – through courses, internships and participation in an original production; and to subscribe to this original production to give these conservatory professionals the opportunity to see a production from the initial idea to the performance.

The David T. and Dorris E. Staples Foundation is a longtime supporter. Why? Because we have seen the determination, persistence and growth of the Foundation and its true dedication to bringing all forms of art to the community. We love that and we appreciate the City’s dedication to equally bringing all forms of art to the community by providing City facilities and encouraging and partnering with the Foundation. Could either partner alone provide art to the community? Maybe but why when together we have a winning combination.

BARBARA FISCHER, Escondido

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