First community performance reached over 3,400 families and children from 63 nonprofit organizations and DISD schools
(Photo: Special literary performances by Friends of the Dallas Public Library and the Dallas Public Library by Chris Waits.)
(March 23, 2016 – Dallas, TX) Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. (DSM) new investment in creating public access to the performing arts, the DSM Community Performance, sold out the Music Hall at Fair Park to capacity recently. Engaging families and children from 56 nonprofit organizations and 7 DISD Elementary Schools from the Madison and Lincoln feeder patterns, this special show provided over 3,400 seats to community organizations free of charge. This very special event was made possible with financial support from sponsors and the enthusiasm and interest of schools, neighborhoods, and other nonprofits as partners, volunteers, and advocates came on board to make this truly an event dedicated to community outreach.
“This event demonstrated Dallas Summer Musicals’ ongoing commitment to the Dallas community and our leadership role as a cornerstone nonprofit performing arts organization for the City of Dallas and its citizens in Fair Park,” said Michael A. Jenkins, President and Managing Director, DSM. “We are thrilled at the response from community partners and grateful for the support from sponsors earmarked for this special event, including the Moody Foundation, the Hillcrest Foundation and Frost Bank, along with DSM season sponsors Texas Instruments, WFAA, American Airlines and The Dallas Morning News. Their involvement as corporate and community advocates was crucial in making this Community Performance a reality.”
The DSM Community Performance took place during DSM’s 76th season presentation of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, a proven family favorite, creating memorable experiences for children and parents to see a major touring Broadway production – many for the first time. Based on the animated film, this special show features a revamped script, new songs, and an entirely fresh interpretation of the film. Tickets for all other performances are on sale and open to the public during the show’s run through Sunday, March 27th. Details are below.
Upon entering the Music Hall at Fair Park, families and children were invited to join in many activities sponsored by these In-Kind partners: 6,000 donated Mother Rucker’s Sweets cookies; 2,000 + creative art-making activities and 200 family photos taken in photo booths powered by Big Thought, Creativity sponsor; 2,800 free Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches, Food sponsor; 1,500 foam tridents and tiaras for kids to decorate and keep; 700 free “fish-wrapped” t-shirts for children; countless selfie photo ops with 3 Mer Friends (live costumed mermaids in the fountain downstairs); 2 special literary performances by Friends of the Dallas Public Library and the Dallas Public Library; a dynamic fashion presentation of 8 pieces inspired by THE LITTLE MERMAID created by Special Topics in Fashion Design and Illustration students from El Centro College; and much more. DART was also a very important Transportation sponsor, donating 750 rail passes. See details in “By the Numbers” listed below.
“Each year, DSM seeks opportunities to enhance its organizational mission of presenting extraordinary Broadway shows by giving back to organizations, families, and students in the Dallas and greater North Texas community through community ticket donations, initiatives like Seats for Kids and the newly-developed Seats for Vets, and through scholarship funds for both the DSM Academy of the Performing Arts and the High School Musical Theatre Awards,” Jenkins continued. “The DSM Community Performance represents our latest community investment concept, designed to demonstrate that what’s good for the Dallas community is good for Dallas Summer Musicals.”
DSM was pleased to welcome students and families from seven Dallas ISD elementary schools from the Madison and Lincoln feeder patterns. “Participating in and attending quality arts events enrich the lives of our students in many ways,” said Dr. Danna Rothlisberger, Executive Director-Visual and Performing Arts. “Studies show that students who engage in arts activities develop skills that help promote academic and life success. For certain, our young people who attend live performances gain a rich experience that provides much for classroom and family conversations long after the event. Therefore, we are so grateful that the Dallas ISD elementary students in the Fair Park neighborhood had this opportunity to benefit from the district’s new partnership with the Dallas Summer Musicals.”
Ted Munselle, Chairman of the Board at DSM, agreed by saying, “This was a win-win-win for DSM, for Dallas, and for Fair Park and an intentional effort to expand on our community outreach. During the last presentation of Disney’s THE LION KING, for example, DSM organized a ‘Buy a Seat, Give a Seat’ promotion for one of the performances, which enabled DSM subscribers, patrons and community partner organizations to purchase over 1,700 seats for underserved and low-income families to attend the performance. This community investment was a great success and that success is one inspiration for the DSM Community Performance.”
Sponsors of the DSM Community Performance included: The Moody Foundation ($100,000), The Hillcrest Foundation ($50,000) and Frost Bank ($5,000), with additional annual education and community outreach program support from The Hirsch Family Foundation ($25,000), The Hoglund Foundation ($25,000), and the Scovell Fund of The Dallas Foundation ($25,000). DSM is also grateful to season sponsors Texas Instruments, American Airlines, WFAA Chanel 8, and The Dallas Morning News for ongoing support in its 76th year.
Dallas Summer Musicals’ highly anticipated 2015-2016 Season presented by Texas Instruments continues with DSM’s production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, March 11-27, 2016; WICKED, April 20 – May 22, 2016; RAGTIME, May 24 – June 5, 2016; BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, June 14-26, 2016; and closing the season will be 42ND STREET, June 28 – July 10, 2016.
The public can make charitable gifts to support a future DSM Community Performance by visiting https://dallassummermusicals.giv.sh/9c74 or contacting James Jenner, Director of Development, at (214) 413-3961 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DSM Community Performance By the Numbers:
6,000 donated Mother Rucker’s Sweets cookies;
3,400 sponsored seats in the Music Hall at Fair Park Theater;
2,800 free Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches;
2,000+ creative art-making activities powered by Big Thought;
1,500 foam tridents and tiaras for kids;
1,359 Social media posts;
750 underwritten DART rail passes for transportation;
700 free “fish-wrapped” t-shirts for children;
200 family photos taken by Big Thought volunteers;
56 North Texas nonprofit organizational partners;
50+ community volunteers;
8 Students from the Fashion Design and Special Topics class at El Centro College created fashion pieces inspired by Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID for display during the run of the show;
7 Dallas ISD school partners;
6 major sponsors (The Moody Foundation, The Hillcrest Foundation, The Hirsch Family Foundation, The Hoglund Foundation, the Scovell Fund of The Dallas Foundation, and Frost Bank);
3 live mermaids (aka Mer Friends) in the Music Hall fountain;
2 special literary performances by the Dallas Public Library;
1 extraordinary and 100% complimentary Dallas Summer Musicals’ Community Performance of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID for the Dallas community;
Countless: Smiles and laughter from delighted children and their families, volunteers and DSM staff; selfies and photos taken throughout this very special event;
Quotes from Make A Wish, a community partner:
“Our families were so appreciative for the opportunity to have a night at the theater, something many of them have never experienced before.” Attached are photos of four of the kids we sent – Emma, Gwen, Ariel and Violet. As you can see, they were all smiles!
– Ashley Amerman
Director of Mission Integration
Make-A-Wish® North Texas
A couple quotes from the families…
“Violet invited her best friend and the girls had a blast. They said it was ‘the laughiest night of their lives.’ Thank you for the opportunity to attend and on such a special night. We are grateful!” – Rebecca, Violet’s mother.
“Thank you for the wonderful experience! Emma loved the show! We still can’t believe they had real, live mermaids. Please pass on our gratitude. With a thankful heart.” – Jill, Emma, mother.
Thank you again!
About Dallas Summer Musicals:
Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. (DSM) is the preeminent nonprofit presenter of Broadway theatre in North Texas. DSM produces, presents and promotes excellence in live musical theatre with year-round performances for diverse audiences of all ages, impacting the lives of children and families through education and community outreach programs, while enriching the cultural landscape of Dallas/Fort Worth, North Texas and the Southwest Region.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, DSM relies on a variety of funding sources to bring the Best of Broadway to Dallas at affordable ticket prices, as well as to preserve the beautiful historic theatre, educate young audiences and create important community programs. DSM’s Seats for Kids program provides a meaningful arts education experience to thousands of low income, at-risk and special needs children. DSM Kids Club is a program created to foster tomorrow’s musical theatre audience. Through exciting activities children gain an interest, hands-on-knowledge and appreciation of the performing arts. In addition, Dallas Summer Musicals Academy of Performing Arts offers professional theatre arts training and scholarships to talented students in need. DSM’s High School Musical Theatre Awards are patterned after Broadway’s Tony® Awards and celebrate the power of the arts to significantly improve all areas of education. DSM Associate Producers is a dynamic group of young professionals with a mission to support DSM by cultivating future patrons and leaders making DSM part of the culture for young professionals in Dallas. DSM Guild is a group of individuals who share a love of musical theatre and support DSM by providing stellar service and hospitality to the cast and crew of every show. Since 2010 the experts at DSM have made significant changes and upgrades to its acoustical systems to improve the sound quality of the productions for all its patrons, including the hearing impaired, leading to the development of Hear Us Now!®, a device which utilizes five assistive listening technologies (T-coils, FM Classroom, Streamers, FM systems, and traditional headsets) to deliver a clear and direct audio signal. It is so unique that a trademark has been allowed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Seats for Vets, DSM’s newest initiative, serves war veterans and their families by providing them discounted access to a unique theatrical experience as a way of thanking them for their service. Ticket sales alone do not sustain these endeavors. Only support from committed businesses, foundations and individuals make these programs possible.
Dallas Summer Musicals is presented by Texas Instruments and gratefully acknowledges the support of our season sponsors and partners The Dallas Morning News, WFAA TV Channel 8, American Airlines, and The Original Cupcakery.
For more information about Dallas Summer Musicals, please call 214.421.5678 or visit our website at DallasSummerMusicals.org.
Photos: Chris Waits.
Sharon Adams, ACPR, is honored to represent Dallas Summer Musicals Special Events, Community Outreach, Education and Special Announcements.