One Year of power2give, ArtsFund, and You
Posted Oct 9, 2014 in Words
by Jon Axell, Marketing and Communications Director
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend a party hosted by ArtsFund in celebration of one year of projects submitted and funded through the power2give/PugetSound program.
They were very happy to see me. Why? Because Jet City Improv is one of their favorite stories.
In what could have been a shaky year of false starts and underfunded projects through their new power2give platform, Jet City Improv proved to be the poster child for community organizations that people really cared about and wanted to help. We were able to fully fund four projects thanks to the donations of donors (like you?) and corporate matching provided by power2give at record speeds. Here’s a recap of what we were able to accomplish.
October 2013 – “Paint Our Theater”
Jet City Improv found its permanent home in 2003 in a bright yellow 154-seat theater on the north end of the Ave. We’ve been here for over ten wonderful years, but you wouldn’t have known it from the theater facade. Passers-by marveled at the large yellow home of Seattle’s premier improvised theater but didn’t know what was inside – the front of our building was big, bold, and blank. That was about to change.
This was among the first projects ever run on power2give/PugetSound and it was better than any of us could have imagined. We were able to raise $2000 combined funds from donors like you and power2give’s corporate matching within 18 hours of the project’s launch. Our name was up in giant letters on the front of the building before the end of October and has made a huge difference in making our presence known here on the north end of the Ave.
November 2013 – “New Point-of-Sale Systems for a Happier Audience”
The year was 2008. A couple of six-year-old computers were finding new life in the Jet City Improv box office and concessions stand. They were already a few years old, and their newly installed point of sale software was made for restaurants, but they were ready to do their best with the help of our world-class volunteers.
The year is now 2014, and those computers got the retirement they needed. As their age grew, so too did the lines at the box office as credit card swipes take longer and longer to communicate with the servers. We were able to raise $3300 from donors and corporate matching in just 16 days to purchase state-of-the-art Square Stands that arrived in January and continue to bring chilly audiences into the warm theater (or sweaty audiences into the air conditioning) at a record pace. They also back up all of our data to the cloud and are much more user-friendly for new volunteers working the box office. It also doesn’t hurt that they look cool.
January 2014 – “Fund the Next 5 Months of Jet City Improv’s At-Risk Youth Outreach”
Two of our longest-standing outreach partnerships provide improv workshops free of charge to large segments of Seattle’s at-risk youth population: incarcerated youth at the King County Juvenile Detention Facility and homeless youth at the Sanctuary Arts Center.
Donors came through over the course of two months, and with the help of corporate matching we were able to secure $7,500 to fully fund five months of these partnerships taking us through the end of the fiscal year!
April 2014 – “This Old Ceiling Needs Some TLC”
The Jet City Improv Theater is a storied building that has seen everything from lumber storage to punk rock concerts, and is now home to Seattle’s best improv comedy. If these old walls could talk . . . they would probably thank us for helping out their old friend, the ceiling.
The old cracked plaster over our stage has been fully smoothed out and replaced which will prevent anything from going wrong later down the road. Donors and corporate matching brought in $3,210 in funds that were put to work in July during the only six-day period without shows on our calendar. We also used this time to pull out a row of seats in the center section of the auditorium and increase the leg room by 40%. The 4th of July weekend audience were treated to a beautiful ceiling while they stretched their legs and have been stretching and enjoying ever since.
Quite a year, no? And there are there more projects planned for the next three months, too. The good folks at ArtsFund are big fans of our theater and our donors, as we are of them, and the improvements we’ve been able to make to our audience experience over the last year are immeasurable. We don’t plan on slowing down any time soon.
It means so much to us – the staff, the performers, the technicians, the volunteers, and the Board of Directors – that a theater of our size has the kind of support that can turn heads in a theater community of this size and scope. So thank you all for helping make Jet City Improv a better place and company. We’ll keep at it!