Who will we be fifteen years from today? Start the journey with us!
2021 has been a banner year for Music Theatre of Madison. In addition to celebrating our fifteenth anniversary, we created a concept album, presented a fully-staged new musical, started a new piece in the Wisconsin New Musicals Cycle, and are finishing up work on a musical children's book. We took the many lessons we learned from the pandemic and the calls to action we heard near and far, and put them to work with accessible, multi-faceted art, continuing to ask the world "What's next for musical theatre?" We also employed over 50 Wisconsin artists, scholars, and educators, 90% of whom live right here in Madison.
Our Artist Fund, started in 2017 and funded by community members like you, has allowed us to do this. We think of our community in everything we do, and we know that each member of our artistic process is essential. That includes the people who perform, write, support, and watch what we create.
Now, as we look forward, we are looking for people to continue being part of MTM: An organization that, against all odds, has thrived in a world of constant change. We are looking at 2022 and what that season will bring, but we're also back at a starting point. Who do we want to be fifteen years from today? We've come up with a few ideas.
By donating to the Artist and Dream Fund, you can help with our 2022 goals, including:
- Completing our Children's Book Project and touring to libraries and schools across the area to share the work with children and encourage them to create their own stories and songs.
- Distributing free copies our children's book to throughout Wisconsin.
- Continuing our focus on new work, with the workshop production of Micro and full production of Ten Days In A Madhouse.
- Compensating over 60 Wisconsin artists, creating environments that are fulfilling and joyous for them to work in.
- Focusing on who we are after tremendous changes, and actively appreciating the contributions and artistry of the community we know and the communities we’ve yet to meet.
You also jumpstart our longer-term dreams and goals, which include:
- Combatting financial or resource-based barriers for artists and audience members that may not be able to engage with MTM’s work for various reasons. (Ongoing)
- Hiring a part-time Outreach Director to coordinate our efforts to reach our community, particularly those who are traditionally underserved (By mid-2022).
- Implementing a 5-day rehearsal week, allowing for artists to have the necessary time to rest and recharge. This will mean additional weeks of employment, and therefore will require more funds (By 2023 season).
- Providing living wages to all artists who engage with our company and offer their time, talent, and hearts. (By end of 2023. *Note: We do provide living wages to some artists now, and we pay comparably with many professional theatres, and better than most of our size.)
And our biggest dream yet:
Our new apprenticeship program, which will focus on providing paid opportunities for traditionally marginalized individuals to receive training as assistants on our productions. These artists will eventually "graduate" to handling an entire production themselves.
We've met so many phenomenal artists over these past 15 years, and some have even grown up with us onstage and off. We know that the next fifteen years mean finding emerging talents to assist as directors, choreographers, stage managers, administrators, designers, or wherever their passions lie.
This large endeavor will take time to build, as we will need to hire an experienced group of people to lead it, establish the format and guidelines, create community relationships in order to find participants, and secure funding to ensure that assistants and their mentees are adequately compensated. We envision this as an ongoing initiative, and a way to experience the talents of a more diverse constituency in our community, bringing more voices to the table. We also want to avoid financially exploitive “internship”-style programs for these emerging artists, so compensation is vitally important to implementation.
It's a big dream. But MTM began with a big dream and a few bucks. We have so much more now. Ultimately, we wish to be the most equitable, sustainable, artistically innovative organization possible. Each person who works for us, sees our shows, and supports our cause is part of that. We hope you will be a part of it too.
And remember: Every. Dollar. Counts. Always has and always will. Your means to contribute come from your heart, and we treasure that.
Thank you for reading. We wish you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season and can't wait for 2022!
Meghan Randolph, Executive Director
Adam Qutaishat, Associate Artistic Director
Kristen Emery, Company Manager
MTM Board of Directors
MTM Artistic Associates