February Charity of the Month

The WTOP Charity of the Month for February is Arena Stage!


Under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith, Arena Stage has become the largest theater in the country dedicated to American voices. Founded in 1950 by Zelda Fichandler, Thomas Fichandler and Edward Mangum, Arena Stage was one of the nation’s original resident theaters and has a distinguished record of leadership and innovation in the field. With the opening of the new Mead Center for American Theater, Arena Stage has become a national center for the production, presentation, development and study of the American theater. Now in its sixth decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of nearly 300,000 through artistic programming and educational initiatives.

In addition to the work on stage, we reach thousands of area young people with impactful arts education programming like:

  • Moving Stories, an interactive experience tailored for preschool and kindergarten students that promotes literacy skills by exploring children’s book through creative drama
  • Voices of Now, a theater ensemble where young artists write and perform an original piece
  • Student Playwrights Project, an initiative that consists of in-school residencies and one-time playwriting workshops which prepare students for our annual student ten-minute play competition (winning plays receive professional productions on our stage),
  • DC Ticket Partnership, a complete performance experience for DC public and charter school students, including subsidized tickets (as low as $4), in-class workshops and study guide materials, and
  • Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship & Internship Program, a program designed to cultivate the next generation of theater professionals by proving the highest standard of training through immersion in the art and business of producing theater.
  • Arena relies heavily on philanthropic support from our community to ensure the strength and vitality of our stage productions as well as our additional artistic and educational programming. Our tickets sales cover approximately 70% of what it costs to operate the theater – tax-deductible contributions from individuals help fill the gap.

    There are many ways to support Arena Stage. Listed below are two ways you can show your support today!

    By making a gift of $100 or more, individuals become CAST members. CAST membership entitles you to a number of great benefits designed to enhance the theater-going experience and engage with the art and artists on a deeper level. Benefits include:

  • Exclusive “behind-the-scenes” tours
  • Discounts on tickets, parking and merchandise
  • Invitations to working rehearsals
  • Recognition in program playbills
  • Invitations to attend Opening Night celebrations complete with complimentary valet parking and post-show receptions with cast members
  • And so much more click here for more details)
  • For further information about making a gift or the benefits of membership, call 202-600-4177 or visit www.arenastage.org/support

    Golden Gala
    A Glittering Night of American Musical Theater at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater
    Monday, March 26,2012

    This black-tie signature event, chaired by WUSA9 news anchor JC Hayward, will benefit Arena’s robust Community Engagement programs and feature a special performance by two-time Tony Award nominee Kate Baldwin and legendary composer Sheldon Harnick. During this gala evening, senators Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) will receive the American Voice Awards, which honor those elected officials recognized as advocates for the arts and all that is passionate and profound in the American spirit.

    The proceeds from the Golden Gala will directly support Arena Stage’s arts education programs mentioned above. Arena is committed to sharing the riches of theater with the surrounding community and inviting younger, more diverse audiences to the theater. Arena’s arts education programs provide underserved, inner-city students with valuable exposure to the arts, improve problem solving and critical thinking abilities, and encourage teamwork.

    For further information on the Golden Gala, please e-mail goldengala@arenastage.org or click here


    The WTOP Charity of the Month is sponsored by Papa Johns. For more information visit www.papajohns.com