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|Actor's Express reaches $50,000 goal — still needs another $150,000 to remain open|
|Written by Dyana Bagby|
|Tuesday, 05 April 2011 11:40|
Supporters of Actor's Express pitched in and raised $50,000 by the target date of the end of March, meaning the gay-inclusive theater can stay open. However, to be able to remain open permanently the theater still needs to raise another $150,000 by the end of July.
Artistic Director Freddie Ashley, who is openly gay, put out a "life or death" plea for funding at the end February seeking $50,000 in four weeks.
In an email to supporters sent out April 4, Bruce Cohen, board chair for Actor's Express, thanked everyone who made donations to the theater.
New plans to help with the second round of fundraising is a "Why I Love Actor's Express" video campaign, Cohen added, as well as seeking partnerships with foundations as well as donations from individuals.
"Many people have advised us that raising that first $50,000 was the easy part and that the next $150,000 will be much tougher — so rest assured that none of us is sitting back," Cohen wrote.
"The staff and board are working together to craft a thoughtful, planned approach for raising these additional funds. Among other things, we will be meeting with various individuals and foundations, plus several benefits are in the works. We are working to forge connections with various businesses in West Midtown and around Atlanta to help broaden our visibility and to bring in additional funds. We are also doing a 'Why I Love Actor's Express' video campaign-in which we hope you will participate!" Cohen added.
More than 400 supporters contributed to ensure the first $50,000 was raised, some donating $5 while others donated $5,000, he said.
"So, indeed, there is much good news and much cause for optimism and celebration," Cohen wrote. "But there is still much to do! We must raise an additional $150,000 over the next four months, by the end of our fiscal year on July 31. Our staff is working tirelessly and selflessly, led by our fearless managing director, Lara Smith. Our board is actively engaged in a strategic planning process that will address the issues contributing to our current predicament and will set our course for the next five years.
"Finally, work is well under way for a phenomenal 24th season — a season that will give you even more of the kinds of productions that first drew you to Actor's Express and that keep you coming back for more," Cohen said.
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