I haven't been an employee of Theatre Alberta for long, but I've been passionate about theatre for as long as I can remember. How could I not be?
As a writer, I perhaps have a more vested interest in the arts - whether that be musical, theatrical, graphic, literary or otherwise. We live in a society where often the "artist" is underappreciated, misunderstood, and certainly underpaid.
But Alberta is fortunate to have champions of the arts - from government bodies that support like-minded organizations through financial support to specialized societies that provide artists with the tools to help them learn and grow - and ultimately survive.
It's a tough economic climate out there, folks, and those of us who struggle to make a living as artists know that we do what we do not because of the money, but because we must.
Theatre Alberta is a provincial arts service organization dedicated to the growth and development of the Alberta theatre community and all its constituencies. It is committed to achieving its mandate by providing the highest quality services – support, programming, information, and advocacy – to the Alberta theatre community.
And it needs your help.
This month marks the start of Theatre Alberta's 100x100 Campaign, a targeted effort to raise $10,000 by asking 100 people who are passionate about theatre to donate $100. By pooling resources with other like-minded supporters, your individual donation can turn into a whole lot of love in support of theatre education in Alberta.
Believe me, I understand the financial difficulty the holidays can bring, but I'm also fortunate to see everyday how theatre has changed lives.
Not convinced? Consider this:
From birth, children instinctively use pretend play as a means of making sense of the world. They observe and respond to their environment, imitate words and actions, create situations to play and assume roles, and direct one another. Children arrive at school with rudimentary skills as playwrights, actors, designers, directors and audience members.
Although frequently thought of as only entertainment, the imagined and enacted world of theatre is also one of the primary we learn about life: about actions and consequences, about customs and beliefs, and about others and ourselves.
More importantly, it is a forum that showcases and nurtures notions of acceptance, vulnerability, leadership, public speaking and creativity.
I'm a huge advocate of creativity - because like many of you, writing - and reading - saved me.
If you do donate over the holidays, I hope you'll consider a contribution to Theatre Alberta. Check out the many ways you can help here.
The Book In My Bag Today: Heartsick, Chelsea Cain