“If Only I’d Known…”

Published by Roberta Emerson

It happens to us all. We walk up to find a beloved restaurant or store is closed forever and we think, “Wow, didn’t see that coming, if only….” Earlier this month we had to cancel an online class that, unfortunately, didn’t reach the minimum required registration. One disappointed patron emailed us saying, “If only I’d known, I could have told some of my friends…” And it occurred to me that perhaps we need to say, and say loudly:

YES, we need your help! YES, right now! The survival of the ARTS relies on you!

At the moment, Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center/Bankhead Theater & Bothwell Arts Center is not in immediate danger of going under. Generous donors stepped up to help, many new members joined our ranks, and we took quick action under careful management to cut costs and preserve our finances. While we remain closed right now, we’re working behind the scenes to set ourselves up for a successful future once we can open again. But we can’t do it alone. We’re going to need a lot of help in a lot of different ways to pull it off.  SO … what can you do?

TURN UP:  Right now we don’t have many things we can offer. Until we’re given the go ahead by the county, we cannot even livestream from our stage. But we’re offering some online events and classes. Some are free, most are low cost. So give what we do have to offer a chance, make the time and try something new. When our new season is announced make plans to attend as soon as you feel comfortable coming.

JOIN UP:  Membership is just $125 and provides access to member presales, discounts, and special events. At higher levels you have access to the Founder’s Room during performances and unique meet and greet opportunities. But more than that, membership signals your commitment to helping us share the joy of the arts with our community over the long term.

BE AN ENTHUSIAST:  Don’t wait until it’s too late. Tell your friends NOW what you love about the arts and how important it is to have live performing arts and visual arts spaces in the community. Encourage or invite them to attend events, share our news or links on your social media, talk up the arts in your family, neighborhood, school, and sports groups. We can’t reach everyone … but you can.

BE AN ADVOCATE:  Speak up. Tell your city, state, and federal representatives how important the arts are to you, to the economy, to our young people’s development, to the richness of the world at large. Send emails, write letters, attend meetings. Sign on to support legislation like Save Our Stages. Don’t just think “other people will do that.” If they do, you’ll amplify their voices. If they don’t, your one voice may make all the difference.

SHARE YOUR GIFTS:  Right now we don’t have the usual volunteer opportunities but there may still be ways you can help. Reach out, let us know if you have special skills or resources to offer. We always welcome cash donations of any size, stock donations or some other real assets. Even if you can’t make a donation, perhaps you can help connect us with others who can or with businesses who can provide services or sponsorships.

We consider it to be a fundamental principle that the arts are for everyone. But the reverse is true as well, everyone is a part of the arts. We don’t ever want someone walking up to the Bankhead saying, “If only I’d known…”   So, in case you haven’t heard: YES, we need you and we need you now!