Upon first glance, D.C. can be seen as a city full of power-hungry politicians and business people rushing to their next oh-so important meeting. The arts are probably the last thing people think of when discussing D.C.’s normal activities. Although D.C. is a bustling city with a knack for brunch and yoga, the performing arts scene is growing and is quickly becoming a favorite D.C. pastime.
Finding good live art that also has a philanthropic base can be a hefty feat. That being said, we have put together a comprehensive list of nonprofits that all give back to their community in some way.
The Forum Theatre -- Offers accessible, affordable and entertaining plays that inspire conversation surrounding issues that are relevant in local, national, and global aspects. Using a pay-what-you-want ticketing system, The Forum celebrates and welcomes people from all walks of life. They encourage their audience members to pay whatever price they want in return for entertaining and well-done theatre. Keep up-to-date on upcoming shows via Forum-Theatre.org or their Facebook page.
Young Playwrights’ Theatre -- All young artists deserve the chance to showcase their creativity. Young Playwrights’ Theatre empowers children through developing confidence, critical thinking, and language skills in order to create beautiful works of art that they can be proud of. By encouraging their students to take control of their academic and creative success, YPT kids are able to visualize how their work can influence the communities around them. Every student has a voice to showcase his or her story, and YPT creates that space in order for every young artist to develop that story. YPT just concluded their final performance for the season on June 13. Check out their website, Facebook page, and watch clips from past performances on their YouTube channel.
This is My Brave, Inc.- “One day we will live in a world where we won’t have to call it “brave” when talking about mental illness. We’ll just call it talking.” This is My Brave is a community that seeks to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness through original song, poetry, and essay which is then published onto their blog and YouTube page. They believe that mental illnesses have been in the dark too long and that it is time to shed light on these issues.
Only Make Believe- Only Make Believe is an interactive theatre group that seeks to bring joy and inspiration to hospitalized children struggling with chronic illnesses. The troupe of ten actors travels to different hospitals in the D.C. area to create a little magic in those stuffy hospital rooms. OMB is always seeking volunteers to help sew costumes, set up the playrooms, or even just be a helping hand.
THEARC- THEARC is run by Building Bridges Across the River, which is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives of those who live east of the Anacostia River. THEARC provides access to educational, cultural, recreational, health, and social service programs. Everyone deserves a chance to engage and participate in theatre and art, and THEARC hosts various theatrical events in their space, including plays, musical productions, round table discussions, and more. THEARC has many shows playing in July. To find out more, check out their website.
About the Author: Madison Kendrick is a summer intern at the Daily Do Good. She studies marketing and political science at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Madison is a longtime dancer and arts enthusiast.