Opportunities for the Philanthropic Theatre-Goer

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.

7 Kids Who Started Nonprofits

1. One day, 5-year-old Hannah Taylor saw a homeless man eating out of a garbage can in her hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. She didn’t know why and wanted to help the man and those like him. She started The Ladybug Foundation to help find shelter, safety and food for the homeless. Hannah, now 18, has raised more than $3 million for Canada’s homeless and has even started another charity, The Ladybug Foundation Education Program, which encourages school children to make a difference.

2. Alex Scott received a neuroblastoma diagnosis at age 4. To fight back, she created Alex’s Lemonade Stand to raise money for children’s cancers. Once a year, she set up a stand in her front yard. Word spread and others started making their own Alex’s Lemonade stands. Shortly before young Alex died at the age of 8, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation raised $1 million. The foundation is still going  strong today.

3. Craig Kielburger was 12 when he saw the story of boy his age who had been murdered for speaking up about human rights and slavery in Pakistan. From that moment, he knew he needed to help. Craig, along with his older brother and several classmates, decided to speak out against child slavery. They established Free the Children to bring an end to child slavery. After realizing freeing children from slavery was not the only problem, Craig began Adopt a Village, a program that gives the village the tools needed to empower themselves out of poverty.

 

4. Leanne Joyce has a congenital heart problem.  Back in 2010 while waiting for her test results, she was given a gift by two of the hospital volunteers. The joy of receiving the gift made her forget about being in the hospital. Seeing that others care, Leanne wanted to give back to other children in hospitals to help them be happy too so Leanne established Positive Impact for Kids. Since then she has brought joy to hundreds of children. She has goals to make the stays of children and teens in the hospital better by raising money for iPads to keep them socially and educationally engaged.

5. Austin Gutwein created Hoops of Hope after seeing how children whose parents died of AIDS were suffering. On World AIDS Day in 2004 he shot 2,057 free throws to represent the number of children losing their parents to AIDS. Austin raised almost $3,000 for World Vision to help 8 of those children. To date, Hoops of Hope has raised more than $2.5 million to  help children get food, clothing, schooling and more. Parts of the money also goes to help buy mosquito nets, clean water and more to children in Malawi. This year they are working toward their goal of building 15 new dormitories for children as the current ones are overflowing with children that live too far away from the schools.

6. Jonas Corona created Love in the Mirror at age 6 after volunteering to feed the homeless in the LA area. He noticed that there were many children who were in line for food in clothes that did not fit them. All he wanted was to make these children happy and healthy. He started Love in the Mirror to provided families in need with the necessities of life.

 

7. Who run the world? Girls! Shannon McNamara launched Shannon’s After-School Reading Exchange in 2008, when she was 15 years old. While planning a mission trip to Africa, Shannon learned that many girls were not able to access education. Shannon, along with neighbors, friends and family gathered books and supplies to give to the girls of Africa. Since then SHARE has helped build school libraries and created scholarships in Tanzania. Recently they launched a Keep Girls Safe Initiative.

 

 

About the Authors: Ashley Angeline and Sarah Nylen are interns with the Daily Do Good. Sarah, an American University junior, dreams of lazy beach days in her coastal Massachusetts hometown, while striving to be a marketing major for a socially responsible company in DC. A communications student at the University of Cincinnati, Ashley aspires to be a broadcast journalist. And to marry Prince Harry.

 

Last Week in a Good World...

ACCESS Youth put on a fabulous soiree to benefit at-risk DC youth. It was our pleasure to feature ACCESS Youth earlier this year, and learn about the organization's work to fight the school-to-prison pipeline through mentorship and mediation. 

 DDG founder Saranah Holmes (2nd from right) and friends.

DDG founder Saranah Holmes (2nd from right) and friends.

The University of Maryland Do Good Challenge 2015 came to a close. More than 60 teams competed to create social impact projects and ventures. Meet the winners and runners-up. Congratulations to all the participants! It's great to see smart, innovative young people dedicated to doing good!

Spro Coffee in Hamden, Baltimore, gives away coffee grounds to for customers to use in composting. It's a great way to reduce waste! 

 Editorial director Holly Leber (pictured) and president Saranah Holmes teamed up to extract this clump of weeds. It was our white whale of the day! 

Editorial director Holly Leber (pictured) and president Saranah Holmes teamed up to extract this clump of weeds. It was our white whale of the day! 

We took a team out to Beltsville, Md. to volunteer at Bread for the City's City Orchard. The fruit grown at City Orchard is distributed to food pantries to give underserved DC residents access to fresh, healthy produce. We had a great day weeding and trellising (we're quite the experts now!), and we're excited to go back this summer to pick the literal fruits of our labors!

We supported a friend in Atlanta as she raised money for the Atlanta Community Food Bank

 Attendees left encouraging messages for the City Kids to fan the flames of success. 

Attendees left encouraging messages for the City Kids to fan the flames of success. 

City Kids Wilderness Project hosted a spring benefit to support the outdoor and career exploration programs that are helping the youth of City Kids to thrive. It was a pleasure to meet some of the young people of City Kids recently, and wish them all the best of luck!

 

Done some good lately? Taken notice of someone else who is doing a little something to brighten someone's day? See an article that fits in with the DDG mission? Send us a note and a photo! Email staff@dailydogood.co.