Why the Bankhead is Unique

By January 4, 2018LVPAC News

We know. Sometimes people have questions about the business of running a theater. Why do some tickets cost more than others? Why don’t you book my favorite big name artists? Why is fundraising so important? The answers are both simple and complex.

Classified as an independent non-profit, the Bankhead Theater is, and always has been, a community-funded venue. Unlike some venues, such as the Gallo in Modesto, it was not financed by a single founder’s wealth, or launched by a significant land grant such as Montalvo in the Saratoga foothills. It is not city-owned like the Firehouse in Pleasanton and the Lesher in Walnut Creek, nor city-funded like the Sunset in Carmel.

In fact, the Bankhead was built brick by brick by dedicated members of the community and continues to be funded by donors and ticket buyers like you. This is why our vision is to be the heart of a vibrant and diverse arts community and why we work so hard to deliver on that promise.

For nearly every show we present at the Bankhead, the money from your ticket barely covers the cost of putting the artists on stage. It does not cover the backstage crew, the costs of keeping the building open and temperature-controlled, the cost of promoting the show, or printing the program. For those things and many more, donations are essential to our efforts.

Our vision is to be the heart
of a vibrant and diverse arts community

 

In addition to welcoming artists from all over the world, the Bankhead is dedicated to supporting artistic talents within the community. Resident companies such as Valley Dance Theatre, Livermore-Amador Symphony, Livermore Valley Opera, Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre, Del Valle Fine Arts, Pacific Chamber Orchestra, and the Rae Dorough Speaker Series, all receive discounts on rental, production and marketing fees.

Sharing the excitement of the arts with our young people is a key priority and, in addition to arts outreach in the schools and free cultural arts events, we offer subsidized student ticket prices for nearly every show.

Programs at the Bothwell Arts Center for children, as well as adults, keeps the visual arts alive in our community. The Bothwell also serves as an arts incubator, offering affordable studio, rehearsal and small performance space for local artists.

Maintaining all this is a complex task and requires not only a dedicated staff and hardworking volunteers, but a constant stream of generosity on the part of individuals, businesses and foundations. And every gift counts. In 2015, we met our fundraising target by just under $100. If even one donor had chosen not to give, we’d have missed our goal.

Whatever we have to do behind the scenes, it’s all worthwhile when the curtain rises, the lights come up, and you have a chance to sit back and be thrilled, enchanted and energized by what you see on stage.

Want to help? If you enjoy the arts and appreciate the role we play in the community,
please consider making a donation,
gifting securities,
or leaving a legacy gift to the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.
Donate online here or contact the development office at 925-583-2305 for more information.

 

photo by Jennie McGregor

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