During the SA2020 visioning process, community members again and again emphasized supporting and strengthening San Antonio’s arts and culture scene. In fact, by the year 2020, we want San Antonio to lead the world as a creative community. The arts boost our economy — a $43 billion economic impact in 2014 — reflect and celebrate our vibrant history, and make our city more beautiful and interesting — program attendance for arts and cultural events exceeded 4 million people in 2015.

At SA2020, the nonprofit acting as the caretaker of the community vision, we’re well aware of what else art can do. Art starts conversations — often difficult conversations — and many times helps create solutions.
That’s why we’re so excited to collaborate with The Playhouse during their 2017-2018 Season. Already one of our fantastic nonprofit partners (see them all at sa2020.org/partners), we’ll be kicking our partnership up a notch. For each of their productions, we’ve connected The Playhouse with an SA2020 Partner whose work ties into the theme of the show. Audience members will get the opportunity to make a donation to the featured nonprofit when they purchase tickets, learn more about the organization and their contribution to San Antonio in the playbill, and find out ways to get involved in their work at a post-show, SA2020 talkback.

For The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which runs from September 15th until October 15th, we connected THRU Project as The Playhouse’s community partner. THRU Project helps youth overcome the challenges of growing up in the foster care system by providing guidance, support and advocacy to prepare them for life after foster care. Through their work, THRU Project helps youth in transition graduate from high school, obtain health insurance, and even complete higher education. They impact our community in education, economic competiveness, health, and community safety. So after seeing a show that addresses what it feels like to be “other,” we hope that audience members will better understand the challenges facing youth right here in San Antonio — and then get involved.

When The Playhouse asked us to help them make these connections, we were so happy to be a part of it. As a nonprofit, The Playhouse could have stuck to putting on amazing shows and focusing on their own fundraising. Instead, they’re using their platform — the stage, in this case — to elevate other community organizations, efforts and voices.

This is exactly what we love about what we get to do at SA2020, and it’s what we hope will become the norm in San Antonio. We know that the goals we set for ourselves become more attainable when we listen to one another and work together.

We hope you’ll go see some theatre and learn more about the organizations featured during each show. You can buy tickets online at ThePlayhouseSA.org. Beyond that, though, we hope you’ll follow The Playhouse’s lead and find your own place in making a difference. In your own pocket of our city, how might you be able to amplify your efforts by aligning toward our collective goals? Find out the areas that need your help at SA2020.org/progress. We all have a role to play in making San Antonio even better — whether it’s on stage or off stage.

By Molly Cox