An End of Year Message from Our Executive Director

Dear Friends of Fountain Hills Theater,

As the curtain is drawn on 2017, we want to thank you for your support of Fountain Hills Theater. Without generous patrons and donors like you, we could not continue to bring quality theater to the diverse audiences of all ages that FHT is so well-known for.

2017 was a milestone year!  Aside from putting on another season of fabulous, award-winning productions, there were other major activities going on behind the scenes that will help our organization to become more financially sustainable, and help propel us forward to many more decades with eager enthusiasm:

Here are some of our proudest 2017 accomplishments:

PURCHASE OF THE FHT BUILDING

In April, 2017 Fountain Hills Theater, Inc. became the owners of the historical building we have occupied since 1995.  Then, throughout the remainder of the year, in addition to general upkeep, we made the following notable improvements:

  • Painted the buildings
  • Re-roofed a building
  • Retrofitted interior lights with cost-saving LED lights
  • Redecorated the lobby
  • Added a sunshade to the center courtyard patio
  • Reconstructed the front patio overhang and add beautiful color changing LED lights

All of this was done thanks to the kindness, support, and generosity of several amazing supporters like Shea Connelly Development and local businesses such as Double D Painting, Toucan Drew, LLC, Ace Hardware, as well as several anonymous donors and hardworking volunteers. And a huge thanks to the Building Fund Donors, whose contributions allowed us to take these enormous strides!

EXTERNAL SHOWS & GUEST PRODUCTIONS:

  • AYAA Cabaret
  • Patrick Russo in Judy and Liza Together Again
  • A Soldier’s Tale (in Conjunction with The FH Chamber Players)
  • AYAA She Kills Monsters
  • WildeP’lay presents Tale Spin

FUNDRAISING & FUNraiser EVENTS:

Theatermania: Our own Val Stasik spearheaded this fun and wonderful theater trivia event where we also had the chance to surprise and honor her in her retirement.

Christmas Cruise: Thanks to the generosity of Dave Smith and company, we held a fun-filled Christmas Cruise on the beautiful Desert Belle and were entertained by some of FHT’s finest talent!

Broadway in the Hills: In March, the BIH fundraiser, Broadway Your Way, helped us to raise $30,000 as we enjoyed a guest participation celebration of the past 30 years of FHT productions.  A big thanks to co-chairs Dan Fecteau, Patricia Tonzi, and Sandi McGee.

FUNraiser Society Reception and Hall of Fame Awards: 
Something new for FHT this year, a celebration and thank you performance for our major sponsors and donors. Congratulations to our inaugural “Honor Role Hall of Fame” group that included Mike and Charla Archambault, Dennis and Judy Brown, Carl and Eunice Feinberg, Barb and Fred Hansen, Jerry and Jackie Miles and Val Stasik. Check out our new Crystal Awards Cabinet in the lobby, honoring donors who give $5,000 or more.

LOOKING AHEAD: A GLANCE INTO 2018

A New Website: Keep checking back, because very soon a completely new, very dynamic website will be at your fingertips!  We expect to launch around the first of the year. Our new site will offer an engaging and dynamic user experience, showcase a gallery of our past productions, integrate social networking features, feature regularly crafted, original content blogposts, and ensure your ticket purchasing transactions are simplified. You will be notified when we launch, and we will welcome your feedback!

Show and Program Development: We are excited for the year ahead. In the coming year, we will bring a continued stream of stellar productions to our stages, those showcasing the incredible talents of our Artistic Directors, Mr. Peter J. Hill and Mr. Ross Collins, and other guest directors, outside artists, and special engagement performers alike.

Youth Education: We will continue to serve our youth, as we work on expanding our youth education programs in an attempt to educate and fine-tune more talented young actors, as well as children who might be more inclined to the technical aspects of theatrical production.

A NEW MISSION

Our new mission statement dictates, “…We will engage, inspire and entertain diverse audiences, train and support our youth, and celebrate the essential power of the performing arts.”

Fountain Hills is a unique community we can all be proud of, blessed with an extraordinary amount of great public art of all kinds. Fountain Hills Theater is one of the crowning achievements within that collection! But performing arts, unlike sculptural or canvas arts, requires a steady, on-going commitment in order to remain fresh, relevant and intriguing.

And so, as 2017 comes to a close and you consider your year-end tax-deductible contributions, we at Fountain Hills Theater would like to ask that you keep us at the top of your list for your giving. You probably know that we operate as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, and your donations are tax-deductible. But you may not know that ticket sales cover less than 50% of our operating expenses.  The remainder of the expenses are paid for by funds raised from donations, sponsors and fundraisers.  For those who have contributed in the past, we thank you and hope you will consider donating again. For those who have not donated before, we hope you will consider donating this season, and for many seasons to come. To learn more, you might want to check out “FHT Tax-Deductible Q&A.” (below)

Donations can be made several ways. Donate online at our website, fhtaz.org (“Support Us”). You can also call us at 480-837-9661 x3, or send an email to play@fhtaz.org.  Checks can be mailed to:

Fountain Hills Theater
P.O. Box 18312
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268

On behalf of the Board of Directors, the staff, and all of the talented actors, musicians and volunteers at Fountain Hills Theater, I wish you all the best for a wonderful holiday season and a happy and healthy new year.

Suzu Henderson
Executive Director
Fountain Hills Theater

FHT Tax-Deductible Q&A:

Aren’t I supporting the theater when I purchase a ticket? 
Yes and No. Ticket sales only cover less than 50% of the expenses of putting on a show. The remainder of the expenses are paid for by funds raised from donations, sponsors and fundraisers.

Why don’t you just raise your ticket prices?
FHT believes that theater should be affordable to everyone. We have priced our tickets at an amount that is affordable, while still providing sufficient revenue to partially cover our costs. Your donations supplement our ticket sales and subsidize lower ticket prices for seniors, veterans, and youths who otherwise may not be able to attend our shows.

Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes. FHT is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization, so your donation is tax-deductible. There are many ways to donate, too. We accept cash, as well as non-cash donations such as stocks, bonds, art, etc. In addition, if you are 70 ½ or older, you can use the charitable IRA rollover provision (qualified distribution) to make gifts to the theater that offer a special tax advantage to you, the donor! Owners of IRA’s who are over 70 ½ years of age must take out a minimum distribution every year, and these dollars are then taxed! You can donate some or all of your minimum distribution directly from your IRA to FHT, and the donation will not be taxed at all! How awesome is that?

How will FHT spend my donation? 
Well, if you leave it up to us, we will spend it on something that is production or education related. Donations help to pay for costumes, props, set pieces, make-up, musicians, scholarships for youth actors, even the royalties for the wonderful shows that you get to enjoy, and more! They also help to pay salaries for our administrative and artistic staff as well as expenses to keep the lights on and our office running. We couldn’t put on a show without all of the above. But, if you have a specific area you would like to support, for example youth scholarships, you can earmark your donation and we will allocate those funds accordingly.

Will I receive anything in return for my donation?
You mean besides the warm fuzzy feeling of supporting an incredible, award-winning arts organization in Fountain Hills? The answer is yes! Anyone who donates $50.00 or more gets recognized in our playbill and on our new website. In addition, depending on the level of the donation, some donors receive a variety of perks such as premium seating options, voting privileges for our Prizm Awards, exclusive discounts for special engagements, and first chance at advanced ticket purchasing opportunities. And have you seen the new donor recognition display in our lobby? Donors who give $5,000 or more receive an engraved crystal which is displayed in our beautiful Crystal Cabinet for all our theatergoers to see.

What if I can only donate a small amount, is it still worth it?
It certainly is to us! Whether it is a $5 donation or a multi-thousand dollar donation, we understand that donating comes from the heart, and generosity in any amount is greatly appreciated.

How can I make my Tax-Deductible donation?
Donations can be made several ways. Donate online on our website at fhtaz.org, or via email to play@fhtaz.org. You can also contact our box office at 480-837-9661×3, or drop off or mail a check to:

Fountain Hills Theater
P.O. Box 18312
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268

We hope this sheds some light on what it takes for FHT to continue to bring you quality theatrical productions and why your contributions are so vital to the success of our theater. For those who have contributed in the past, we thank you and hope you will consider donating again. For those who have not donated before, we hope you will consider donating this season, and for many seasons to come.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.