Friday, May 29, 2009

Make Some Change

It’s no secret that the economy isn’t so great right now. And that not-so-great economy is having an extreme impact on our donors, grants and the organization as a whole. Opera Columbus almost went under three years ago and we are committed to making sure we’re around for a long time. That wouldn’t be possible without the support we’ve received from the Columbus community and our commitment to fiscal responsibility.

I’m gonna be honest with you: Opera Columbus is struggling. We need to raise $90,000 by June 30 to finish the year in the black. (In other words, we need this to meet our budget and not carry forward any debt to next year. It's a big deal.)

Have you ever uddered the phrase, “I’d love to donate to the arts but I just don’t have the money.” I know, I have, too. But even the smallest amounts add up, and this can make a huge difference for Opera Columbus.

How? So glad you asked!

We’re launching a grassroots fundraising campaign called “Make Change for Opera Columbus.” We know times are tough for everyone, but all we’re asking you to do is donate your spare change to Opera Columbus. Come on, I know you have some sitting on top of the dryer or on your dresser. Have a House Coffee instead of a Grande Double Mocha Chip Latte one day and donate the difference to the Opera. $1, $5, $10 from enough people can have a huge impact on Central Ohio’s only professional opera company.

Let me put it this way: My co-worker, Lisa (@Minxy_OperaCols) has 800 followers on Twitter. If each of those followers donated $2, that would raise $1,600 for the organization. $1,600 could pay for an ad to promote our next show, it could pay for English-language supertitles for one production, it could pay for almost three in-school touring shows, it could help pay our utilities, it could pay for hardware used to put together sets onstage for one production…basically, it will help keep us alive and sharing this wonderful artform with our community.
We mean it when we say that every little bit helps.

Where can I donate? Well, friends, there are several ways:

1. Stop by the Opera Columbus offices (177 East Naghten Street) Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. or Friday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. We’re up on the second floor. You can drop change off there.

2. Visit us at a community programming event:

  • May 30: Opera at the North Market from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Check our calendar of events for other events between now and June 30.
3. Donate online to "Make Change for Opera Columbus"
  • You can donate online using the Twitter application, Tipjoy. You can simply tweet "p $2 @OperaColumbus to help our cause @tipjoy" or use the tool below or in the side bar. You'll need to set up an account with TipJoy in order for your donation to reach Opera Columbus. Read more about TipJoy here.

UPDATE: Don't have a Twitter account but want to donate online? No worries. Just use the "Make Change" tool to your right. All you have to do is enter your e-mail address. Instructions for completing your donation will arrive in your inbox.

How else can I help?
My, you are so thoughtful. Thanks for asking.

One simple way (besides donating) you can help: Tell others. Use the power of social media to share this cause with others. At happy hour, tell your friends. E-mail 10 of your friends and ask them to make some change for Opera Columbus.

Here's another way you can help: Put a change receptacle in your office, business, etc. The more opportunities people have to "Make Change" the more change we can make. Contact Lisa by e-mail, Twitter or phone (614.461.8101) to get a change receptacle. Our goal for "Make Change" isn't to raise the full $90,000 we need, although it would be pretty sweet if we could. Our goal is to "make change" by raising $2,000 by June 30. I believe we can do it (and we can watch the status on our goal tracker to the right). Please consider donating and helping to "Make Change for Opera Columbus." Your $.75, $1.00 or $5.00 donation will make a huge difference and will help to ensure Opera Columbus is around for a long time.

Special thanks to Huntington Bank for generously agreeing to count all the money raised to "Make Change for Opera Columbus." And, thanks to you, in advance, for your support.

Plus, how often can you say, a cow asked me to donate to the opera? It will make for great happy hour/dinner party conversation.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Press Worthy

You know your Opera Company is in good hand/hooves when your Executive Director is often recognized for his good work. And it's recognition from the well respected business community (how often does that happen in the world of arts?). The staff is thrilled that Press is being honored for being the amazing, fearless leader that we all know he is.

Guess I should get to the point and tell you about the award...

Press received the 2009 Pace Setter Executive Award at a ceremony held on May 14, 2009 at the Blackwell Inn on the Campus of The Ohio State University (OSU).

The Pace Setter Executive Award is an annual award given to a “pace setter” of the business community. The Executive Award is one of OSU Fisher College of Business’ most important awards, as it recognizes the ideals that the school strives to instill in its students. Previous award winners include Irving Schottenstein, Charles Y. Lazarus, John B. Gerlach, Sr., Katherine S. LeVeque and John H. McConnell, among others.

And here's a little background on the amazing man:

Press, 1975 OSU graduate and a Vietnam veteran, has been Opera Columbus’ Executive Director since 2006. During this time, he has helped the organization achieve a significant turnaround in its operation and financial well-being. Press is extremely committed to the success and growth of the Columbus arts community and currently serves as the president of the Columbus Cultural Leadership Consortium.

From 1975 to his retirement in 2001, Press was with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), formerly Coopers & Lybrand LLP. The last 17 years, he was a partner in the firm’s financial services practice.

Throughout his career at PwC and into his retirement, Press has been active in community service. He held the position of chair/president for nine different organizations. In the mid-1990s, he received the Beta Alpha Psi (Professional Accounting Fraternity) Outstanding Alumni Award. In June 2007, he was recognized by the Ohio Society of CPAs with the Gold Medal for Meritorious Service to the Profession, its highest honor.

Congrats, Press. You rock!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Bovine Opera

A friend just alerted me to this story about a cow making a run for it in Jamaica, Queens. All I can say is, "You go girl!"

The story of the fleeing cow is very operatic in nature: oppressed female escapes her captors, disappears into the night in a quest for freedom and along the way finds her true love, but in a tragic turn of events the lovers cannot be together (I may have elaborated, just a little). I think the first opera featuring a cow in the leading role might be in the works. I'd be happy to provide input on it's creation. Feel free to contact my agent (note to self: find agent). Oh, I can sing the lead too (note to self: brush up my singing voice) and every note would be extremely mooving.