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Building Community Support for Community Theatre


Community support isn’t always about the dollars — ideas from an expert

Community theatres are nothing without community support, but getting it can be difficult.  Keith Martin, John M. Blackburn Distinguished Professor of Theatre at Appalachia State University has been helping performing arts organizations get community support of all kinds for more than 35 years.  He joins the Geeks to talk about cultivating corporations and individuals for stronger monetary and in-kind support for community theatre, regardless of  community size.  Great ideas and examples of where, with a little imagination, he’s been able to get high-value support from donors who weren’t sure they even had anything to give.  A must listen for all community theatre people.

John, Dave and Marcia have gotten to know Keith via the AACT Festival events, and we’re glad to have him join us on Theatre Geeks for the first time.  Join us for some fascinating conversation and ideas you can put to use to build support for your community theatre.

Keith Martin

Keith Martin, John M. Blackburn Distinguished Professor of Theatre, Appalachia State University

Keith Martin is the John M. Blackburn Distinguished Professor of Theatre. Martin’s career in the not-for-profit sector spans over 35 years and includes producing, artistic direction, choreography, and management in professional theatre, dance, opera, symphony, film and television, for which he received an Emmy® award in 2010.

Martin’s 400-plus stage credits include direct work with such renowned artists as Academy award winner Olympia Dukakis; Pulitzer Prize recipients Beth Henley and Tony Kushner; producer Joseph Papp and performers Dixie Carter, Faith Ford, Sharon Lawrence, Telly Savalas, Burt Reynolds, Tony Award-winners Bonnie Franklin and Beth Leavel, and Emmy Award-winner Doris Roberts.

A lifelong activist and arts advocate, Martin served with distinction on the state boards of the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and the American Civil Liberties Union. He is Past President of the North Carolina Theatre Conference, receiving three awards for service to the field, and twice was elected to the Board of the Southeastern Theatre Conference, first as NC state representative and then as Professional Theatre Division Chair.

Nationally, he was elected to the Executive Committee of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), participating in collective bargaining negotiations with both Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). Martin completed two terms as an Endowment Fund Trustee for the American Association of Community Theatres (AACT), for whom he co-chaired their record breaking national conference, AACTFest ’07 Charlotte.

Keith is a teacher of arts management, consultant and theatre festival adjudicator, among the many other roles he plays in the national arts community.

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