The excitement of a night out with friends. The joy of a child singing and laughing with an artist. The awe of seeing a great talent on stage. The new perspective you share with friends after a show.
These are the moments that fill us with emotion, compassion and understanding. The arts are a catalyst for self-discovery and transformation – and with your help, we’ll be right back to giving you such memory-making live experiences as soon as we can.
For everyone’s safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, Overture is taking an “intermission” by suspending in-person activities. During this intermission, we seek to raise $1.5 million by December 31 to bridge this closure and to support a strong future for the arts in our community.
While our stages may be dark, Overture remains active. Your gift helps in many ways:
- Creates virtual opportunities in the arts, which have inspired 600,000 connections since March 13.
- Supports a safe return to in-person programs for Overture and our 10 resident arts companies.
- Maintains our world-class center that attracts people downtown to work, visit, shop and dine, supporting our community’s economic recovery.
We believe in the power of the arts to nurture our souls, bring us together and inspire our community’s future. We value the expression of diverse opinions and experiences, access to arts experiences for all and the creative spirit in each person.
Will you join us? Please consider making a tax-deductible gift today. With your help, we’ll be right back!
Check out our blog to learn what Overture means to artists, audience members and supporters, and why now, more than ever, it is so important to support the arts.
You might wonder:
Why should we support Overture? What steps has Overture taken to preserve itself? With no shows and few employees, why do you need money? If I give now, is there a tax benefit? What happens after the Intermission? Are there donor benefits for giving? How can I make a gift?
Questions? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608.443.1751
Why should we support Overture?
- An estimated 12 million arts experiences have been provided to the community since Overture Center’s opening in 2004, including Overture’s programs and performances and those of resident arts companies.
- Overture Center is an economic driver for the community, helping to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors downtown for shopping, dining and cultural attractions. A 2010 economics study found Overture generated $28.1M for the local economy annually.
- Overture Center is Madison’s home for the arts. Ten resident arts companies present their performances in our theaters and benefit from shared services, such as ticketing, security, front-of-house staff and marketing. Additionally, Overture hosts many non-resident local arts performances and exhibits.
- Access is at the heart of our programs. Nearly 300,000 free/low-cost experiences are provided annually through programs like the Jerry Ensemble, Onstage student field trips, artists-in-residency in local schools, Disney Musicals in the Schools, Kids in the Rotunda and galleries.
What steps has Overture taken to preserve itself?
- We reduced our workforce by 60% for the summer with some employees being furloughed, laid off or having their hours reduced, and some positions have been eliminated.
- All performances and activities are suspended the end of November. Even though our building is closed, our mission continues. We are finding ways to promote the arts and share the joy of the arts within our community through virtual experiences. Since March 13, we have reached nearly 600,000 people through digital programs and engagement. Check out our collection of educational resources and entertainment online at Access the Arts from Home.
- The search for a new CEO/President has been suspended because it is not viable to bring on a new leader at this time.
- We reduced or eliminated overhead expenses by 60%. This includes production costs as well as reduction or elimination of printing, postage, travel and conferences, consulting relationships, events, advertising, marketing, programming, fundraising expense, software/service contracts and more.
With no shows and few employees, why do you need money?
- We have retained 40% of our workforce through the summer to maintain essential organizational activities and will bring back additional staff to support the building reopening, when possible.
- We remain committed to our mission to support and elevate the community’s creative culture, economy and quality of life through the arts. This closure has been and will continue to be a time of innovation. Digital programming overcomes barriers to in-person programming, such as transportation, cost, time, mobility, parking and health concerns. Investing in these activities now will set the course for our future.
- Even while closed, we must support basic business functions such as utilities, insurance and software licenses.
- As the home for 10 resident arts companies and Overture’s performance series, it is imperative we maintain our state-of-the art facility for the return of all local arts.
If I give now, is there a tax benefit?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is designed to help you and others deal with economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The law includes a few provisions that make it easier and more beneficial to support Overture Center in 2020:
- Allowing a charitable deduction of up to $300 ($600 for married couples), even if you don’t itemize.
- Temporarily suspending the requirements for required minimum distributions from IRA accounts for the 2020 tax year. But, if you are 70½ or older, you can still make a gift from you IRA and pay no income taxes on the gift.
- Allowing for cash contributions to qualified charities to be deducted by up to 100% of your adjusted gross income for 2020, if you itemize.
What happens after the Intermission?
We hope to return to regular operations in early 2021, although this will be determined based on the availability of tour performances, local COVID-19 regulations and advances in COVID-19 vaccinations and treatment. The arts industry forecasts it will take the industry 2-3 years to recover from this extended closure, considering patrons’ comfort in returning to live performances, availability of touring shows, community programming, staffing and finances.
Our ticket sales will resume approximately three months before opening. Event rentals will be phased in as catering, event services and gathering restrictions allow us to safely and affordably resume. Donations will remain critical to supporting our return and recovery—and the recovery of all arts organizations. The longer organizations are required to stay dormant, the more challenging recovery becomes.
Are there donor benefits for giving?
- Donor benefits are offered for gifts of $100+ and are active for one year from the time of reopening
- Access to virtual special events, such as Cocktails with Tim & Karra
How can I make a gift?
- Donate via our website: overture.org/give
- Sign up for Monthly Sustaining Giving (available soon!)
- Donate the value of tickets to canceled performances
- Join our corporate sponsorship and giving opportunities
- Underwrite individual programs and performances
- Make a pledge, stating your total pledge amount, preferred payment schedule and fund(s) designation.
- Donate by credit card, cash/check, appreciated stock, Donor Advised Fund disbursements, IRA distributions
Submit pledge form, letter of intent and/or all gift documents to Jenni Lien, development assistant, via email to email@example.com or 608.443.1751 or mail donation to Overture Center for the Arts – Development, 201 State Street, Madison, WI 53703.