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Dear Friends,
 
Ending year two of what is already a very challenging decade, rolling with the punches has become a necessary survival skill. Most folks have been thoughtfully observant of protocols, but for others it has been a gateway to madness fueled by four years of hateful rhetoric and divisive politics. Covid-19 offered an opportunity for cooperation and unity but sadly, nearly two years into it, the divide is greater and more volatile than ever.

 

Maintaining perspective and bringing light to dark times is primary to the artist’s role, and we Troupers have done our best to do that for not just the past two but also the sixty years prior. When the shutdown went into effect, we shuttered our studio/office but not our creative spirit. Collectively from our at home “studios”, we produced Radio Play Podcasts: Tales of the Resistance (2020), Tales of the Resistance Volume 2: Persistence (2021), Seeing Red (2020), MimeCast (2020-2021), and A Red Carol (2020-2021).

This past spring, although still virtual, we had one of our best-attended Youth Theater Projects (YTP). The students helped us celebrate YTP’s 25th anniversary by creating an abundance of funny, incisive content that was showcased as part of the specially created SFMT video streaming channel- YTP Go!

 

We are pleased to have gotten great feedback from people outside the Bay Area who have been able to hear our audio work. Nevertheless, nothing replaces the magic that occurs in person between performers and audience and so our current plan is to be back in the parks in summer 2022. In person workshops, long overdue, have returned with our Young California Writers Project, taught by Michael Gene Sullivan, now underway in Oakland high schools.

 

But here’s the rub, although we have been producing well received work this past 18 months, it hasn’t generated the online revenue to make up for the loss of the last two summer’s missed “pass the hat” donations. Resources like private foundations are strapped after granting much needed Covid relief to the various and many struggling non-profits hit hard. As the California Arts Council (CAC) is undergoing administrative re-structuring countless arts organizations (including SFMT) have been out in the cold. The sad reality is that funding through grants is less likely than ever. And that is really bad news for us.

 

Your generous responses to these twice-yearly appeals have filled us with gratitude. We also owe an extra thank you to those who have already taken the next step by making a multi-year pledge or becoming an ongoing monthly donor. Yet what is clear now is that we must depend on you, our friends and supporters to an even greater degree. For those who donate 1-2 times a year via our appeal letters we are asking you to commit to a larger role as a regular sustainer. Your multi-year pledge or ongoing monthly donation will enable us to plan and budget next year and beyond including our continued mentoring of future activist artists. For those current sustainers we ask that you consider, if able, increasing your regular donations.

There are many very loud voices forcing regressive and repressive agendas that threaten everything we have all worked for these last seven decades. 2022 is going to require us all to rise strong together or risk losing it all. At this critical moment, we cannot and must not be silent. SFMT will always speak out on behalf of those whose voices are not heard. We stand in solidarity with the progressive forces around the country and the world who visualize an equitable society and a healthier planet. But we can only do it with your support.

In addition to your generous financial support you can also help by introducing the Mime Troupe to those who don’t yet know us. This winter as you huddle up with friends & family, tune in to the Troupe’s take on the last 18 months, still available at sfmt.org. Until we see you face to face we’re just a click away. And of course, please continue to be safe, strong and hopeful.


As Always, With Gratitude and In Solidarity,
The San Francisco Mime Troupe

Nov. 2021

 

SF Mime Troupe is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, tax ID 94-1602975.

All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.

We also accept checks made out to SFMT.

(And we get your full donation, no third party charges when you send a check!)

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