With everything shifting into the virtual field for the time being, it only makes sense that fundraisers for notable cultural institutions are following suit. For some organizations, it’s the only option to make sure that they are able to continue their missions.
The Wilma Theater is also riding that wave with its first-ever digital Fête Fundraiser taking place on Sunday, May 3 at 5:30 p.m. This colorful event will feature a variety of talented performers and special guests gracing the screen, plus plenty of behind the scenes opportunities that will only be available to viewers through Fête.
“The Fête is our annual opportunity to gather with our supporters in celebration of the Wilma. While we cannot gather this year in person, we took this challenge as an opportunity to reinvent and reimagine,” said Wilma Managing Director Leigh Goldenberg in a release. “We are looking forward to our first-ever Virtual Fête, and the opportunity that this virtual space will offer to bring even more people together, introducing everyone to our amazing Cohort of Artistic Directors and to joyfully usher in the Next Chapter of the Wilma.”
The Fundraiser will be headlined by one of Philadelphia’s most notable drag queens and singing sensations Martha Graham Cracker, who will also be performing for this special desk-top gala. The Fête will also feature special guest appearances by the Wilma HotHouse company of artists, a sneak-peek of the Wilma’s next season, a Q&A with the new co-Artistic Directors, a virtual dance party, and much more. As a special bonus, according to the release, guests who purchase a premium ticket to this year’s digital Fête will receive a special link to the exclusive Fête performances, automatic entry into a raffle for prizes, a special gift to be enjoyed during the performance and more.
Those interested in purchasing tickets for this year’s Fête can do so by visiting wilmatheater.org/fete or by calling 267-433-8137.
It’s no secret that organizations are suffering during these unprecedented times, and with the Fête typically being the Wilma’s main fundraiser of the season, making the event virtual was not only important, but absolutely necessary.
That’s not all on the virtual front from the Broad street establishment, however.
The Wilma also recently launched the Wilma Home Theater where the Wilma HotHouse company of artists, Co-Artistic Directors and teaching artists will share original digital content to the public in an effort to keep the spirit of theater alive while its doors are closed. This also provides a way for artists to still get paid while the crisis unfolds until they are able to get back to work in person. According to the release, The HotHouse artists are continuing to digitally meet weekly to train, read plays and develop their artistry. Philadelphians who wish to check out what the artists have been cooking up can do so by visiting wilmatheater.org/wilma-home-theater where Wilma Home Theater content will be available to stream.
To top off the digital fun, the release also states that the Wilma’s Barrymore Award-winning Education Department has launched the Wilma Virtual Studio, an online platform comprised of weekly initiatives for students and the public that will culminate in a variety of digital performances and tutorials, including virtual poetry slams in partnership with the Philly Slam League, juggling tutorials, mask-making tutorials and crowdsourced poetry. The Wilma’s AllStars, the theater’s after-school program for high school students, will also continue to meet virtually each week with its teaching artists continuing to be compensated during this time for their work as well.
Wilma Virtual Studio content can be viewed via the Education Department’s Instagram page at instagram.com/wilmaeducation or the Wilma’s Facebook page at facebook.com/TheWilmaTheater. If anyone does not have social media and would like to participate in the prompts, they can also do so by emailing the Wilma’s Education Assistant, Rachel Beecher, at RBeecher@wilmatheater.org to join the mailing list.