Dear Sandglass Theater patron,
The past year has been a time of change at Sandglass. As you read this summary and prospectus, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help Sandglass continue to evolve and meet new challenges.
Transition and challenge
We look towards the future with a double sense of change — internal change, as we transition to a new generation and new leadership; and change in response to the challenge and turmoil of the world in which we live and create.
Like you, we look at our nation and world, and wonder how to bring more sanity and humanity to the lives around us. Through much of 2017 we developed a major new ensemble production,
Babylon, a story of refugees around the world, co-directed by
Eric Bass and Salvadorean director Roberto Salomon, and performed
by a new ensemble of young, diverse puppeteers. Recent politics in
the U.S. make this story especially relevant, but our work on Babylon
began long before the 2016 election. Babylon will tour extensively in 2018. More than just a show, it brings workshops on refugee issues into the communities where it appears, in collaboration with the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program.
A new generation
On Thanksgiving weekend this year, Eric will perform his signature work Autumn Portraits for the final time. First presented in 1980, Autumn Portraits
gathers a lifetime of meditation on individuals as they mature and age. But the spirit of Autumn Portraits continues in When I Put on Your Glove, in which Shoshana Bass not only takes over some of Eric’s puppet-and-mask characters, but re-imagines them through a daughter’s eyes.
Similarly, Sandglass is looking towards a restructuring as Eric and Ines move towards retirement from active management of the theater. (They will always be involved with Sandglass creatively.) Our board of directors spent much of 2017 developing a strategic plan to manage this transition. We have received a major grant from the USDA that will enable us to create part-time positions for two consultants expert in non-profit arts management, who in turn will help us towards the goal of hiring permanent new management.
Wait — a grant from the US Department of Agriculture? Yes, because Sandglass is a direct part of local rural development. We contribute to our
community through collaborations with other arts and educational organizations (Next Stage, Main Street Arts, Landmark College); producing such
popular events as Puppets in Paradise, Puppets in the Green Mountains and the Crankie Festival; hiring local artists and musicians; attracting customers to local eateries and other businesses when they attend our shows and workshops. We even involve our community in the creative process: 400 people attended the worskhop-previews of Babylon and provided valuable feedback.
Meanwhile we continue our many activities for children and youth: Jana’s Winter Sunshine series, which includes other puppet companies from around
New England and takes Sandglass into schools and other new audience venues; repertoire productions of Punschi and Isidore’s Cheek; the Summer Puppet and Painting camp; the Summer Training Intensive (which has brought us the new, young actors who breathe life into Babylon); our school workshops and residencies…
Your tax-deductible gift to Sandglass Theater enables us to continue giving back to you and our community in this time of challenge and change. Our goal for this donation drive is $20,000, our largest goal ever (and still only about 10% of our annual budget). If you have given in the past, please consider increasing your gift to help us reach this goal.
Yours in puppetry and peace,