Support ECA's Bright Future This Holiday Season!

Our Year-End Letter
By Joe Mclalwain, Executive Director

Dear Friends of ECA,

We miss you! I hope you and your family are staying healthy and safe during these uncertain times. It is hard to find anyone whose life has been untouched by Covid-19 – physically, mentally, or economically. For all of us at ECA, this has been a year of both personal and professional challenges as we have struggled to see our stage go dark for many months and have not been able to bring you the experiences you love.

After (what seems like) the longest year ever, the promising news of vaccines offer a light at the end of the tunnel. With the stunning developments in medicine, the unyielding passion, hard work, and optimism of the ECA team, and with your continued support, I know that ECA will be able to reach the other side of this unprecedented crisis. But I want to be completely transparent. Today, we need to ensure that ECA can keep the lights on, weather the storm, and survive through this time without earned revenue from ticket and rental sales.

This Holiday Season, I ask you to please consider contributing as generously as you can to help ensure that our beloved Center will continue to bring us all beauty, joy, harmony, and unity for generations to come.

I can't think of a year when supporting ECA has been more important than in 2020! Each donation is a beacon of light that helps sustain our operations, maintain our beautiful historic facility, keep our team together and healthy, support talented artists, continue to engage thousands of local kids in free and low-cost arts education programs, and enable the local businesses and community organizations we partner with to thrive.

I know that you, too, believe that the performing arts are essential and have the power to transform lives. There is nothing I would rather be doing right now than enjoying ECA’s heartwarming Holiday presentations with you, or watching the amazement and delight on the faces of our youngest patrons as they experience the magic of a live performance for the first time in their lives, or sharing the tears of joy and hope with those living with memory loss and their caregivers during one of our Dementia-Inclusive workshops. 

Times of crisis are also times of innovation and new opportunities. Throughout this time, ECA has continued to serve our community, and I am so proud of all that we’ve accomplished. In this transformative year, thanks to the generosity of our donors and supporters, we have some important achievements to celebrate: 

  • Our Dementia-Inclusive Series received an inaugural Maude’s Award for Innovation in Alzheimer’s Care.
  • Our new Window to the Arts series helped bring the joy of live performance to residents of senior care facilities isolated during the quarantine.
  • Our first-ever virtual WE SPEAK Festival celebrated the voices of diverse spoken word poetry and storytelling artists who called for action, dignity, and hope while addressing the global health crisis, Black Lives Matter movement, and experiences of disability, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ communities.
  • We transformed several of our programs to the virtual environment, including our beloved Kidstock! performances for kids and families, Caregiving and the Arts workshops for caregivers of people living with memory loss, and our signature Center Stage and Gala & Auction

We also took a hard look at our organizational structure and made a firm commitment to our patrons to champion policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, and equitable community. We believe in the power and importance of this work and are determined to do better every day. On behalf of our staff, board members, and volunteers, thank you for making these and many more accomplishments possible with your patronage of ECA during these uncertain times! 

Finally, I’d like to share some exciting news. To ensure ECA’s bright future, we will be investing in the purchase of live-streaming equipment, made possible by the generosity of a group of dedicated ECA supporters. We believe that developing new digital content and experiences is paramount not only during the pandemic but long after ECA reopens its doors. This investment will enable us (and our community partners) to continue to bring world-class live music, dance, and theater to audiences near and far, connect with new patrons, increase accessibility to the arts for those who are unable to attend in-person events, and enrich our programming with all the new possibilities virtual formats can offer. Stay tuned for updates on our exciting new digital initiatives in early 2021.

Please accept my warmest wishes for a bright Holiday Season and a Happy and Healthy New Year for you and your loved ones, and my sincere hope that we can welcome you home to ECA soon. Until then, thank you for your generous support. You continue to inspire me and bring me hope for the future.

CLICK HERE to make a donation of any size that is meaningful to you today.


With gratitude, 

Joe McIalwain
Executive Director

PS. Did you know that you can now deduct up to $300 of cash donations from your 2020 taxes without having to itemize?
To qualify, donations must be made before December 31, 2020.