Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why Membership Matters

Each program for a MainStage production at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette has a two-page spread titled "Civic Theatre Members." There usually are six columns of names, categorized into groups called Legends, Superstars, Stars, Leading Players, Supporting Players and Performers. The people, and sometimes business, listed on these pages are considered members of Civic Theatre.

What does it mean to be a member? In the simplest terms, a member is someone who has made a personally significant monetary contribution to Civic Theatre during the fiscal year. Being a member does not mean a person is more likely to be cast in a play or receives preferential seating. In fact, most members don't perform and several purchase tickets on a show-by-show basis.

Members receive some incentives based on the level of their donation. For the 2013-2014 season, these incentives include a tax deduction for the donation amount, discounts on classes, discounts on costume rentals, discounts off the price of a single ticket, and complimentary tickets to the holiday show. A full list of these incentives is in the 2013-2014 season brochure.

Only members are eligible to be nominated to serve on Civic Theatre's Board of Directors, and they are the people who vote on the slate of nominees during the Annual Meeting. This meeting usually is held in June and is the final meeting of the Board of Directors for that fiscal year. These rights and responsibilities are granted to all members at any level of contribution.

Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette depends on members and their financial contributions. Revenue from ticket sales and classes provide only 60% of the organization's annual budget. The rest comes from contributions.

The organization's Annual Meeting will be Tuesday, June 25. Managing Director Steve Koehler will deliver a State of the Organization address, and the treasurer will report key financial statistics from the previous 12 months. Another key part of the meeting is when members vote and elect the newest members of the Board of Directors for the 2013-2014 season. These new members will join the returning members to determine how the organization is run in the coming year, and how to improve upon its operations, financial health, programming and more.

Membership begins at any donation level, whatever is personally significant. If you would like to become a member, or if you have questions about membership, call Civic Theatre at 765-423-7529.

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