Guest Column: Arizona Theater Company deserves unwavering support by community

2013-07-24T00:00:00Z Guest Column: Arizona Theater Company deserves unwavering support by communityRichard M. Small Special To The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

As a longtime and ardent supporter of Arizona Theatre Company, I am disturbed by the most recent events and publicity concerning the future success of ATC.

The Arizona Daily Star on June 21 reported a million-dollar deficit and troubles within the board of directors. I believe that these problems are solvable.

Many individuals, businesses and foundations, including the Stonewall Foundation of which I am the president, have supported ATC unwaveringly for many years.

As a funder of Arizona Theatre Company for the past 30 years, it has been our mission to provide the support we are asked to. Without question, we have always followed the recommendation of the management team, and we encourage you to do the same.

All of these problems can be worked out if we provide our solid and continual support.

Arizona Theatre Company provides us with a truly incredible live theater experience with six professional productions a year. ATC also provides many more less tangible benefits to the community, including education programs and Summer on Stage for young people during the summer.

Board members and patrons would be completely selfish to consider pulling their funding from this community treasure.

From our foundation's perspective, we believe the support of ATC and its continued and long-term success should be our community goal.

Can you imagine what it would be like if ATC were not in our community and in Phoenix? Can you imagine the livelihoods impacted; the young actors unable to perform or learn from the more seasoned professionals in our community and the void the loss of ATC would cause within the arts community in Tucson and Phoenix?

I urge you to continue your unwavering and solid annual support of Arizona Theatre Company and allow the elected board and hired staff to do their jobs as they were asked and hired to do.

We are just an audience, and it is the final production and the success that we should be focused on, not how the play is staged.

Consider this your investment in our community's future.

Richard M. Small is the president of the Stonewall Foundation.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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