‘Crowdfunding’ seeks crowd for Whidbey Children’s Theater

As an innovative place for children to discover, experience and participate in the performing arts, Whidbey Children’s Theater decided to also try a new and creative means of fundraising by trying a “crowdfunding” campaign on the Internet.

The problem is, it’s not working as well as WCT staff hoped.

“It’s not moving as quickly as I think we thought it would,” said WCT Artistic Director Rose Woods.

When people do hear about the theater’s efforts, they are “incredibly generous,” Woods added, noting that people are donating locally and nationally.

“Some of my favorite people are kids who’ve given their allowances,” Woods said.

The theater’s goal is to seek $40 each — more or less is fine, too — from 1,000 people by Aug. 31. So far, they’re raised just over $6,000.

“The IndieGoGo Forty Bucks for the Future Fund will help us to bring our theater space up to date in facility function and technology, to continue the upgrades to our public and performance spaces, to expand our presence and sophistication in social media, marketing and public outreach, and to move forward to improve and expand our teaching curriculum, programs and productions for a new generation of Whidbey youth,” Woods said.

“I think it’s important for the community to have a place to go for kids to be creative,” Woods said, adding that the children learn skills and have the opportunity to express themselves. “I think it’s important for all arts programs to be supported.”

Working with the children is deeply meaningful for Woods. She recently worked on a production of “Snow White” with 30 kids. If she couldn’t do this, it would be “devastating,” Woods said.

“To me, it’s personal, in the sense that these are the most amazing kids I’ve worked with anywhere,” Woods said.

WCT caters to ages 3 to 18 and puts on approximately six full-scale shows per year, plus a handful of mini shows.

“For me, it’s always about the kids and it’s always about the arts and I want to make sure to keep these going,” Woods said.

By collecting donations online, costs are kept to a minimum. Crowdfunding uses the internet and social media to pool money and resources to support efforts of mutual interest. This technique has been used for disaster relief to citizen journalism to artists seeking support from fans, to political campaigns, to funding startup companies, movies, or small businesses.

To donate, visit www.indiegogo.com/whidbeychildrenstheater.


For more information, contact 221-8707 or wct.operations@gmail.com.