OCTOBER, 2020 UPDATE TO OUR CPP FRIENDS AND FAMILY (OLD & NEW)!
The ultimate understatement for the times is to say that the last 7 months have been challenging.
Wednesday, October 14, marks exactly 7 months since CPP did a soft-opening of our new space, under the "Stage Name" of Youtheatre Players at the Westfield Shopping Center in Palm Desert.
Thursday, October 15, marks exactly 7 months since CPP was forced to shut down that space - along with all of the other pending programs, productions and offerings.
While we did attempt to create some online content, we were not satisfied with either our abilities at the time (let's face it, we kill it on stage, but video and film - was not yet our forte) or the sufficiency of our technical equipment and support to create the type of exceptional program expected from CPP. We have, though, been educating ourselves on the new frontiers to be mastered to be adaptable.
Through the summer months, too, we have kept close watch on the local progress toward controlling the pandemic and determining when and how to safely resume activities that we know the valley's youth are so desperately yearning to regain. For at least some form of our programs, it appears that there is light in the not-too-distant-future!
Another over-used cliche' of the times is "we have good news and bad news - which would you like first"? We will transform that to we have GREAT news and we have NOT-SO-GOOD news and give the NOT-SO-GOOD NEWS first!
THE NOT-SO-GOOD NEWS
Like most businesses and people, CPP was hit hard by this pandemic - particularly in terms of timing. The soft-opening of the Youtheatre Players space commenced with rehearsals for what would have been our 35th major production - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr at the McCallum Theatre in May 2020. Our McCallum production has been the flagship and principle revenue generator for CPP for over 20 years. All anticipated revenue (not just for production costs, but for monthly overhead costs for the year) were gone in a day!
Because CPP has strived to give the maximum at the minimal expense, we relied on volunteers and not employees. This made CPP ineligible to apply for the CARES act funding that other businesses could get because that pool of money required you to have employees!
As we sit here in October, it is a near certainty that there can be no McCallum production with schools attending next May (2021) either. Schools are not in-person and no school district will even entertain field trip discussion - and will not likely through this school year at all. We are, thus, looking at two years without our flagship production able to yield 10's of 1000's of CRITICAL revenue. While we are thinking outside of the box for possible ways to get things in play as soon as the green light appears, what that looks like, how much revenue it will bring, and what costs it presents are all beyond estimation today.
Of course, too, CPP (as with all theatre companies, including the McCallum itself) are in a class of businesses that are last in the states list of categories for re-opening. In fact, so far last that there is not even a plan in site for when theatre can resume. That, however, does not stop the fact that CPP has overhead expenses to keep the 25 years of costumes, props, sets, set decor, records, equipment, and more in tact until we do re-open.
We are committed to being here for our youth when we emerge from the 2020 obstacle course and resume the improved normal (which no doubt will happen). BUT - we have to survive financially to do that - and it will take everyone's cooperation and commitment to do little bits to make big differences.
THE GREAT NEWS
With our ideas, and your help, we can do this!
GREAT PROGRAM NEWS:
The light in the not-too-distant-future? Riverside County has presently met the conditions for the Westfield Center to re-open (with capacity limitations and, of course, strict mask, social distancing and sanitary guidelines). In addition, many of our workshop and class program offerings fall outside of the theatre category and more with the after-school and like program categories that are allowed to open with capacity and social distancing measures in place. While we won't be able to do all variations of programs, we can, at least, begin to offer some options for youth participation.
It is our intention, too, that any programs that are started on site will have a virtual participation component as well (for those who shouldn't or do not want to venture out to a public space). NOTE: On this latter point, as someone who is considered in one or more of the at-risk categories, there is no judgement from us if people want to participate virtually for the time-being. On the opposite side, those who do wish to participate in person will be expected to strictly adhere to ALL social measures expected under the county guidelines - no exceptions, no excuses.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED to provide input on what you would like to see for programs, volunteer to get the space ready and keep it clean and sanitary, to sign up for classes when available, and, to spread the word to others to sign up and help, too.
GREAT FUNDRAISING NEWS:
We have, as usual, been applying for grants. We are honored to have been awarded one and, hopefully, will be awarded others to help with our ongoing overhead costs and new program costs to boot. The problem is, most grants do not allow use of funds for overhead expenses. Also, in order to maintain our non-profit status, at least 1/3 of our support must come from public sources (ticket sales, program fees, public donations, and the like). Therefore, even if we could get grants to support our entire expenses - that would only put CPP's non-profit status in jeopardy in the long run. In short, we need the public, you and people you know, to help fund us!
We have been designing over a dozen ways that CPP can, with your help, raise funds. Some anticipate that those of you who can donate will donate (and/or seek out others who will), some provide ways you can go on with things you already may do and help CPP without cost to you.
We already rolled out one of these ways in the "SMILE when you BUY that" program using Smile.Amazon.com (see link to the right).
ANOTHER HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT OF A PROGRAM IN CONJUNCTION WITH WESTFIELD MALL IS COMING THIS WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14 - watch your emails for details (sign up for email if you need to using the link to the left above in the navigation panel).
WE NEED YOUR HELP to participate in the donation opportunities (there is no level that is too small - even 500 people giving just $10 is $5,000 (sorry, no Common Core explanation here). CPP has intersected with the lives of 1000's of valley youth who have hundreds of family and friends!
FINAL THOUGHTS: CPP has been building it's family for the last 25 years and, like most good "parents" has made way more concessions (discounts to schools, waiver of fees, low-cost programs, etc.) than demands or requests for assistance. We need to call in some favors in order to stay alive for even another 25 days (let alone 25 years). Those favors are from all of you to band together and help us raise the funds to make CPP strong - not only for overhead expenses, but so we can create some really kick-*** programs moving forward!
We look forward to getting back to what we have done best for 25 years - helping the youth of our valley communities find their joy, find their soul, find their expression, find their self-esteem, find their confidence, find long-term friendships, and, perhaps learn to perfect their talents in acting, singing, dancing and all forms of theatre!
With Appreciation from the Heart,
CPP's Dedicated Leaders and Staff
As promised - to do our part to help you help us, we are not requiring you to scroll back to the top to donate - rather, we include our donation link right here!