These early spring days, although still cold and snowy, give me hope for change and optimism for the future of the performing arts. I believe the arts world will come charging back with renewed creativity and enthusiasm, focus and commitment. Thank you for the kind support you have given to the Franklin Performing Arts Company! It is only with your help and generosity that we have been able to make it through this extraordinarily challenging time.
Although we endured frightening circumstances in 2020 with THE BLACK BOX closed and our artistic endeavors forced online, I believe at FPAC we proved ourselves resourceful, creative, and resilient. The Franklin Performing Arts Company produced online content throughout the quarantine with nightly performances from home and a Virtual Benefit in June featuring FPAC favorites, as well as Broadway guests who care deeply about the survival of our theater and company.
As soon as allowed in July, we put up a stage in the parking lot of THE BLACK BOX and began outdoor concerts that ran throughout the summer. Our safety measures and protocols in place, we worked to instill confidence in a tentative public and provided a safe place for artists to do what they love - perform. We ran some events at break even, but importantly provided a venue for many local, Boston, and New York based artists who had not made music or set foot on a stage since March.
During the summer, FPAC introduced an online ticketing platform and established an invaluable relationship with Franklin TV, allowing us to film performances, livestream, and broadcast to virtual audiences. As the weather began to change in the fall, Dean Bank sponsored a tent under which we continued to stage shows through the end of October. I am proud of the extensive programming we presented throughout 2020 including cabarets and concerts of all kinds, a newly conceived Gala, and a COVID-safe book musical. Thank you for being a part of this and remaining in our corner.
Now it is time to see our way forward! We will continue to livestream entertainment until we can welcome an audience back into THE BLACK BOX, and in early April we will install a tent in the parking lot of THE BLACK BOX to host events outdoors through June. We have a lot of work ahead of us to secure the future of our venue, but we are working on all opportunities to strengthen our organization and move on.
Thank you for being a special friend of FPAC. Your commitment to the arts is critically important at this time and your generous support is appreciated by the entire FPAC community. I hope to see you soon at THE BLACK BOX or outside in our parking lot theater. Wishing you health and well being as we inch toward Spring and on to Normal!
Raye Lynn Mercer, Executive/Artistic Director
Frankin Performing Arts Company