ArtsNashoba holding fundraisers in lieu of season

Youth arts organization looking for financial assistance after losing performances to COVID-19

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GROTON – The arts is one of many industries to have taken a hit from the coronavirus pandemic, and ArtsNashoba has been no exception.

The organization, founded in 2013 to find local art opportunities for young people, had to cancel all of its planned shows in 2020 due to COVID-19 putting a stop to large public gatherings. This significantly hurt the organization due to its reliance on ticket sales to pay for not only the costs of putting on shows, but also backing its Bert and Edith Thompkins Scholarship fund. Still, the group is finding different ways to make ends meet by starting a fundraiser.

“We started out with a t-shirt fundraising campaign with J&S Business Products in Ayer,” Bonnie Marchesani, a group leader at ArtsNashoba, said in a release. “They’ve always been so supportive so, if we could help them and help us, it was a win/win. Unfortunately, to maintain our existing expenses, T-shirt orders weren’t going to be enough.”

The fundraiser, known as the Full House Campaign, is asking resident to buy tickets for ArtsNashoba’s planned 2020 shows for $10 a piece. While there will be no shows for the rest of the year, the purchases still support the organization for future events. Donors will also see a personalized sign on theater seats during the organization’s next production in recognition of their support, along with a mention in ArtsNashoba’s season program as a Full House Fund contributor.

“We have 1600 seats we can sell each season, so maybe our audiences, community members and corporate supporters can help us to fill them,” Executive Director JulieAnn Govang said in the release. “ArtsNashoba has such a strong following of audience supporters. We’re blessed to see many of the same faces show after show, and we love to present theatrical experiences to wonderful friends in our sensory sensitive community. It’s so sad that we cannot share these things in person during 2020, but we thought that, since friends would have attended our shows anyway, they might be in a position to buy tickets in spirit so that our 2021 return will be guaranteed.”

Those looking to make donations can do so by visiting artsnashoba.org. The organization hopes to start hosting shows again next spring.