In my professional life, I have worked with organizations large and small around the country to define and implement changes to help them successfully grow. Over several recent years, I have served on the Transcendence Advisory Council and the Board of Directors. Last June, I was asked to become Interim Managing Director to more actively help chart the company’s future in a bigger way. I was thrilled to have this opportunity.
2018 was a great year for Transcendence. We completed our 7th season with well-attended audiences at our four summer shows and our holiday show, in addition to numerous smaller shows for special audiences. We added a new performance venue in Napa County. We continued our many community outreach activities, including civic appearances, performing with the Santa Rosa Symphony, extensive Latino community involvement with the La Luz Center, and a number of youth-oriented interactive programs. Our sponsors and patrons rewarded us with an astounding fundraising campaign, raising over $1.3 million.
In previous years, our leadership team met and planned for the upcoming year. This year, because of these successes, we were finally in a position to look further down the road and develop a longer-range outlook. We scheduled a 2-day retreat that in addition to planning our 2019 season also developed a 3-5 year framework for 2020 and beyond. The community at large, hundreds of volunteers, sponsors, and thousands of show-going fans have brought us to a threshold of an even bigger and brighter future.
Our audiences increasingly recognize that Transcendence is much more than a regional theatre company. One theatre critic said, “Transcendence is in a class of its own.” As we move to the next level in pursuit of our Big Dream, we can now better articulate what that dream looks like. We are proud to celebrate the importance of dance, music and the theatre arts, not just at our performances, but also by reaching out to underserved sectors of our community. We create affordable exposure to the arts through special events, youth programs, internships, educational workshops, and master classes for a wide variety of audiences. This year we will produce our first full Broadway musical … and it’s a worldwide favorite. One day, we even plan to debut our own musical on Broadway.
There was much we were able to do in 2018 and we want to keep growing. Successful companies look at their people and ask where their talents can do the most good and add qualified people to fill evolving needs. They question their processes and learn how to do things better. There’s a lot to look forward to, it’s complicated, challenging, and a lot of work, but the Big Dream is worth it. As we evolve into an even more mature company, we will channel the support of our donors and sponsors into building an extraordinary future. We look forward to seeing you with us along the way.