Tecumseh Center for the Arts (TCA) is partnering with F & S Landscape Inc. of Tecumseh on several projects this season. The company has been an annual business sponsor and donor for many years as well as currently providing snow removal services during the winter months. In August, F & S Landscape Inc. updated the large flower beds located in front of the theater marquee. The previous landscape had been designed and installed by local high school students’ many years before. Over time, the mulch and original flowers had deteriorated, become overgrown with weeds and needed replacement.
“We greatly appreciate the support in updating our flower beds,” stated TCA Director Kelly Jo Gilmore. “They turned out beautifully and will be a wonderful welcome to patrons when they arrive at the theater. We are thrilled to partner with F & S Landscape inc. for our landscaping needs at the theater.”
The current pandemic and closure of concert venues like Tecumseh Center for the Arts has allowed the theater to move forward with several outdoor projects including the landscaping and the new TCA Street Art Trail.
“The TCA Street Art Trail is Phase 1 of our new Art | Music | Sculpture Park,” commented Gilmore. “The next phase will focus on the Sculpture Garden surrounding the new Street Art Trail. We will be partnering with F & S Landscape, Inc. to develop a master plan for the gardens and community inspired sculptures.”
The garden will be located on the north side of the property and will surround the pole barn. The theater will be seeking sculpture submissions over the next few months with the goal to plant the garden and install the sculptures during the spring of 2021.
“It is a great opportunity to partner with Tecumseh Center for the Arts,” stated Craig Fulton, owner of F & S Landscape Inc. “The theater plays an important role in our community through its shows and now through its outdoor space as well. As a local business, we are proud to support the theater and its programs. “
Community members and visitors can enjoy the TCA Street Art Trail and view the new flower beds by visiting Tecumseh Center for the Arts located at 400 North Maumee Street in Tecumseh, Michigan.
The 39th season was unlike any other in the theater's history. The first six months saw record numbers of season ticket holders, individual ticket sales, an increase in renters, donations and business sponsorships. In fact, the theater was on track to have one of its best years in decades. Then the world as we know it completely changed overnight due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The months of March through June tend to be Tecumseh Center for the Art's busy season. In fact, nearly half of all TCA shows take place during those specific months each season. When the pandemic forced theaters to close across the State of Michigan in mid-March, the theater was looking at $60-80,000 in lost revenue by the end of the fiscal year (June 2020). It was at that time, staff made the difficult decisions to eliminate as many expenses as possible while implementing additional revenue streams during the shut down. From laying off employees to refunding tickets, canceling contracts to announcing the "Together We Can" Donation Campaign; the community and the theater's endowment rallied, allowing the theater to balance its budget for the 2019-2020 season.
"The end of our 39th season was incredibly challenging," Stated TCA Director Kelly Jo Gilmore. "The theater takes great pride in balancing the budget each year and then all of a sudden we were looking at a rather significant decrease in revenue. It was then that the community came together and reminded us we are all in this together."
Below are some highlights from the TCA's 39th Season Statistics Report:
Long-time City of Tecumseh employee, musician, theater advocate and TCA’s Technical Director Karen Bunch has announced her retirement from Tecumseh Center for the Arts, effective July 1.
Bunch has been employed at the theater for over 35 years. During her tenure, she has worked in all areas of the theater including technical, box office, promotions, program ad sales, shop, set construction, and maintenance. Her most recent position as technical director was the role she enjoyed most. Bunch passionately assisted hundreds of local and professional touring groups during her career and provided support to thousands of performances and patrons.
“Karen’s contributions to Tecumseh Center for the Arts are immense,” stated TCA Director Kelly Jo Gilmore. “She has a wealth of knowledge of the building, the TCA community, and internal processes. She will be sorely missed as an employee. We hope she will continue to be an active part of the TCA community in retirement; we look forward to welcoming her back to the theater as a musician, performer, patron and volunteer.”
Bunch is a member of the TCA Big Band & VocalAires which performs twice a year at the theater and often assists Tecumseh Youth Theatre and Tecumseh Pops Orchestra and Community Chorus in various roles throughout the year as well.
Tecumseh Center for the Arts will formally celebrate Bunch’s retirement at a future event once the State of Michigan reopens performing arts venues.
Tecumseh Center for the Arts receives Grant Award from Local Foundation
The Elizabeth Ruthruff Wilson Foundation selected Tecumseh Center for the Arts as the grant recipient of $50,000 to go toward the replacement and repairs of the theater’s aging HVAC system. According to the Foundation, it had to approach grant requests differently than they have in past years. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation recognized that performing arts centers and other highly impacted not-for-profit organizations were in dire need of assistance. The Foundation was also unable to support the TCA’s summer series and their annual camp scholarships due to closures from the coronavirus COVID-19.
‘We knew the boiler was on its last leg this past winter and we’ve been raising funds for the boiler for the past 12 months,” Stated TCA Director Kelly Jo Gilmore. “Then, when we switched the building from heating to cooling at the end of May, we were informed that at least one of the air conditioning units was no longer operational and several other units needed repairs. It was heartbreaking given the amount of money we have raised for the boiler to now have to find funding for the AC units as well.”
When considering grant requests, the Elizabeth Ruthruff Wilson Foundation strives to ensure their awards are in alignment with their mission statement and ultimately that the Foundation is living up to the legacy left by its founder, Elizabeth Wilson.
“At our recent meeting, the foundation board reviewed a request from Tecumseh Center for the Arts that outlined their needs as well as the hard work they are doing to keep this community cornerstone operating,” stated Foundation President Theresa Powers. “Elizabeth was on the original board that built the TCA (formerly known as the Civic Auditorium). She believed that a community auditorium was essential to our community. With that in mind, the board unanimously approved awarding the TCA a grant of $50,000 to assist in the replacement of their HVAC system and other necessary repairs. The Elizabeth R. Wilson Foundation is and always will be dedicated to the cultural arts of this community.”
An official presentation of the grant award will take place during Tecumseh’s City Council meeting on Monday, July 20, 2020.
“The TCA staff is incredible grateful for this grant award from the Elizabeth Ruthruff Wilson Foundation,” said Gilmore. “We believe in this theater and the role that it plays in the greater Tecumseh area. I am amazed and inspired by community members and local foundations like the Elizabeth Ruthruff Wilson Foundation that continue to give back to Tecumseh in times of need.”
Tecumseh Center for the Arts strives to be a vital part of the artistic culture of Tecumseh and enrich people’s lives through art and music. As part of the theater’s Strategic Plan, the theater is moving forward with plans for an outdoor Art - Music - Sculpture Park.
The first step in this process is the creation of the TCA Street Art Trail, a community inspired project. The Trail will be located on the North side of the property, surrounding the pole barn. The theater is currently in the process of preparing sheets of plywood for members of the community to paint, before installing them on the sides of the barn.
“Public Art is a growing expectation in progressive communities,” stated Tecumseh City Manager Dan Swallow. “Art contributes to a community's identity, fosters community pride and enhances the quality of life for its residents and visitors.”
Tecumseh Center for the Arts is reaching out to community members, local artists, youth programs and other organizations to participate in the creation of the Street Art Trail. Professional and amateur artists as well as interested community members are invited to participate in the community art project.
“The new Street Art Trail provides an opportunity for the theater to engage the community through the arts during the shutdown,” stated TCA Director Kelly Jo Gilmore. “Since we’re currently unable to host indoor shows or events, we decided to shift our attention to the outdoors and the TCA property. We are thrilled to begin work on phase 1 of our outdoor strategic plan.”
Tecumseh Center for the Arts will provide acrylic paint in primary colors, brushes, mixing plates and rollers. Interested individuals can email email@example.com or download the Street Art Trail Request Form from the theater’s website at www.TheTCA.org.
Tecumseh Center for the Arts would like to have the boards painted and installed this summer with a ribbon cutting ceremony held later this fall.
As we enter the last six weeks of our 39th season, you may wonder what our next steps are for the theater?
Our Together We Can Donation Campaign helped us reach our March and April goals. Your generosity was unbelievable and we are incredibly grateful. For May and June, we made the tough decision to layoff and reduce hours for employees. We're also working diligently on grants. In addition, we are actively promoting our 40th Anniversary season t-shirts that are on sale now, renting the TCA marquee, selling gift certificates and working on plans for next season. If you'd like to continue supporting the TCA during May and June, please see the links below:
Community Raises over $20k in 15 days!
When I spoke to staff in early April about Tecumseh Center for the Arts’ need to raise $20,000 – I didn’t realize it wasn’t just the theater that needed this campaign. Our Together We Can Donation Campaign was created with the theater in mind but it accomplished something greater than raising money. It reminded us that perhaps, we all needed something to believe in that was bigger than ourselves.
This pandemic is affecting all of our lives. We are seeing first-hand community members who are sick, hospitalized, or who have lost loved ones. We are seeing people scared of losing their jobs, their small businesses, their ability to pay bills and their livelihood. We are seeing people divided over politics, this crisis, wearing masks in public and even the right way to move forward.
But we are also seeing something more.
We are seeing communities support each other. We are seeing people turn their front porch lights on or place candles in their windows to support first responders and essential workers. We are seeing parades of cars drive past people’s houses for birthday celebrations, anniversaries, to support those who are sick and hurting. We are seeing communities rally in support of small businesses by shopping local. We are seeing people leave flowers on neighbor’s porches and coming together like nothing I’ve seen in my lifetime.
The theater’s Together We Can campaign was a pipe dream. I knew we needed to cover our lost revenue from closing in March and April. I knew we had to find a way to involve the community. I knew in my heart and soul that the theater and more importantly the arts could bring people together because it always does. What I wasn’t prepared for is what actually happened over the past 15 days.
I saw people donate who spend countless days and hours at the theater each year. I saw people donate who give multiple times throughout our season. I saw people donate who have never stepped foot in the TCA. I saw people donate who have moved out of state or who only come to the theater once a year. I saw people donate who believe in this community and who wanted in some tiny way to make the world a better place.
At the time that I am writing this, donations continue to come in -- both online and by mail. That together we have raised $20,671 and still growing. To each and every one of you who made the choice to support the theater and this campaign – thank you. Your donations are worth so much more than their monetary value. You have reminded us all that love, compassion and generosity is what will get us through this difficult and challenging time. Thank you for inspiring us and reminding us what is truly important – people and the community we build together.
Together we can … Together we did!
Kelly Jo Gilmore
Tecumseh Center for the Arts, like many organizations and businesses are experiencing financially challenging times and we, too, are worried about meeting our financial obligations this season.
In the past, the theater has been able to hold fundraising events to offset expenses at the end of our season. With the Executive Order from Michigan’s Governor to “Stay Home, Stay Safe” this means the “Show Will Not Go On” for the first time in our history.
It is true that Tecumseh Center for the Arts is owned by the City of Tecumseh; however, this does not mean the City of Tecumseh has specific tax dollars allocated to support the theater each year. At a time where our Police Department, Fire Department, Water Department and City Hall are essential, the theater knows we need to help make sure these other departments have the resources they need to take care of the community. The theater has worked incredibly hard over the past few years to decrease expenses and raise revenue so we’re not a financial burden on the City’s General Fund.
Unfortunately, even though we had a very positive start to our 39th season and we reached many of our goals (thank you!); the next few months are going to be incredibly challenging. March – June are usually our busiest times of the year and lost revenue from ticket sales, fundraisers, renters and donations is going to be difficult to overcome. To date we have lost $20,000 in revenue and if the Executive Order stays in place through the remainder of our season that loss will be closer to $60,000. Coupled with the loss of $20,000 in our endowment due to the stock market means we will have an $80,000 deficit.
This type of deficient can seem overwhelming. With less than three months remaining in our 39th season we are asking our community for help. We know that many of us are struggling. We know that many of us are worried about lost wages, lost jobs and our small businesses but we are asking the community to help us raise $20,000 to support baseline operations. We will reach out to other foundations and grant organizations to see if we can raise the remaining $60,000. However, being owned by a municipality can be detrimental because municipalities are usually exempt from applying for state and federal grants. This puts us in a unique situation where the theater can’t apply for grants that other theaters can. It also means that we are often the first to be cut as a non-essential department within the City.
This is why we are launching our TOGETHER WE CAN Donation Campaign and asking the community to help us raise $20,000 to help offset the immediate financial burden. We believe that:
TOGETHER WE CAN raise $20,000 for the theater!
TOGETHER WE CAN make sure the TCA is here for another 40 years!
TOGETHER WE CAN keep moving forward and plan for next season!
TOGETHER WE CAN make it through this crisis!
We know how important the arts are to this community. The role the TCA plays in supporting economic development, local businesses and quality of life. We are asking 1,000 people to donate $20 through the end of April. We are hoping that if you have $20 extra dollars this month – you will consider supporting Tecumseh Center for the Arts.
You can make a donation directly to the TCA by sending a check made payable to Tecumseh Center for the Arts located at 400 North Maumee Street, Tecumseh, Michigan 49286 or by donating online at https://www.thetca.org/donations.html.
TOGETHER WE CAN do this!
Kelly Jo Gilmore, TCA Executive Director
#togetherwecan #isupporttecumseh #ichoosetecumseh #mytecmseh #mytca #thetca #downtowntecumseh #ilovethetca
Tecumseh Center for the Arts (TCA) is welcoming breathtaking circus artistry with live music to their stage on March 7. This new show is based on the Greek Mythological tale of Talos, “The First Machine.” The show features live orchestrations by the contemporary group CORDIS.
Le Cirque Esprit is a spectacular tapestry of lights, acrobatics and aerial work, backed by alt-classical/electronic/percussive music pioneers CORDIS. The show tells the story of the “Spirit of the Machine,” a thrilling, family-friendly tale, where machines become heroes in the middle of the night, and everyone can expect the unexpected! The thrilling show takes place at 4 pm on Saturday, March 7 and is packed with breathtaking acrobatics and aerial acts paired with classic steampunk-era circus artistry. Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for seniors, youth and military members.
In addition to the matinee performance, guests can attend the morning workshop at 10 am on Saturday, March 7 for just $5. This event offers an overview of LCE’s production, Spirit of the Machine, by featuring an introduction to each of the show’s primary themes, scenes, and characters – with a focus on pivotal characters, primary thematic elements in the show’s original musical score, set design, and costumes. The artists also discuss behind-the-scenes performance preparations, which work together with the onstage production to make the magic come alive! This workshop is co-led by members of The Boston Circus Guild, CORDIS, and the LCE Technical team.
3 Dudes and Dinner will be preparing a breakfast buffet for anyone who attends the workshop on Saturday morning. For just $5, patrons can get a behind-the scenes look while enjoying a delicious breakfast. Patrons can attend just the workshop or just the performance or both!
The workshop and performance are sponsored in part by the Elizabeth Ruthruff Wilson Foundation. A grant award from the foundation is providing the opportunity for Tecumseh Center for the Arts to host both events at reasonable prices so many families can enjoy this high-caliber show right here in Lenawee County.
Tickets to the workshop and/or performance can be purchased at 517-423-6617, at the box office located at 400 N. Maumee Street, or on-line at www.thetca.org. Tecumseh Center for the Arts’ 39th season is sponsored by 3 Dudes and Dinner. The National Touring Season is sponsored in part by Tuckey’s Big Boy and Carpet on Wheels. Le Cirque Esprit Show Sponsor is Kirchhoff Automotive.
Tecumseh Center for the Arts (TCA) is welcoming back New York, NY Dueling Pianos for its 2019-2020 National Touring Season! This comedy-based dueling piano show is always a fun, high-energy party-in-a-box! Join pianists and Michigan husband and wife team Drew and Kin as they return to the TCA stage on Saturday, February 15, 2020.
New York, NY Dueling Pianos is a high-octane fiesta that’s part rock show, part comedy show and all sorts of craziness rolled into one big outrageous party. The audience becomes part of the show in a request-driven sing-along, dance-along, thump-the-tables-along extravaganza!
Tecumseh Center for the Arts is offering several seating options for this year’s performance of New York, NY Dueling Pianos. Patrons can purchase individual seats in the house for $30 (adults) or $25 (seniors, youth and military members). Patrons can also purchase seats onstage for $40. Seating onstage includes a catered dinner by 3 Dudes and Dinner, own wait staff, complimentary concessions (popcorn, nuts, etc.) and a cash bar so you don’t have to miss one second of the show. Tickets are going fast, so grab your friends and purchase your tickets today!
Dueling Pianos will take place at Tecumseh Center for the Arts on Saturday, February 15 at 7:30 pm. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Both concessions and the TCA bar will begin serving at 6:30 pm. Beer and wine available for just $6 per bottle of beer or glass of wine.
Tickets can be purchased at 517-423-6617, at the box office located at 400 N. Maumee Street, or on-line at www.thetca.org. Tecumseh Center for the Arts’ 39th season is sponsored by Three Dudes and Dinner. The National Touring Season is sponsored in part by Tuckey’s Big Boy and Carpet on Wheels. New York, NY Show Sponsor is Visit Lenawee.
Behind the scenes of Tecumseh Center for the Arts.