Night of Community’s Real Impact
By Pei-San Brown, Director of Community Education
I have to admit I was feeling a bit anxious. Vehicles full of wheelchairs were pulling up the theater driveway, and because we hadn’t been notified in advance about some of them, the theater wasn’t fully prepared. No problem for our production crew. In less than 10 minutes, while I was downstairs on the plaza welcoming and organizing the audience members in wheelchairs, the crew had removed enough seats to accommodate the six additional wheelchairs that had arrived. It took quite a few elevator rides for me to safely escort the audience members up to the mezzanine level. They situated themselves in the areas cleared for them, and I went back downstairs to greet my next group of guests.
Generally, most of the audience members that attend Ballet Austin’s Night of Community are financially-challenged clients of non-profit social service organizations. Most of them simply do not have the funds to purchase tickets to a regular performance. But many of them, in addition to having limited financial resources, find getting to the theater to be a huge obstacle as well. Thus, the help of their non-profit organizations to help them get to the theater, and our assistance in getting them into accessible seating areas, are as invaluable to them as the free ticket itself.
I’ve often been told that seeing the ballet has changed a person’s life or outlook for the better. Our non-profit partners also make it clear to us what impact our gifts have on their clientele:
“Your kindness helps us to continue to serve seriously ill children and their families with programs designed to restore some of the laughter and happiness illness takes away.”
For me, the fact that Ballet Austin provides this service, free tickets to those who have financial and accessibility challenges, makes me so proud of being a part of this community-focused organization. Click here to learn more about how you can help support these programs.
-Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation