Dear CAP UCLA family,
I wanted to write you as we continue to muster our strength, double up on our masks and keep moving forward in this brave new world. While there remains a long stretch ahead, we are hearing that many of you are in line now for vaccinations (yay!). It does feel that 2021 has ushered in renewed hopefulness with much to be grateful for. At CAP UCLA, we are grateful that you have stayed with us through our mega-shift of producing online performances and for those who have joined us from around the country and worldwide. For a performing arts organization like CAP UCLA, the silver lining in this is we are still able to connect with people far and wide, including our family of Angelenos who remain at home, as does the CAP UCLA staff.
Your notes, letters and gifts have made their way to us and every word of encouragement has inspired us to press on. Many of you have gone further by making a financial contribution to CAP UCLA. Every donation, every membership, every check or stock transfer we receive supports CAP UCLA in upholding what we can continue to do as an organization. Most of our financial resources come from people like you. Your collective contributions are the single most vital resource we have to draw from and is how we support our future work. I imagine that you all know what it feels like to rummage through the sofa cushions in search of that joyous sensation of finding a few bucks. Truth be told, that is exactly what our financial management process is all about now and I thank you wholeheartedly for helping us keep the lights on and the flame alive by sending us your contributions whenever and however you can.
You will see that we have necessarily changed our remaining season schedule. Several artists are postponing into the future because the very nature of their project is elementally linked to the presence of an audience. After valiant efforts to explore alternatives, the honest fact is that there isn’t an alternative. I salute their decisions to wait for the return of live audiences and know how aching the wait will continue to be – but we’ll get there! Other projects remain on the calendar with date changes for live streams – we added time to make it soar. Some of the artists have replaced their originally planned (and luminous) projects with wholly new ideas that are exactly right for this moment – and they are so spot on it blows my mind. CAP UCLA has also added some surprises to the mixology ahead – small sublime works of art that make our hearts sing. There is no end to the innovation that is happening out there; no end to the fortitude needed to stay the course; and there are no words to describe the contour of everyone’s creative efforts.
Given the not so subtle changes we have endured together these past ten months, what we are about to announce may sound counter-intuitive, but announce it we will: CAP UCLA will continue to ensure that the remainder of our 2020-21 performance programs are free. As financially unorthodox as this may seem, people in our community are hurting – students and families, artists and cultural workers, the list goes on and on – and free access to the projects on the CAP UCLA Online channel has been a salve and a place of inspiration for many. We want to keep it that way. This is an equity issue and a compassion issue. And, sometimes marketplace issues can get in the way of what an arts community is seeking to share.
In the spirit of helping one another in every way that we can, we hope that you’ll embrace our decision. Hundreds of you have signed up to be $15 monthly renewing digital subscribers and I’m asking if you will instead convert your willing participation into a membership or a recurring gift. Those of you who are already members of CAP UCLA know that membership comes with perks – and while we can’t exactly offer discounts on “free,” we can offer the bespoke accelerant of sharing what your membership makes possible regularly, for which we are ever grateful.
Suffice it to say, the depth and impact of CAP UCLA’s efforts ahead will be in parallel with the resources we have to work with. Every contribution we receive will be given back to you as works of art that would not have been possible without you.
Hopefully the donate button will be pressed frequently as you enjoy the rest of our incredible season. It will come to us like an optimistic affirmation of recovery and we will use it towards ours. Invoking the artist Miranda July, it will be about “Me and You and Everyone We Know” – or don’t yet know but believe in and care about.
Executive and Artistic Director
UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance
P.S. All you have to do to keep enjoying our programs for free is create a login to CAP UCLA Online. Once you have signed in, you will have instant access to all CAP UCLA Online programs. No payment information is required.