Today is the first day of auditions for Becoming Cuba by playwright-in-residence Melinda Lopez. It's also #GivingTuesday, which you've probably noticed if you've gone anywhere near any kind of social media today and found yourself bombarded with asks for money from every not-for-profit organization you've ever heard of.
First of all, sorry about that. Second of all, hear me out. We have a generous donor matching every single #GivingTuesday donation we receive, dollar-for-dollar. And you might not know this — because I definitely didn't know this until pretty recently — but when companies like ours say things like, "Every dollar counts," we really mean it. Some of the other places that we go to for funding and grants are less concerned with how much money we've raised from individual people, but how many people donate to the Huntington. 50 people each giving $5 can sometimes do more for us than one person giving $250. So your $5 becomes $10 today, and then somewhere down the line, it helps us get another $5,000 grant, which allows us to continue bringing our beautiful shows to the stage.
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Which brings me back to Becoming Cuba. The Hunt, our new donation-and-reward program for young donors, is raising money to become the collective scenic sponsor for Becoming Cuba, and frankly, it ain't cheap to bring those steamy Havana streets to the stage. We're almost halfway to our goal of $10,000 — and with the #GivingTuesday match today, we could be even closer.
While we'll certainly take those $5 donations, the membership perks for The Hunt kick in at $75 a year, or $6.50 a month. That means that if you pledge today to give $6.50 a month for the next year, we'll get $150 — $75 from you (spread out over a year), and $75 from our #GivingTuesday match. That's $6.50 a month that gets you exclusive VIP access for our 35 Below wrap parties and tons of other great perks, on top of the satisfaction of knowing that you helped make a Huntington show happen.
So let's do some quick math. $6.50 a month (pledged today) equals $150 a year. If 34 people agree to give today, we'd make our goal. If only 12 of you give today, we'll be 2/3 of the way there. And if one of you gives? We'd still cross the halfway mark (which is kind of what we were hoping to do by the end of the year soooooo). Your $6.50 today could be the difference between this:
Scenic design research photo of an actual Cuban pharmacy
...which, if you can't tell, is the mostly-bare stage at the BU Theatre
And if you really really really can't give today — hey, we totally understand. Just do us a favor and use this web portal for all of your holiday shopping on Amazon.com, and in exchange, they'll donate a percentage of your purchase to the Huntington. Now I'll live you with Becoming Cuba director M. Bevin O'Gara herself talking about The Hunt: