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Why We Are Holding Our Gala Now

Dear Meany Center Friends and Patrons,

If you have received an invitation from Meany Center to join us for our OFF STAGE virtual fundraiser this week, June 8-12, you may be wondering whether, at a time of national crisis, mourning and widespread protest, it is appropriate to hold this event. 

As a self-sustaining unit of the University of Washington, Meany Center stands behind the strong statement made by University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce in response to this difficult moment in our national history — we cannot give up or go back.

As a presenting arts organization, Meany Center also stands behind artists whose work speaks their truth. We believe that the arts are one of the most powerful and essential tools that we have on the path to authentic social change — an extraordinary portal for understanding another's reality, and an impetus to create new social paradigms.

Artists need support to continue their work and the venues in which to present it. For forty years, Meany Center has provided that support to thousands of performing artists from across the continent and around the world — through artist fees, commissions, residencies, collaborations and more.

And we have served our local community as well, providing opportunities for diverse artists, community members, students and faculty to connect, discover and explore the boundless power of the arts to create positive change in the world.

Now more than ever, the voices of artists — especially Black artists and People of Color — need to be championed. And so, we are going forward with our virtual gala, planned many weeks ago, and asking you, our generous patrons and donors, to support the artists we present by supporting Meany Center.


Michelle Witt

Executive and Artistic Director
​Meany Center for the Performing Arts