November 12, 2012
When it comes to great nonprofits, I believe Music Theatre of Wichita sets the gold standard. Here is my experience. I was finishing graduate studies in arts administration, pondering the gloomy arts outlook, when a friend suggested I come to Wichita to check out MTW and meet Wayne Bryan. It was just the boost I needed. Bryan became a mentor and showed me possibilities. I met a man with great charisma and passion for the arts, an artistic director who possessed the rare combination of creative vision mixed with business and marketing savvy. I met the core Music Theatre of Wichita staff -- Nancy, Vickie, Mary Sue, Bethany -- all delightful, talented, and equally committed to building the MTW dream. I met Board Members with diverse backgrounds and expertise. I sat in on rehearsals and marveled at the range of talent. Broadway veterans mixed freely with interns, all collaborating with a sense of joy and pride in what they were creating. At the evening’s performance, I witnessed Bryan come out upon the stage to affectionate cheers followed by hushed, rapt attention as he introduced the evening’s tale to an audience hungry for escape. The performance did not disappoint; it was accomplished on all levels. After, Bryan took his position in the lobby, thanking and interacting with audience members as they exited into the night carrying some of the magic with them. Something very special is going on at Century II! My interaction with Wayne Bryan and Music Theatre of Wichita took me from a low ebb to a place of hope for the future of live performance. MTWichita is making a difference. That is why I wanted to include my voice in these reviews. For when it comes to great nonprofits, I believe Music Theatre of Wichita sets the gold standard and provides a golden opportunity for patrons, foundations, corporate sponsors, individual donors -- all who want to ally with a successful and deserving arts organization. Which reminds me … time to pull out my own checkbook …
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