Relief Campaign for WHBPAC’s Arts Academy - 27 East

Arts & Living

Arts & Living / 1700320

Relief Campaign for WHBPAC’s Arts Academy

authorStaff Writer on May 17, 2020

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center has launched a critical relief campaign to raise funds to sustain the Arts Academy through the COVID-19 crisis. The Arts Academy has been the lynchpin of the theater and it serves nearly 10,000 students per year through performances, after-school programs, programs for children with special needs, summer camps, adult classes and more.

The Academy was in the midst of a banner year of record attendance and had just begun rehearsals for its spring semester when WHBPAC was forced to close on March 13 due to COVID-19. Since then, the WHBPAC has been offering free virtual programming alongside virtual master classes and private coaching sessions.

Now, the Center is turning to a virtual platform to do the critical work of raising funds to sustain the Arts Academy and the theater through the COVID-19 crisis.

“Our message throughout this time has been one of positivity — we have always served as a beacon for our patrons, using the arts to uplift,” said WHBPAC’s executive director Julienne Penza-Boone. “That said, there’s no denying the difficult challenges we face. Theaters were the first to close, and will be the last to reopen. We will be relying on our community to help see us through this so that we’re able to open our doors and welcome our students back as soon as we’re able.”

The campaign, called “Set the Stage ... for the Future of WHBPAC Arts Academy,” utilizes a platform that enables crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising, a concept that will allow donors to build their own teams to raise funds among their own network of contacts.

“It’s a very modern platform, and one that will allow our donors to engage with their own networks that will benefit the Arts Academy,” WHBPAC communications manager Heather Draskin explains. “Participants can donate individual monetary amounts or choose to cover itemized gifts, ranging from costumes to teaching staff to scholarships to even an entire semester of performances.”

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to make a real, tangible impact,” adds Penza-Boone.

WHBPAC has received matching donations from the Louis Auer Foundation, which will match dollar for dollar up to $50,000, the Julia and Gilbert Merrill Foundation which will match an additional $10,000. Dr. Stanley Zinberg, former WHBPAC board chair and current board member, has given a lead gift of $20,000 to kickstart the campaign.

“We cannot thank our generous donors enough for these incredible gifts,” says Arts Academy director Kristen Poulakis. “We are starting off on the right foot for our fundraiser to make a positive impact for our students.”

To make a donation to the cause, visit

You May Also Like:

VIDEO: The Show Must Go On: The Arts in a Time of Lockdown

Much of art is meant to be a communal experience. But the COVID-19 pandemic has ... 5 Jun 2020 by Staff Writer

This Summer It’s ‘All For The Hall’

Guild Hall has reinvented its traditional season of events to announce a new, redesigned 2020 ... 2 Jun 2020 by Staff Writer

BCMF Concerts Postponed

Because of circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this summer’s Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Long ... by Staff Writer

Free Solo Is A True Cliffhanger

This week, Hamptons DocFest adds another “Fest Favorite” documentary to its website. This time, it’s ... by Staff Writer

‘Best Jams’ Virtual Concert Will ‘Feed the Need’ This Weekend

There are a lot of people in this neck of the woods who are missing ... by Annette Hinkle

When Life Imitiates Fiction: Merrell’s Novel ‘Shirley’ Makes It To The Movies

“Shirley,” a major new motion picture starring Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg, is set to ... by Annette Hinkle

Cooking With The Countess

The Southampton History Museum is hosting a live monthly Zoom cooking show that will take place in the kitchen of one of the Port of Missing Men, the last, private Gilded Age estate in Southampton. The home was built as a hunting retreat on North Sea’s Cow Neck in the 1920s by H.H. Rogers, Jr., whose father was the wealthiest man in the country in 1910. “Cooking with the Countess” features Mrs. Peter A. Salm, also known as The Countess von Salm-Hoogstraeten, and her private chef, Brian Hetrich, behind the stove in the vast kitchen at the Port of Missing ... by Staff Writer

Bert Stern’s Marilyn Monroe Photos At Keyes Gallery

Keyes Gallery in Sag Harbor in collaboration with the Bert Stern Estate is releasing a series of new, limited edition prints from “The Last Sitting” with Marilyn Monroe that took place at the legendary Bel-Air Hotel in Beverly Hills in 1962. Called “The Red Show,” the exhibition opens at Keyes Gallery on Main Street Sag Harbor on Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14, 10 a.m., to 7 p.m. and remains on view through July 6. Sterns photographic artworks of Monroe are black and white, along with sepia toned, hauntingly beautiful prints with themes of red. These works are sourced ... by Staff Writer

Bloomsday Is Close At Hand

Attention all fans of great literature and superb acting – Bloomsday approaches! Join Guild Hall on Tuesday, June 16, from 8 to 10 p.m. to celebrate one of Ireland (and the world’s) finest writers, James Joyce, and his novel “Ulysses” as read and performed by a legend of the American stage, Austin Pendleton. This one-night-only virtual live reading by Pendleton is directed by Elizabeth Falk and is a one man play by Joe Beck. Joyce’s most famous work “Ulysses” (1922) is based on Homer’s “The Odyssey” and follows the movements of Leopold Bloom through a single day on June 16th, ... by Staff Writer

Bartley’s Artistic Quarantine

Please Note: This event has been suspended as of June 3, 2020 — notification will be posted if it is rescheduled. - ed Artists don’t stop working just because they’re socially distancing. On Friday, June 5, at 5 p.m. Alicia G. Longwell, Ph.D., The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator at the Parrish Art Museum, will lead a live-stream illustrated conversation with Sag Harbor-based photographer and Parrish collection artist Mary Ellen Bartley, who recently completed a 30-day photography project in quarantine. “Mary Ellen Bartley’s story unfolded during a socially-distanced conversation on a neighboring front porch and I immediately wanted ... by Staff Writer

Welcome to our new website!

To see what’s new, click “Start the Tour” to take a tour.

We welcome your feedback. Please click the
“contact/advertise” link in the menu bar to email us.

Start the Tour
Landscape view not supported