Dallas Summer Musicals Community Performance Sold Out the Music Hall

Dallas Summer Musicals
Photo by Chris Waits

Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. (DSM) new investment in creating public access to the performing arts, the DSM Community Performance, sold out the Music Hall at Fair Park to capacity recently. Engaging families and children from 56 nonprofit organizations and 7 DISD Elementary Schools from the Madison and Lincoln feeder patterns, this special show provided over 3,400 seats to community organizations free of charge. This very special event was made possible with financial support from sponsors and the enthusiasm and interest of schools, neighborhoods, and other nonprofits as partners, volunteers, and advocates came on board to make this truly an event dedicated to community outreach.

“This event demonstrated Dallas Summer Musicals’ ongoing commitment to the Dallas community and our leadership role as a cornerstone nonprofit performing arts organization for the City of Dallas and its citizens in Fair Park,” said Michael A. Jenkins, President and Managing Director, DSM. “We are thrilled at the response from community partners and grateful for the support from sponsors earmarked for this special event, including the Moody Foundation, the Hillcrest Foundation and Frost Bank, along with DSM season sponsors Texas Instruments, WFAA, American Airlines and The Dallas Morning News. Their involvement as corporate and community advocates was crucial in making this Community Performance a reality.”

The DSM Community Performance took place during DSM’s 76th season presentation of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, a proven family favorite, creating memorable experiences for children and parents to see a major touring Broadway production – many for the first time. Based on the animated film, this special show features a revamped script, new songs, and an entirely fresh interpretation of the film. Tickets for all other performances are on sale and open to the public during the show’s run through Sunday, March 27th. Details are below.

Upon entering the Music Hall at Fair Park, families and children were invited to join in many activities sponsored by these In-Kind partners: 6,000 donated Mother Rucker’s Sweets cookies; 2,000 + creative art-making activities and 200 family photos taken in photo booths powered by Big Thought, Creativity sponsor; 2,800 free Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches, Food sponsor; 1,500 foam tridents and tiaras for kids to decorate and keep; 700 free “fish-wrapped” t-shirts for children; countless selfie photo ops with 3 Mer Friends (live costumed mermaids in the fountain downstairs); 2 special literary performances by Friends of the Dallas Public Library and the Dallas Public Library; a dynamic fashion presentation of 8 pieces inspired by THE LITTLE MERMAID created by Special Topics in Fashion Design and Illustration students from El Centro College; and much more. DART was also a very important Transportation sponsor, donating 750 rail passes. See details on “By the Numbers” listed below.

“Each year, DSM seeks opportunities to enhance its organizational mission of presenting extraordinary Broadway shows by giving back to organizations, families, and students in the Dallas and greater North Texas community through community ticket donations, initiatives like Seats for Kids and the newly-developed Seats for Vets, and through scholarship funds for both the DSM Academy of the Performing Arts and the High School Musical Theatre Awards,” Jenkins continued. “The DSM Community Performance represents our latest community investment concept, designed to demonstrate that what’s good for the Dallas community is good for Dallas Summer Musicals.”

DSM was pleased to welcome students and families from seven Dallas ISD elementary schools from the Madison and Lincoln feeder patterns. “Participating in and attending quality arts events enrich the lives of our students in many ways,” said Dr. Danna Rothlisberger, Executive Director-Visual and Performing Arts. “Studies show that students who engage in arts activities develop skills that help promote academic and life success. For certain, our young people who attend live performances gain a rich experience that provides much for classroom and family conversations long after the event. Therefore, we are so grateful that the Dallas ISD elementary students in the Fair Park neighborhood had this opportunity to benefit from the district’s new partnership with the Dallas Summer Musicals.”

Ted Munselle, Chairman of the Board at DSM, agreed by saying, “This was a win-win-win for DSM, for Dallas, and for Fair Park and an intentional effort to expand on our community outreach. During the last presentation of Disney’s THE LION KING, for example, DSM organized a ‘Buy a Seat, Give a Seat’ promotion for one of the performances, which enabled DSM subscribers, patrons and community partner organizations to purchase over 1,700 seats for underserved and low-income families to attend the performance. This community investment was a great success and that success is one inspiration for the DSM Community Performance.”

Sponsors of the DSM Community Performance included: The Moody Foundation ($100,000), The Hillcrest Foundation ($50,000) and Frost Bank ($5,000), with additional annual education and community outreach program support from The Hirsch Family Foundation ($25,000), The Hoglund Foundation ($25,000), and the Scovell Fund of The Dallas Foundation ($25,000). DSM is also grateful to season sponsors Texas Instruments, American Airlines, WFAA Chanel 8, and The Dallas Morning News for ongoing support in its 76th year.

Dallas Summer Musicals’ highly anticipated 2015-2016 Season presented by Texas Instruments continues with DSM’s production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, March 11-27, 2016; WICKED, April 20 – May 22, 2016; RAGTIME, May 24 – June 5, 2016; BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, June 14-26, 2016; and closing the season will be 42ND STREET, June 28 – July 10, 2016.

The public can make charitable gifts to support a future DSM Community Performance by visiting https://dallassummermusicals.giv.sh/9c74 or contacting James Jenner, Director of Development, at (214) 413-3961 or jjenner@dallassummermusicals.org.