Free Shakespeare on a West LA Landmark Performed by Military Veterans Rescued from Budget Cuts

Share Article

Free Shakespeare on a West LA landmark was on the chopping block. The Veterans Center for the Performing Arts along with the United States Veterans' Artist Alliance decided to go ahead anyway and thanks to a grant from the Dax Foundation this valuable program will continue.

Local performance art lies at the heart and soul of our community

The Veteran's Center for the Performing Arts (VCPA) and The United States Veterans' Artists Alliance (USVAA)- two Los Angeles-based 501-c3 non-profit performance organizations announced today that their Summer production of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream has been sponsored by a grant from The Dax Foundation's Performing Arts Charitable Trust (PACT). The grant was made to enable the VCPA & USVAA to stage the play from Jul 11-Aug 12 at the West L.A. Civic Center after they were recently notified that their government funding had been dramatically cut back.

Stephan Wolfert, Founder and Artistic Director of the VCPA said, "We are grateful for all the support we have received from the city for past performances and we understand that civic budget shortfalls exist throughout the state. But we are committed to continuing to provide highly entertaining and richly rewarding theatrical experience for our veterans and for our audience. This PACT grant is much needed and provides us the necessary resources to deliver this quality production to the community."

Dave Weisman, Executive Director of the Dax Foundation added, "Community theatre is a very precious commodity that must be supported and jealously guarded. It is vibrant, creative, and provides one of the few easily accessible venues for our friends and neighbors to be exposed to the joy of Shakespeare and other timeless works. It is our mission and our pleasure to support the VCPA.

The primary mission of both the VCPA and USVAA is to serve as a catalyst for military veterans to realize their creative and artistic ambitions in a supportive, classical-based performing arts company. Without the support of the leadership and members of the local community the VCPA, like so many other local theatre groups cannot continue to survive. Without the assistance of concerned philanthropic bodies, such as Mortise & Tenon and the Dax Foundation this production might not be possible and "Free Shakespeare to all" could well be replaced with "No Performance Tonight."

"Local performance art lies at the heart and soul of our community," added Weisman. "These performers typically work long hours, stay up late at night to learn their lines, and struggle to perform in a park for 50 people. The result is magic and must be recognized and supported by us all."

About Veterans Center for the Performing Arts (VCPA):
The Veterans Center for the Performing Arts (VCPA) is a one of a kind 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization that develops and showcases our branded experience-based live theatre, music, dance, film, gallery showings and other artistic endeavors, leading the way for revitalization of the underserved community of military veterans. We maintain our close connection to the local community through our outreach programming - theater labs, apprenticeship programs and community-centered performances. For more information, please visit

About the Los Angeles based United States Veterans' Artists Alliance (USVAA):
USVAA was founded in 2004 as a multi-disciplinary, non-profit arts organization. From our inception our mission has been to provide veterans of all eras and all branches of the military with opportunities in the arts. It has been our experience that providing veterans both a foundation for their work and freedom to pursue it as they see fit, is the best means to bringing quality work forward while maintaining the organization for the long-term -- so that we are able to consistently assist veterans and artists. For more information, please visit

About "Shakespeare at the Bandshell":
Shakespeare at the Bandshell outreach program is a collaboration between two veteran artist organizations, USVAA & VCPA. They co-produce free, outdoor Shakespeare for the local community at the historic Bandshell in West LA. The VCPA & USVAA sponsor veterans so that they may attend a two-week Shakespeare Intensive training program conducted by Shakespeare Santa Monica. These veterans are then mentored by theatre professionals and partake in the presentation of full Shakespearian productions in West LA.

Shakespeare at the Bandshell is made possible, in part, through the donations of LA City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, West LA Neighborhood Council, Mortise & Tenon, The Dax Foundation, West LA Felicia Mahood Senior Center, Dolores Restaurant, and West LA Music.

Stephan Wolfert 323-533-2847
Keith Jeffreys 310-559-2116

WHO: The Veterans Center for the Performing Arts & United States Veterans' Artists Alliance

Presents: 2nd Annual Shakespeare at the Bandshell A Midsummer Night's Dream

WHAT:    ADMISSION IS FREEā€¦ but tax-exempt donations are always welcome. ALL proceeds go toward the non-profit organizations VCPA & USVAA.

WHEN:        JULY 11th - AUGUST 9th, 2009
            Saturday Evenings at 6pm
            Sunday Afternoons at 4:30pm

            11338 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
            Located behind the Public Library

WHY:            To provide free Shakespeare for the local community, while showcasing performances by veterans.

**Made possible by the following sponsors:
L.A. City Councilman, Bill Rosendahl; West L.A. Neighborhood Council; Mortise & Tenon; Dax Foundation; Dolores Restaurant


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print