SARASOTA, FL – August 2023 will mark the sixth time The Young, Black & Giving Back Institute has sponsored Give 8/28 – a day of giving to Black-led and Black-benefiting nonprofits – and the fourth year Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has participated. This year, donations to WBTT during Give 8/28 will support the organization’s Young Artist Program, which provides talented young performers an opportunity to showcase their talents by writing, directing, and performing cabaret-style shows on the theatre’s mainstage.
In 2022-2023, WBTT presented two Young Artist Program showcases: Brentney J.’s “Memoirs of a Peach” and Raleigh Mosely II’s “Titanium: A Soul Experience.” Most of WBTT’s Young Artist Program showcases sell out; all proceeds from the shows are given to the presenting artist to be used to further their artistic and professional development.
The August 28 date is significant because it happens during Black Philanthropy Month and marks several milestones in Black history that happened on August 28. Some tragic, some hopeful, these events include the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Mississippi (1955); the March on Washington and Dr. King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech (1963); the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, which disproportionately affected Black families in New Orleans (2005); and Barack Obama’s acceptance of the Democratic Party’s nomination for president (2008).
The purpose of Give 8/28 is to promote giving for Black-led and Black-benefiting organizations; this is the only national giving event dedicated to giving back to Black nonprofits. Organizers note, “The current movement for racial justice highlights the importance of investing in the leaders working directly in our communities.”
The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has continued its support for Give 8/28, with $250 kickstarter grants to local nonprofit participants, to help them to build capacity. The Community Foundation will host a community mixer at WBTT on August 28 that will bring donors together with Give 8/28 participants to learn more about their missions and impact on the community.
“From my early days as camp counselor, to arts educator and then theatre director, my focus has always been to nurture minority youth by promoting self-exploration and encouraging growth, both personally and professionally,” said WBTT Founder/Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. “If anyone had told me 24 years ago that we would enjoy community support on the scale WBTT has enjoyed, I wouldn’t have believed them. We hope the community will support our Young Artist Program through a gift on – or before – 8/28!”
WBTT’s goal for this year’s Give 8/28 is $15,000 and contributions are already being gratefully accepted. For more about WBTT, visit westcoastblacktheatre.org; to donate, visit give828.org/organization/Westcoast-Black-Theatre-Troupe.
About Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe:
The mission of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) is to produce professional theatre that promotes and celebrates African American history and experience, engages a broad base of patrons and audiences, supports the development of a dynamic group of aspiring artists, and builds self-esteem in youth of color. Visit westcoastblacktheatre.org for more information.