Donate via mail. Mail your donation to Cotton Hall Theater, P.O. Box 567, Colquitt, GA. You will be mailed a tax-deductible donation acknowledgement upon receipt of the donation. Checks can be made out to “CMAC” or “Colquitt Miller Arts Council.”
Donate via Venmo. Send your donation via you Venmo app to username @cottonhalltheater
Include a valid email in the “subject line” of the payment to receive a tax-deductible
donation acknoledgement upon receipt of the donation.
Donate online. “Donate” online by clicking the button below.
Help us keep telling stories.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Cotton Hall Theater has come to a point of decision.
In the next few months, we must decide if the doors of Cotton Hall Theater will close—
having produced 28 years of Georgia’s Official Folk-Life Play Swamp Gravy— or if we can forge ahead creating a more vital, sustainable hub of creative activity in our dear home. This travesty at the end of our 28th season is due to the monumental impact of COVID-19. The mandatory closures, reduced seating capacity, cost of implementing new safety measures, and loss-of-income have all resulted in a devasting blow to our budget.
Our doors have remained open thanks to the patience of our creditors. Our once healthy reserve has been depleted, first by repairs necessitated by Hurricane Michael and finally by this worldwide pandemic. We must find $85,000.00 in immediate new income between now and March 21, 2021 to get our bills current, meet payroll, and give us the opportunity to plan for the future. If the community support is not there, and we cannot meet this
benchmark it will be a clear indication that it is time to close our beloved theater. We’ll finish the final season of Swamp Gravy, sell our properties, pay off our creditors, lay off our employees and know that for nearly three decades we have told our community’s stories—that we have savored and served up as much local flavor as our time allowed.
But, if the support is still there— if people tell us with their words and generosity that they want Cotton Hall to remain open, the Board of Directors, theater staff, and volunteer cast will make it happen. Our greatest asset is and always has been our flexibility. We are proud to have offered up five vastly different productions over the course of 2020 that met the safety needs of Covid-19, from two laugh-out-loud editions of May-Haw to our outdoor production A Night of Living Murals to the heartwarming yuletide play The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and, of course, our ever-feeling mainstay Swamp Gravy: A Stone’s Throw.
With your support, we could commit to a future of vibrant theater that celebrates who we are, where we’ve come from, and where we are going. We will continue to be a theater our audience will look forward to attending each and every year.
We’re asking you, as someone who cares about the Arts and what Cotton Hall means to this region, to consider an immediate extraordinary gift of $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000 or more to help us decide our future. We are not ready to give up and give in. There are more shows that must go on, more audiences to entertain, more children to introduce to the magic of theater, and more laughs to share in this rare and beautiful home we call Cotton Hall. Show us you care by committing to our future. Donate by clicking the button below or mailing your donation to Cotton Hall Theater, P.O. Box 567, Colquitt, GA 39837.
There are so many stories left to tell,
Richard Ward, Board President
Krista Ticktin, Executive Director
Will Murdock, Artistic Director
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Until operations are able to resume in full force, we will be limited in our ability to mail marketing materials for our shows. To be best informed on what performances we have
on the horizon, join our email list.
Follow us on Facebook or Instagram. Another great way to stay informed with our upcoming performances is to follow us on social media. We are @swampgravy on all platforms.
Come see us. Whenever you feel safe and able to visit us again, please join us in the
audience of any of our productions. We would love the opportunity to tell you a story.
In our 29 years, Cotton Hall Theater has always operated close to the edge as we worked to make theater of consistently high quality while maintaining operations in an environment of ever-rising cost and ever-diminishing resources for the Arts on a national-level. In recent years, we have been building towards a more financially sustainable model for our theatrical programming. We were on track to have one of our most sucessful years ever when
Hurrican Michael hit–and hit us hard. And now, just as we’ve seen audiences returning in full-force, the world has been dealt the devastating blow of a global pandemic. Below we will try to answer some questions you may have. If you have any other questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We care deeply about what you have to say.
How serious is the problem?
Critical. Ticket sales, concessions, and souvenirs make up a significant portion of our budget from year to year. We were able to pivot significantly in socially distancing our auditorium and producing an adapted 2020 season, but unfortunately the successes were not enough. Most of the “sold” seats for Swamp Gravy: A Stone’s Throw brought in no new income, as they were tickets that we needed to honor for shows cancelled by the pandemic. And with only 30 percent capacity for the other sold-out runs, we were able to secure ourselves through January, but not without significant challenges ahead.
What about grants? Can’t those big money foundations and corporations help out?
Grants do help, and Cotton Hall has been vastly fortunate over the years in winning some large grants to support our work, but most of those grants are only designated for special projects and cannot be used to pay bills covered by the “general operating” fund or help with payroll.
Has Cotton Hall been mismanaged?
In terms of managing our expenses, recent years at Cotton Hall have been the healthiest it has in years. Under the oversight of our community Board of Trustees, Cotton Hall has
always been frugal. We reuse every piece of lumber, fabric, and wood screw as many times as possible and watch every penny. We produce theater for a fraction of what other theaters spend. And for nearly three decades we never had to cancel a performance. We try to be cautious in predicting future outcome, basing our budgets for shows on the most
conservative projections. Where we can improve is in making sure we maintain a financial cushion for such instances where something like a pandemic or hurricane force a show
closure and the slow sales that inevitably follow. We are also interested in finding other ways to direct-market to consumers other than direct-mail, which can be cost-prohibitive.
What has Cotton Hall done so far in the face of this crisis?
Cotton Hall has paired down our administrative staff down to one to cut payroll expense.
Cotton Hall has scaled back projects, recycling and reusing scenic elements where possible, spending no more than we are certain to bring in.
Cotton Hall has created, not-insignificantly, a new model for our theater which has kept our cast and audience safe to the best of our knowledge, by socially-distancing our theater, requiring masks during the performance, & encouraging our cast to take care of one-another.
Cotton Hall has made this appeal for help to you, right now.