Squallis Puppeteers wants to expand its reach and depth by increasing the number of schools, libraries and community centers that we serve with our touring shows and workshops. We have the capacity to provide more outreach programming per week. Not only do we want to increase the number of sites and people served, we also want to deepen that arts experience once we arrive. Improving our efficiency would greatly benefit our organization in order to serve more children.
Currently Squallis responds to requests from teachers and community contacts in order to book and deliver our touring programs. We load our family’s station wagon with one program at a time and travel far and wide to deliver quality arts education workshops and shows. Sometimes we need a second family vehicle to fit additional performers and our PA system. With support from the Fund for the Arts ArtsMatch program, Gheens Foundation, and others, we are asking for funding to purchase a cargo van. Depending on the amount of money that we are able to raise, we will research and buy a new or used vehicle. This van will be large enough to fit a show, an arts workshop, and a few large backpack puppets, along with all puppeteers, in one carload. This would allow us to offer a school a show, a workshop and a new introductory session with big puppets, all to engage imaginations and encourage learning in new ways. The primary demographic area that this project will serve is the same as the demographic area of Title I schools.
Squallis is located on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the Highlands Community Campus building. The more we increase our touring programming, the more we load and unload from our 3rd floor storage space. These multiple trips up and down the stairs are causing much wear and tear on our puppets and shows. There is an unused garage space connected to this building and we have been given permission to renovate it for storage of our touring programming. This would allow us to pull up to the garage and load in at street level, helping our staff tremendously by becoming more efficient when loading our programs and reducing damage. The space currently has an old wooden garage door that is not secure and is somewhat easy to break into. We hope to replace the current door with a partial cinderblock wall and a new 4 foot security door. Our organization cannot afford these improvements on our own and will need to secure funding to carry out these much needed improvements to our touring programs process.