The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company (US), a non-profit 501c3 arts-based social justice organization, is hosting its 2nd Annual Virtually UnUSual Create-A-Thon community fundraiser starting June 1st through June 30th.

Inviting artists everywhere to create, share and inspire, the Virtually UnUsual Create-A-Thon will raise funds to maintain and expand the non-profit’s critical theatre-arts programming for underserved youth and families. The mission of The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company is to mentor, educate, and enrich through the creation of collaborative, original theatre whether in person or virtual. Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, US has prioritized reaching and serving youth and families in Los Angeles by quickly pivoting to offer programming virtually to help mitigate the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on under-resourced communities. Their programs have healed children and families through the arts by elevating the power of the voice. Outcomes for participants are life-changing, including academic and emotional growth and increased social skills – all through the theatre stage and at no cost to participants from high-needs, under resourced public schools, and community organizations.

HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE?
CREATE, SHARE & FUNDRAISE in the name of the arts! The Create-A-Thon invites individuals, companies, and friends to set a CREATIVE GOAL with a FUNDRAISING GOAL. For the month of June, participants will CREATE something original, SHARE it with family and friends using the hashtag #UnusualCreateAThon, and FUNDRAISE along the way. “Create-a-Raisers” can either WRITE or PERFORM anything they desire – whether it’s a play, script, poem, song, dance, or letter to a friend or loved one. Supporters may even choose to perform an original scene written by an Unusual Suspects youth. No minimum age is required. Residents and companies worldwide can start a fundraising team of their own, join an existing team that inspires you, sign up as an individual, or simply donate! There will also be opportunities to bid on high-end auction packages and participate in a raffle.

The Create-A-Thon is hosted by actor Melissa Peterman along with actor Kirsten Vangsness with support from a growing roster of celebrity and entertainment influencers in the Los Angeles arts community including: Steve and Nancy Carell; Annabeth Gish, Cedric Yarbrough, Rachel Bloom, Mo Collins, Hector Elizondo, Bruce Greenwood, David E. Talbert and more. Throughout the Create-A-Thon, various industry supporters will also share creative content tips and ideas on social media. Financial and In-Kind Sponsors, and “Star Performer” Donors include Johnny Carson Foundation, Annie and Scott Lukowski, The Campizondo Foundation, The Levine/Tassler Foundation, and more. Final creations will be accessible online at theunusualsuspects.org.

Last year, The Unusual Suspects 1st Annual Create-A-Thon raised over $250,000 amidst the pandemic, and aims to raise over $300,000 this June with participation from the public, celebrity supporters, and inspiring entertainment sponsors! View 2020 content creations on YouTube @UnusualSuspectsTV including a song by actress Decker Sadowski and “Letter to My First” performance by actors Kirsten Vangsness, Aisha Tyler and Paget Brewster.

WHEN & WHERE:

  • Participate from anywhere in the world starting June 1st – 30th, 2021
  • Learn more and Sign-up here
  • Create your own original creation or join an existing team!
  • Follow and tag The Unusual Suspects on social media: Facebook @TheUnusualSuspectsTheatreCompany, Instagram @USTheatreCo and Twitter @USTheatreCo. Share your progress with the hashtag #UnusualCreateAThon.

WHY PARTICIPATE?
In the current climate, low-income communities have disproportionately suffered, where many are isolated, and yet for this population, arts access is critical as it is especially healing during these unprecedented times. Created in response to the 1992 L.A. Uprising, The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company was founded as a way to provide a platform for self-expression and healing through the arts. From page to stage, participants learn to write and perform an original play as an ensemble, and in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, The Unusual Suspects stands committed to provide a voice for the voiceless, and a safe place for creative expression. The Unusual Suspects works with communities, schools, and detention centers in neighborhoods with the most incidents of violence and crime, poverty, incarceration, and dropout rates.

2020 Program Impact, by the numbers:

  • 3 New Pilot Programs
  • 14 Virtual Performances
  • 995 Youth and Parents Served
  • 557 Workshop Sessions
  • 147 Volunteers

To learn more about The Unusual Suspects, click here.

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