(Photo courtesy of Peter Goldberg)
Thanks to the generosity of the late David Wax and his wife, Elaine Arden Cali, The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre now has a permanent fund to benefit its long-term goals, support its financial security, and generate general annual operating income for artistic and educational programming.
Gamm Managing Director Oliver Dow recalls his first day in the office when David, a former Gamm board president and managing director, told him, “We don’t have an endowment and I’m going to do something about that.”
And he did. In March of 2015, just two months before his death, David said, “How crucially important an income-generating endowment can be to an organization’s vitality and durability was clear to me throughout my years in the nonprofit art world, and now to help The Gamm create this fund is a joy and privilege.”
The Gamm was founded in Providence in 1984 as Alias Stage, re-named in 1998, and moved to its current home in Pawtucket in 2003. “We do both classic and contemporary works in an intimate setting,” Oliver explains of the 135-seat theater where a typical season includes at least 5 main-stage productions.
“You’re right in the action and feel connected to what’s happening on stage,” Kirsten Davis, manager of institutional giving, says of the Gamm experience.
“And we have a fabulous education program that we give to the City of Pawtucket free of charge,” explains Kate Anderson, development director. The program currently serves 4,500 students in Pawtucket annually and has expanded to schools throughout the state. The Gamm also provides humanities programming and offers theater classes for children and adults.
“Pawtucket is home to a regionally renowned arts organization with a community commitment,” says Gail Hulbert, communications & marketing director. “We’re an anchor for the arts, and that really helps the city.”
This endowment will help support The Gamm’s future. Oliver recalls that David said, ‘Do whatever you want with [the endowment gift],’ but adds, “We got enough hints from him to go to Rhode Island Foundation. You guys are the best. This endowment is a very important thing for us to build on.”