Thursday, January 28, 2016

Macy’s National Giving Philosophy Going Strong Locally

Students enjoy a Theatre for Young Audiences production
Doug McKay
Students during a MyStage event.
Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper Fran De Leon, Brad Culver, Larry Bates and Lovelle Liquigan in South Coast Repertory's 2014 Theatre for Young Audiences production of Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. Photo by Deborah Robinson/SCR.
Wyatt Fenner and Matt McGrath in South Coast Repertory's 2015 production of Peter and the Starcatcher, a play by Rick Elise. Photo by Debora Robinson/SCR.
Macy’s Inc. is known for its robust philanthropy. For example, 2014 saw the company contribute more than $27 million to nearly 6,000 nonprofit organizations nationwide.

In southern California, Doug McKay, Macy’s district grant and giving chair and multi-store operations manager, enthusiastically nurtures relationships with nonprofits, ranging from education to healthcare to the arts. And, in South Coast Repertory, he found a match for the company’s support.

“We want to help make the arts available to communities and families who may not have had the opportunity to experience this,” he says.

McKay says that “SCR is the perfect example of the type of local community investment we’re interested in because of the theatre’s many programs that work with young people and families."

As a contributor to SCR’s Corporate Circle Education Fund and as a Corporate Producer, Macy’s helps ensure that the arts are vital and alive for disadvantaged young people from underserved areas in Orange County. This season alone, the fund will provide more than 23,000 children and young people with free or significantly discounted admissions to shows or workshops.

This season, Macy’s deepened its engagement with the theatre by supporting SCR’s MyStage program, an initiative that provides deeply discounted tickets for those aged 15-to-25. These opportunities can jump-start a young person’s engagement with the arts. MyStage is a critical pathway to develop the next generation of audiences.

“That is a great way of making the arts experience happen for them,” he says. “They will grow from their exposure to the arts and spread the word about what they like.”

McKay knows first-hand the power of theatre; he and his sons have attended several shows—such as Charlotte’s Web (Theatre for Young Audiences) and Peter and the Starcatcher.

“What I anticipated that I would see at Charlotte’s Web was blown away by what SCR produced,” he recalls. “While my boys at first thought the show was meant for younger kids, they absolutely enjoyed it—and they still talk about it!”

With a show like Starcatcher, McKay says the clever story telling—about a Boy with no name who then became Peter Pan—had him, his sons and the rest of the audience enthralled.

“While Macy’s is known by many people for the annual Thanksgiving Day parade, there is so much more that we do nationally, regionally and locally,” he says. “It is important for us to be involved and participating in our own communities.”

Learn more about how corporate support deepens the impact of SCR’s work in the community.

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