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24 Hours to Donate to the Talking It Out Virtual Arts Festival
Make a tax-deductible donation of $5 or more to receive a social media shoutout & more
(For those who have already made a tax-deductible donation, please consider spreading the word via email, social media, etc. to others so we can raise as many funds toward our fundraising goal as possible!)
About the Festival:
Now entering its third season, the Talking It Out Virtual Arts Festival is an ongoing production of Piccione Arts, which has brought online theatrical performances to audiences worldwide since 2020.
Founded by Anthony J. Piccione, the first Talking It Out performance was presented in person at the Dramatists Guild Foundation's Music Hall on March 10th, 2019. At the time of the initial readings, Michael D'Antoni wrote a rave review of the event for Five-Star Arts Journals, describing it as having "nothing less than pure, unadulterated, genuine, unpretentious focus on the agonies and anguish of mental illness, while also celebrating the triumphs and accomplishments over those living with, or those living with someone who suffers from mental health issues."
Originally intended to be a one-time event of minimalistic staged reading of short plays, the event has since been revived as an ongoing festival of plays - as well as an expanding line-up of additional arts programming, including a film festival, open-mic nights, and beginning with this season, an online visual art show - presented online via Zoom. Upon the first live screening of Talking It Out in November 2020, playwright & critic Jan Ewing praised the festival in a review for Hi! Drama for having "drawn from a wide range of ages and genders" and for "detailing the pain and distress encountered not only by those suffering from the various disorders, but also those who support them." Each of the plays is presented by an ensemble of actors from different corners of the world, highlighting various issues of mental illness - ranging from anxiety, depression, autism, ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dementia, and more.
We are seeking to raise funds so we can not only continue our programming but expand. As of right now, all Talking It Out events are free and open to the public worldwide, with 50% of optional donations going to the artists & the other 50% donated to a non-profit organization dedicated to direct action on providing mental health support for those in need. We keep none of these donations for ourselves and would like to keep our events free and accessible to the public. We rarely ask for financial assistance to keep the festival going, but as we look to the future & determine how to adapt and evolve to best fit the needs of our audiences and artists, any help received this summer in the form of a tax-deductible donation will go a long way toward keeping our programming solvent for the foreseeable future.
We are seeking to raise a minimum of $2500 this season, with any funds raised prioritized toward paying our lead production staff and offsetting the rising cost of presenting live events on Zoom.
Per their contracts, our lead production staff is guaranteed stipends for each individual event they are involved in overseeing. However, your donations will help us offset these costs, so we can continue to reimburse staff for their time. (All our production staff and freelance guest artists receive a portion of donations received, as well.)
While virtual theatre may seem easy to produce, the cost of just one month of a Zoom Webinar has risen dramatically since our first live performance in November 2020. If we reach of $2500 goal, we will be able to continue to expand our programming and continue to provide it to audiences on a regular basis while also providing the aforementioned reimbursement.
Any additional funds may be used to help fund additional plans in the works, including the development of an educational workshop series for writers, actors, etc., as well as potentially increased stipends in the future.
With a festival staff consisting of artists based in New York City, Portland, the United Kingdom & the Phillippines, we truly seek to be an international arts festival that makes live performance, film, visual art, and other mediums more easily accessible to people across the world who don't otherwise have access. Our current staff for our 2022-2023 season includes Producing Artistic Director Anthony J. Piccione, Associate Artistic Director Ryan Thornhill, Program Manager Maria fe Pecar & Literary Manager Angelo Lorenzo.
We've also had several guest artists - including playwrights, directors & actors - involved in our festival from all different parts of the United States and the rest of the world - including Canada, Mexico, Colombia, the United Kingdom, the Phillippines, Singapore, New Zealand & more.
With our increasingly global roster of artists and staff, we also have been able to reach a wide range of thousands of audience members around the world, without any geographical limitations. For live performance, this was almost unthinkable during pre-COVID times. Yet if there is any positive to come out of this terrible pandemic, it's been that we've been challenged to experiment with and find new ways to bring arts programming to audiences that might not have been able to take part in the past.
To our team, this is what the real potential is that virtual arts programming has to offer. For those who cannot afford to see a show on Broadway or the West End, or if they don't have easy access to visual art museums in their area, or if they just need an outlet to express their own artistic selves, we want to make sure that all people of all backgrounds who want to be involved in the arts have a home at our festival, united around the common purpose of continuing to fuel the ongoing conversation on mental health awareness.
Other ways to donate and share
If you cannot donate at this time, we hope you will please consider sharing with friends, family, acquaintances, etc. who share our passion for mental health awareness and are able to donate. Thanks to Fractured Atlas, all our donations are tax-deductible & and any help we receive will go a long way.
Also, please be sure to follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/talkingitoutfest) and Instagram @talkingitoutfest to receive updates, and be sure to spread the word by sharing our posts, if you like our content.